Hello Tiger fans! National Signing Day (the second and final one) took place earlier this month. I must confess, things did not go as well as I had hoped. However, the end result gave Tiger fans a lot to be proud of.
The highlights of the class are the four phenomenal wide receivers we signed, two of whom rank in the top 15 nationally according to 247 sports. Those would be Jamarr Chase and Terrace Marshall. I expect an instant impact from both of those guys. The other two, Kenan Jones and Jaray Jenkins will provide even more depth and talent. LSU hasn’t had a class this good at wide receiver since 2014 and don’t forget about our veteran wide receivers and graduate transfer Jonathan Giles.
Last year we had some struggles with depth in the trenches. We started two true freshmen on the offensive line for the first time in over 50 years. Orgeron took this very seriously by signing every position on the offensive line (for the first time since 2013), as well as five defensive tackles (the most LSU has had this century). Combined with the experience from last year I expect this year’s trench play to be something special. Special, the exact words former defensive line coach Pete Jenkins used to describe his interior linemen this year too.
We also ended up with four linebackers to help out Devin White and K’Lavon Chaisson. Oh man, a junior Devin White, three super sophomores in Chaisson, Tyler Taylor and Jacob Phillips, and now five new savages. I’m going to have nightmares tonight!
We left some holes in this year’s class. The most noticeable is the lack of DBs at DBU. We only signed one defensive back out of 22 players, and he was a safety. With Donte Jackson and Kevin Toliver leaving early for the NFL, LSU only has four cornerbacks. This is a serious deficiency of personnel. The short term fix is playing the new recruit, Kelvin Joseph, at corner instead of safety, and moving Mannie Neatherly from Wide Receiver to corner.
Also, we did not sign a single quarterback. This is not so drastic because our quarterbacks are so evenly matched in experience and we have a lot of talent. Still, it’s always smart to sign a quarterback and we fell short here.
No recruiting class has ever been perfect. This one was especially lopsided. We had super strengths and deadly weaknesses. I can only hope we play to our strengths and correct our weaknesses.
It’s full speed ahead for the Tigers from now until the season and they have a lot of change to overcome. But I believe it is going to be a great year for the Bayou Bengals!