Sunday, December 14, 2008

SOAPBOX: Random Thoughts

Darrington Sentimore and Barkevious Mingo

Alabama commitment Sentimore helped lead the Destrehan Wildcats to their second consecutive LHSAA 5A state championship last night, winning the MVP in the process. I listened to part of the game on WWL, and Sentimore was ALL OVER THE PLACE! Dominant is a word that fits. LSU has not yet given Sentimore an offer.

Barkevious Mingo, who LSU has offered, was on the losing side of that game. I heard his name a few times as well, but he was nowhere near as dominant as Sentimore was.

The question is: will LSU finally offer Sentimore a scholarship? With defensive linemen being a clear need in this class, the lack of an LSU offer points clearly to some kind of off-field issues with Sentimore - grades or something else.

I think if LSU offers, Sentimore drops Bama like a hot rock.

Miles and some of his coaches were at the Superdome last night, I'm told. After an MVP performance, if Sentimore does not garner an offer, then clearly his off-field issues are pretty significant and maybe he won't really be playing for Alabama either come the fall.

Defensive Coordinator

Apparently, there are no changes to the football coaching staff on the immediate horizon. While I'm as frustrated as any LSU fan, I get it (I think). First of all, I don't think Coach Miles will be "firing" anyone. That much is pretty clear. He's likely going to shuffle some coaches, and I think there's every indication that two coaches (Peveto and Lane) may be getting offers to move up to "better" coaching jobs in the near future. Secondly, I think Miles has a hiring in mind, but it's likely that coach isn't done with their season, either. So Miles is waiting that out as well. Third, there's the recruiting effort going on right now. Specifically, Coach Peveto is a good recruiter so Miles has him on the road and solidifying some great recruits for the Tigers. Fourth, there's the Ga Tech game on New Year's Eve. If the staff can stay in place and focused, then LSU has a reasonable chance of a good showing against a very powerful Ga Tech running game. A new DC with a new scheme and only two weeks to put it in place would probably be a bowl disaster.

So, I'm keeping the faith and remaining patiently hopeful. One thing is certain - if LSU doesn't make any changes to the co-DC fiasco from last year, Miles is risking his standing with the LSU faithful, probably including the more influential boosters. Which is why I'm almost positive there's change a-comin.

Football Recruiting

LSU will likely sign the best football recruiting class in school history this February. There's also a chance that it will be the best football recruiting class in the country. And that's saying something considering LSU's recruiting success in recent years, and the quality of the recruiting classes at USC, Texas, and Ohio State.

It's possible that LSU could sign as many as 8 five-star athletes. The Tigers already have three committed (QB Shepard, DB Jackson, and DL Davenport). Five-stars Loston (safety) and DeBose (WR) are probable LSU commits, which brings the total to 5. Reuben Randle - the #1 recruit in the nation according to Rivals, is a real possibility as well, which would be 6. Michael Ford, the state's leading RB and a current LSU commit, could very well get a fifth star, bringing the total to 7. Finally, DeAngelo Benton, a WR commit from last year that could not make the grades to join the team, has apparently completed the required school work. If Benton joins the squad, then he'll likely do so as a five star, and that's 8.

Probable? No. Possible? Absolutely. And this doesn't count some other February surprises, like stealing McFarland from Texas/OU, or landing LB Jelani Jenkins or DT William Campbell. None of these are strong possibilities. But none of them are committed anywhere yet, either. And success in recruiting has a way of breeding further success.

But maybe the biggest positive for this recruiting class is that, below all the stellar prospects, there are some guys who just might be severely underrated and will surprise big time once at LSU. The poster child for this expectation is Morris Claiborne, a 2-star athlete (QB in high school) whose video is very, very impressive. The kid plays at a small school and just didn't make the recruiting services' radar. Another LSU recruit who has the ability to surprise is 3-star QB Chris Garrett from Tupelo, MS. He had a great senior season, has a powerful arm and is a great pro-style QB. A lot will depend on Crowton's schemes at LSU and the way the team uses Russell Shepard in the future.

