LSU in much better shape after early signing period than most realize

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Brian Kelly
(Photo: Jonathan Mailhes)

Here’s my take on LSU’s 2022 football signing class.

It is good, and it has a chance to get a lot better.

If you think about what new Tigers head coach Brian Kelly and his staff did in a very short period of time and without being able to tell recruits who is running the offense or the defense, you can’t help but be impressed.

Or can you?

Texas A&M is allegedly going to sign the number one class in the country, and Alabama is nipping at their heels.

Somewhere out there in the SEC West wilderness is LSU, with a new coach who, while successful in the Midwest, has a lot of catching up to do here in the cauldron that is the Southeastern Conference.

Okay, the narrative is understandable.

However, here’s why LSU’s class is better than most think.

It includes Jordan Allen.

Pencil me as a big fan of the Lafayette Christian product who, if he stood 6-2 instead of 5-11, would have more stars than three next to his name.

In the 2020 playoffs, Allen did a terrific job on Newman’s best receiver at the time, AJ Johnson.

Newman head coach Nelson Stewart was and still is impressed. This week, when asked about Allen, Stewart compared him favorably to Derek Stingley.

That is high praise.

Plus, how can you not like a player who goes by the moniker “shutdown”?

Another under the radar signing was wide receiver Landon Ibieta of Mandeville.

Ibieta, who consistently ran away from tacklers on the north shore, got a late offer from LSU and jumped on it.

The wide receiver said he dreamed of playing at Tiger Stadium since he was a young child. That is great, if you have ability. Ibieta certainly has plenty of that.

The 2022 LSU recruiting class also includes offensive tackle Will Campbell of Neville and guard Emery Jones of Catholic. Meanwhile, the Tigers offensive line got an immediate boost when Florida International tackle Miles Frazier, supposedly the best offensive tackle in the transfer portal, chose LSU over Ohio State and Florida State.

Kelly has placed a premium on offensive line play, an area where his teams at Notre Dame excelled. On signing day, he said there were certain metrics he had for offensive lineman. He wouldn’t be specific, but it was clear he had a plan.

There was more good news when two signings didn’t happen.

Elite safety Jacoby Mathews of Ponchatoula and running back Trevonte Citizen of Lake Charles did not sign. That made for great news for the Tigers. Kelly and company can still win them over.

In Louisiana, there was a lot of angst when the Tigers lost three of the top eight players in the state to Alabama, according to the website 247 Sports. Wide receivers Shazz Preston of St James and Aaron Anderson of Karr along with athlete Kendrick Law of Captain Shreve are headed to Tuscaloosa.

But still, LSU signed two of the three highest ranked players in the state, Campbell and defensive lineman Quency Wiggins of Madison Prep.

Mathews is rated second.

At present, LSU’s recruiting class is ranked 19th in the country, touching off alarms amongst some recruiting analysts.

I wonder, why is their no such anxiety at USC? New head coach Lincoln Riley signed just seven recruits in the early period. His recruiting class is ranked #70.

That’s right. 70.

Yet, all you read is how Riley loves Southern California, and they love him. How Riley is a perfect fit and that USC is headed back to the top of college football.

In the meantime, two of Kelly’s biggest early signees weren’t high school recruits. Hiring associate head coach Frank Wilson, who was lured away from McNeese, and convincing quarterback Myles Brennan to return were his best recruiting pitches.

Wilson, the former head coach at O. Perry Walker, will be a leader in LSU’s recruiting efforts. Brennan, before he was hurt, was off to a record-setting pace in yards and touchdown passes in the 2020 season.

If the purple and gold sky is falling, pardon me, but I don’t see it.

 

 

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Ed Daniels

WGNO Sports Director/106.1 FM

Ed is a New Orleans native, born at Baptist Hospital. He graduated Rummel High School, class of 1975, and subsequently graduated from Loyola University. Ed started in TV in 1977 as first sports intern at WVUE Channel 8. He became Sports Director at KPLC TV Channel 7 in Lake Charles in 1980. In 1982 he was hired as sports reporter…

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