Last Wednesday, football fans flocked to news outlets and social media platforms as high school players around the country signed National Letters of Intent to their universities of choice.
Signing day is a highly anticipated holiday in the college football universe, but this year’s signing day did little to curtail the skepticism of the LSU football faithful.
It’s not simply the fact that the Tigers whiffed on three of the five remaining prospects on coach Ed Orgeron’s signing day radar. That’s disappointing enough.
Rather, the spurn of this year’s signing day stems from defensive back Patrick Surtain Jr.’s comments regarding his decision to attend Alabama in the fall.
LSU was seen as a heavy favorite to land Surtain, but the Florida native ultimately chose the Crimson Tide, citing their ability to win championships as the impetus for his decision.
In a sports climate where wins and losses speak loudly, Alabama will continue to have a leg up on the recruiting trail.
The Crimson Tide not only win championships, they are on a dominate seven-game winning streak against the Tigers, and the gap between the two schools is continuing to grow wider.
This could potentially lead to a vicious cycle for the LSU football program if Orgeron and company can’t mix things up. Missing out on blue-chip prospects will lead to more losses on the football field, and those losses will lead to more shortcomings on the recruiting trail.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, losing Surtain to the Tide wasn’t the only bad news of the day.
LSU also failed to garner commitments from defensive back Mario Goodrich who signed with Clemson and quarterback James Foster who signed with Texas A&M.
I understand that LSU doesn’t have a rosie history at the quarterback position, and the recent amount of staff turnover on the offensive side of the ball may lead to serious apprehensions from quarterback prospects.
However, there is no excuse to miss out on defensive back talent. LSU football parades
the “DBU” moniker like the school owns the rights to those letters, and Tiger alumni have a strong presence in NFL secondaries.
Despite these advantages, LSU was only signed one defensive back. Tiger fans expected more, as they should, from Orgeron who has a reputation of being a recruiting guru, and he failed to deliver.
Luckily, there was a silver lining for Tigers last week. Louisiana products Kelvin Joseph and Ja’Marr Chase signed with LSU allowing Orgeron and his staff to tout the fact that the Tigers signed eight of the top 10 players in Louisiana. LSU’s recruiting class also finished with a No. 15 ranking according to the 247Sports Composite.
Those accomplishments should certainly merit some pride if you’re an LSU fan, but it doesn’t mask the fact that the Tigers finished short in positions of high need.
While LSU fans should refrain from hitting the panic button just yet, missing out on players at crucial skill positions does not bode well for a football program already plagued with question marks heading into spring practice.