LSU’s 2016 recruiting class has a chance to be tops in the country when the dust settles from National Signing Day.
A closer look at the class shows the positions the coaching staff focused on this year.
The class is deep at defensive line, linebacker and at wide receiver — all major positions of need at LSU.
But with so much of an emphasis on strengthening the defensive front and adding size and speed to the wide receiver corps, did LSU forget to address its biggest position of need?
Any fan of LSU could easily argue yes, as the Tigers are seemingly out of options when it comes to quarterback.
A one-time LSU commit, Feleipe Franks is now fully entrenched as a Florida Gator. With so much invested in Franks throughout the year, the Tigers lost ground on other nationally renowned prospects such as Dwayne Haskins.
Once Franks was out of the picture, LSU had already fallen behind in the recruitment of Haskins, who was then committed to Maryland.
LSU considered its other options — which were few and far between — and was a darkhorse for a handful of three-star prospects such as Anthony Russo, who felt underappreciated by the Tigers coaching staff and flipped his commitment — to Temple over LSU.
The final straw was Haskins giving in to LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and committing to take an official visit to Baton Rouge, La. this weekend. However, before LSU could even get the four-star quarterback on campus, Haskins had already made up his mind to commit to Ohio State.
That was the nail in the coffin for LSU’s chances of landing a quarterback in this year’s class. There are zero quarterbacks left on LSU’s board at this time, barring an unprecedented flip from a quarterback that’s currently committed elsewhere.
Stranger things have happened in the world of recruitment, but for now, this means another year of Brandon Harris.
With time running out in this year’s recruiting period, LSU would be wise to focus its attention to next year’s class, beginning on Feb. 4.
LSU received a blessing in disguise when four-star dual-threat quarterback Lowell Narcisse de-committed from Auburn earlier in January.
Last July, Narcisse committed to Auburn over LSU and Clemson, explaining LSU was a close second in the race. Even after committing to Auburn, LSU coach Cam Cameron continued to foster his relationship with the St. James (La.) High School prospect, standing by him even after he tore his ACL.
Narcisse is the nation’s No. 4 dual-threat quarterback in the Class of 2017, and he plays his high school football about a half-hour from Tigers Stadium.
The same can be said for Keytaon Thompson, a four-star prospect in next year’s class and the No. 8 dual-threat quarterback in the country.
In December, Thompson committed to Mississippi State over LSU, Florida, Miami and Tennessee, and one reason is because the Tigers failed to devote enough attention to the New Orleans standout.
That’s a mistake LSU cannot afford to make, especially after whiffing in the 2016 class.
The LSU coaching staff needs to continue to chase after Narcisse and rebuild its relationship with Thompson. While it’s certainty a longshot to secure commitments from both of those local quarterbacks, failing to bring one of these nationally renowned prospects to Baton Rouge, La. should make someone’s seat warmer.