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.
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.
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.