It cannot be overstated what the loss of Frank Wilson meant for LSU.
Sure, the Tigers’ coaching staff is equipped with recruiting aces in defensive line coach Ed Orgeron and defensive backs assistant Corey Raymond, but the loss of Wilson signaled a potential loss of territory in their own state.
Wilson is a New Orleans native. He played at storied St. Augustine High School, then coached in the high school ranks for years before eventually landing at LSU.
Wilson played an integral role in recruiting, helping lure-highly touted prospects such as Leonard Fournette and Malachi Dupre to Baton Rouge, La.
Equally as important, he was successful as the running backs coach, helping produce quality backfields spearheaded by the likes of Jeremy Hill, Kenny Hilliard and Alfred Blue.
With Wilson’ departure to the University of Texas at San Antonio, much of the responsibility fell onto Orgeron and Raymond to help LSU salvage its nationally-renowned recruiting class.
That collection of recruiting aces has now been bolstered by the addition of new running backs coach Jabbar Juluke.
Juluke sports a background consisted largely of winning, plain and simple.
Also a New Orleans native, Juluke spent many years in the high school ranks, with stints in the city’s storied Catholic League at both Brother Martin High School and St. Augustine. Juluke also spent time at O. Perry Walker, where Wilson was once the school’s head coach.
Juluke ultimately made a name for himself at Edna Karr High School in Algiers, La., where in nine seasons he led the team to three state championship game appearances, including a perfect season culminating in a state title back in 2012.
Juluke helped produce 70 scholarship athletes while at Karr before moving onto Louisiana Tech as a running backs coach.
There, he helped mold a future NFL running back in Kenneth Dixon, who later this month will begin his path toward to the league at the NFL Combine.
Dixon was a record-setting performer with the Bulldogs, and this success helped Juluke land at Texas Tech — momentarily — before catching on quickly at LSU.
Juluke will inherit a star-studded backfield in Baton Rouge with Heisman Trophy hopeful Leonard Fournette and a tandem of young up-and-comers in Derrius Guice, Nick Brossette and Devin White.
He will also take over right where Wilson left off — recruiting the talent-laden city of New Orleans.
For context purposes, LSU’s 2015 roster was comprised of 22 players from the Crescent City. That includes major contributors and highly-touted prospects in Donte Jackson, Tyron Johnson, Deion Jones, William Clapp, Dupre and, of course, Fournette.
A quick glance at the Tigers’ 2016 recruiting class shows six prospects that hail from New Orleans, including five-star cornerback Kristian Fulton, four-star offensive tackle Willie Allen and four-star linebacker Michael Divinity, all of whom could be impact players as true freshmen.
The importance of dominating New Orleans area recruiting cannot be overstated, and it’s something that Wilson made a habit of.
Because of Juluke’s aura, history and success in the city, he is not only the right man for the job, but arguably the only coach who would be up to the task.
LSU struck gold with the hire of Juluke. That’s not up for debate.
He brings the unique blend of both coaching talent, but also finding it and luring to LSU.
The loss of Wilson was a tremendous blow for these Tigers, but with Juluke, it should be a seamless transition.