Bottom line: if you haven't read up on this recruiting class, you should. It's going to be fun to watch them progress. Rivals and Scout offer some free access to news and message boards. ESPN's recruiting site is completely free, but not as good as the first two in my opinion. If I had to pick a site, I'd pick Scout simply because, although Rivals site has a better layout, Scout's writing staff seems to be a step ahead most of the time.

Basketball Crushes Grambling

Trent Johnson's Tigers are still undefeated this year after demolishing Grambling 87-41. Granted, the Tigers haven't really played anyone yet. But a 46-point win is impressive nonetheless. Now, consider that the leading LSU scorer was Marcus Thornton with only 18 points. And ten LSU players had 13 minutes or more of playing time, none over 22 minutes. The bench performed very, very well. And obviously Coach Johnson's emphasis on defense is paying dividends. Next up Nicholls State, then Texas A&M on the road. We'll see, we'll see.


  1. your analysis of sentimore's recruitment are laughable at best. keep up the good work.

  2. Gerrybait. If there was a market for it, I could make a lot of money. Strike every time.

    But seriously. The kid was all LSU until the offer didn't come. Now he's bad mouthed LSU a bit because his feelings are hurt.

    If his grades/off-field issues clear up and LSU offers, prepare to watch him join his fellow Wildcats in BR.

    If not - enjoy his ineligibility!

  3. He won't be getting an offer from LSU because of off the field issues from what I've heard.

  4. yeah i've never seen les bring a guy on campus with less than stellar grades/behavioral issues. i forgot every one of his recruits has qualified since he got to br. and i won't even go down the behavioral issues road.

    bottom line is bama fell back asswards into this dude. they don't have anyone on that campus who can recruit or anything to offer in the way of a bright future on the field.

  5. Based on the attrition from earlier classes, particularly a certain high-profile QB, Miles is a bit more selective than he's been in the past. But there are a couple of grade issues every year. In fact, Loston has some work to do I'm hearing.

    What I'm hearing, though, is that even if DS gets his grades up to par, he's got a Perrilloux-type of issue that Miles isn't exactly keen on repeating.

    It's alright, Gerry. When he's a Bammer all-SEC stud, you can rub our noses in it.

    Good luck with that.

  6. i've never said this kid was going to be great or even see the field. my issue was with the level of arrogance of the post. "sentimore must not be worth the trouble b/c if he was, lsu would offer him and he'd come to lsu no questions asked." i can only assume your basing this on the fact that he'd love to play in the "innovative" defensive schemes the tigahs are running out there right now, which will no doubt shut down the geogia tech flexbone attack.

    good luck with that.

  7. The schemes were indeed not that great. Worst defense I've seen at LSU in a long time. But good enough to force Jessica Parker Wilson Phillips into an overtime, I guess.

    It wasn't arrogance, Gerry. It was the kid's own words early in recruiting. He basically was begging LSU to offer so he could commit. We didn't and the reasons are clear. Bama gets a kid with a huge amount of potential if he can straighten himself out.

    A Bama fan calling me arrogant. Interesting.

  8. well obviously you don't know me, but if you'd ever wander over to my blog you'd never read an arrogant bama post. so stick to what you know...whatever that is.

    congrats on the overtime loss by the way. moral victories i guess.

  9. You're not hard to figure out. Your first comment says pretty much all anyone need's to know. Poor grammar; ill informed; sarcastic and confrontational.


  10. you're truly an idiot bro. you have exactly TWO regular commenters (neither of which are tigeah fans by the way...make of that what you will) and you appear trying to run one of them off?? i'll be happy to let you and joshy stare into each others eyes in silence if you want.

    call me when joshua posts again.

  11. I was at the game. Sentimore was truly a wrecking crew. At times blowing up the QB AND RB without bothering to figure out who had the ball.

    Mingo was unimpressive as a true LB. He was effective as an edge rusher using his speed to pressure the QB. But, he is too thin to be effective doing this in the SEC. He'll have to bulk up and keep his speed to fill this role in college. Or develop his skills in pass coverage and taking on blockers to play a stand up LB.

    Now with all that said...I think you have some serious LSU blinders on and need to be more objective to be taken seriously.


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