BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU’s 23-man recruiting class featured 16 players from the state of Louisiana.
Combine that with the fact that 46 of the 79 scholarships are also from The Boot, and 60 percent of the LSU football hails from in the state.
That’s the kind the math that LSU coach Les Miles enjoys doing.
Dominating recruiting in Louisiana has long been a goal for the Tigers, but in 2016, Miles and his coaching employed a different strategy: Get the best that the state had to offer, then let the rest take care of itself.
“Some of the stats I was reading about the height and weight, we’ve done more of this year,” Miles said in his press conference Wednesday. “Bigger, stronger, and taller. We had length for an attribute. Long arms, big hands and strength. We did it across the board at a number of positions, and that’s why this class is so highly ranked.
“ This group is going to be very special. It’s a class you can compete for a national championship with.”
For the third consecutive year, LSU secured a commitment from the state’s top player.
That tradition began with Leonard Fournette in 2014, was continued with Tyron Johnson a year ago and occurred again with Kristian Fulton on National Signing Day.
Fulton and fellow five-star prospect Rashard Lawrence gave LSU the top two recruits in Louisiana, and both represented the Tigers’ new recruiting strategy at positions of need.
“I think this is a class that by the defensive line, you can put big, strong, tall men at the line of scrimmage and be a real force inside,” Miles explained. “Our secondary now is a secondary that you can put a shutdown corner out there and keep them fresh like (we did) with Pat (Peterson), Tyrann (Mathieu) and Mo (Claiborne).”
“I think we will become more of a dominant team by the nature of our players than by the nature of the calls,” he added.
LSU’s 2016 class included prospects from three major areas of the state.
Fulton, tackle Willie Allen, defensive end Andre Anthony, linebacker Michael Divinity, defensive tackle Glen Logan and tight end Jamal Pettigrew come to Baton Rouge via New Orleans. Quarterback Lindsey Scott, defensive lineman Caleb Roddy and wide receiver Stephen Sullivan are from the Baton Rouge area.
LSU’s coaches also made a stronger push in the northern portion of the state, landing four-star cornerback Andraez Williams of Shreveport, La., four-star athlete Devin White of Springhill, La., as well as four-star safety Cameron Lewis and Lawrence of Monroe, La.
Taking control of all regions in the state was key. The selling point was simple.
“I think our guys in this class recognized a great opportunity of the university here,” Miles said. “They enjoy walking in that stadium and playing. The credential of choice when you graduate is an LSU credential … A group of men in this class wanted to win a national championship right here in the state of Louisiana. That’s a significant piece LSU will always have.”