If you've dug deep enough into the bowels of college football blogdom to find my little bend in the colon, then you don't need a recap of LSU's recruiting class of 2008. In fact, the only reason you're here is because you've read everything else and now you have to choose between my blog and Brittany Spears' latest police report. Welcome!
The Tigers put together a damned strong class yet again. Some folks are a little disappointed, mostly because our LB class might be a little weak this year (MIGHT) and we didn't land a high quality RB. And some are getting wrapped up in the Rivals/Scout rankings (11 and 6 respectively). And still others are concerned that Lord Saban landed the #1 class in most rankings.
But, FEAR NOT! LSU's class is probably underrated, even according Rivals' own experts.
I was asked several times by reporters yesterday why LSU didn't capitalize more on its national championship season. After all, they finished ranked No. 11 in recruiting.
My response is that team recruiting rankings are far from foolproof. At some level, I am a guy who helped develop this industry and the coverage of recruiting on the Internet, and I will go on record as saying that team recruiting rankings are not the be-all, end-all.
Let's face it, Saban had a very strong Alabama class to pick from. 2009 promises to return the favor for LSU. And LSU landed 14 of 14 LA prospects that it offered. That is pretty incredible.As for LB, I think Baker and Theriot are going to be really good in the years ahead. The real question at LB is not the recruiting class, but who steps up to replace Highsmith and Sanders out of the depth chart we already have. As for RB, we're deep (Scott, Williams, Murphy, Holliday, Ridley) for at least a couple more years, and 2009 promises to be a bumper crop of LA-bred talent (Eddie Lacy, Michael Ford, Montrell Conner, Kelvin York), so life is good.
Overall, this class - barring a rash of academic or legal calamity (everybody, QUICK!! knock on wood!) - will only strengthen what has been and will continue to be an incredibly deep LSU roster. There is some worry that Deangelo Benton may not qualify academically again, and Chris Tolliver seems to be an academic-qualification question in some folks minds as well. So we'll see.
But rather than rehash the class in detail, I'd like to wax philosophic. K? K.
Here are some random thoughts vis-a-vis the recruiting of high school football players.
Al Gore and the Internets
Remember when 99% of your sporting news arrived either rolled up and wrapped in red rubber band on your driveway or stuffed weekly/monthly in your mailbox? Back when Tiger Rag was only available in newsprint, LSU football news travelled to most of us only as fast as a writer could write, a publisher could publish, and a mailman could drive.
Of course, the marketplace being what it is, not much time elapsed before the money makers started making money. Rivals and Scout started charging to access premium parts of their web sites. Sports Illustrated and ESPN are following suit with free versions of their own recruiting services.
So, now - for free or for a fee, depending on your level of addiction - ANYONE can watch film of ANY high school football or basketball player considered a college prospect. I think this is AWESOME. My wife, on the other hand? She'd like her husband back...I'm working on that!
A bit far fetched? Maybe in details. But certainly not in theory. In fact, I'm sure this is happening on a small scale as you read. I'm just waiting for someone to break the story.
That's enough on recruiting in 2008.
2009 has already started, though. Expect a few posts about the guys coming up in this next class, because I'm told it's going to be a special year for LA football recruits. Which means, if LSU repeats its in state success, it will be a special recruiting year for LSU.