12/9/16 5:50 am CST
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
Tis the season for coaching rumors, player awards, and recruiting. We’ll touch on each of those topics in today’s report, as well as this weekend’s Louisiana high school football championship games. Let’s jump to it.
Late last night, Houston announced that it had narrowed its head coaching search to four candidates: Lane Kiffin, former LSU coach Les Miles and current Houston coordinators Todd Orlando and Major Applewhite. This hire has obvious implications for Tiger Fans since Lane Kiffin is believed to be Coach Ed Orgeron’s top-target for LSU’s offensive coordinator position. I suspect we will learn today whether Kiffin gets the job. If he does not land at Houston, there has been speculation that Kiffin could end up at South Florida, but the latest reports I’ve seen indicate that former Texas coach Charlie Strong is USF’s leading candidate at this time.
So, if it’s not Kiffin for LSU, who would it be? Well, the three names I’m hearing more than any are ex-Oregon coach Mark Helfrich, Alabama offensive analyst Steve Sarkisian, and current Oklahoma offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley. Other candidates mentioned include USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin, TCU Co-OC Sonny Cumbie, Houston OC Major Applewhite, Pittsburgh Panthers OC Matt Canada, and Ohio State OC Ed Warriner. Stay tuned, as we’ll likely get some clarity on the situation very soon.
As mentioned above, this is also the season for awards, and they continue to roll in for LSU football players. Yesterday, three Tigers were named to the All-SEC Freshman Team, two Tigers were named Walter Camp All-Americans, two Tigers received Sports Illustrated second team All-America honors, and eight Tigers were named to the AP All-SEC teams. Here’s a quick rundown:
All-SEC Freshman Team
• Starting with the All-SEC Freshman team, nose tackle Ed Alexander was one of five selections along the defensive line, Devin White was one of three linebackers selected, and Josh Growden was the sole punter chosen. Below is a brief blurb on each of them as provided by LSU’s Sports Information department.
Walter Camp All-Americans
• LSU senior defensive back TréDavious White was honored as a first-Team Walter Camp All-American, while senior center Ethan Pocic and senior linebacker Kendell Beckwith were selected as Second-Team All-Americans.
Sports Illustrated All-Americans
• The two Tigers who were named Sports Illustrated second team All-Americans were linebacker Kendell Beckwith and safety Jamal Adams.
AP All-SEC Teams
• The eight Tigers who made the AP’s All-SEC team include first-team selections Derrius Guice (RB), Ethan Pocic (C), Arden Key (LB), TréDavious White (CB) and Jamal Adams (S). Making the second team were Leonard Fournette (RB), Josh Boutte (G), and Kendall Beckwith (LB).
Hats off to all these Tigers for their well-deserved honors.
While on the topic of awards and recognition, let me sneak this baseball tidbit in here: Junior left-hander Alex Lange has been named by D1Baseball as the No. 7 college prospect for the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft.
In football recruiting news, LSU will be entertaining three prospects this weekend, all of whom are already committed to LSU. The three are offensive tackle Austin Deculus, safety Grant Delpit, and quarterback Lowell Narcisse. Another thing that these three have in common, in addition to being committed to LSU, is that they all will be early enrollees. With the dead period in recruiting beginning next week, it makes sense that Coach Orgeron and his staff are focusing their attention on the early enrollees whose final decision time is drawing near. Other LSU commitments expected to enroll early are wide receiver Mannie Netherly, defensive end Justin Thomas, and safety Jacoby Stevens. (I don’t remember LSU ever having more than five early enrollees in one call, but it looks like that will be the case this year, and that’s a good thing.) Netherly and Thomas have both shut down their recruitment and appear rock solid to LSU. As for Stevens, the Tiger’s highest rated prospect in this class of 18 commits, Coach O dropped in on him on Tuesday and from what I understand there’s no reason for concern with him. Steven recognizes that with Jamal Adams and Rickey Jefferson gone next year he will have an excellent chance for immediate playing time. Another early enrollee target LSU is heavily pursuing is linebacker and Baton Rouge native Dylan Moses who was once committed to LSU but is now committed to Alabama. Coach Ed Orgeron dropped in on him earlier this week and will work relentlessly for his signature, though the window of opportunity for getting him to flip is shrinking fast with early enrollees planning to enroll in early January.
Before moving on, let me answer something that many of you have asked me – that is, where does LSU’s recruiting class stand now and how many more commitments can the Tigers take? LSU’s 2017 recruiting class currently contains 18 commitments and is ranked No. 5 in 247Sports’ Composite Team Rankings. Of the 18, one is a five-star (Stevens), ten are four-stars and seven are three-stars. From what I understand, there’s room to sign a total of 26 players to scholarship since LSU signed 23 last Signing Day and then added Sci Martin in March to bring their total to 24, leaving room for one of this year’s early enrollees to count towards the 2016 maximum of 25. In a subsequent report, we’ll take a look at who we think are the most likely candidates to fill the eight remaining spots in this year’s class.
Lastly, the Class 1A and 2A state championships will be played tonight in the Louisiana Superdome and here’s a bit of info on those two matches. By the way, both of tonight’s games, as well as tomorrow’s night’s 3A, 4A, and 5A championships, will be televised by Cox Sports Television.
1A State Championship:
No. 1 Haynesville (13-0) vs No. 2 (13-0) Logansport
Friday, December 9, 4:30 PM @Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Haynesville made it to the Championship game last year before getting beat by a really good Kentwood team. This year’s Haynesville team returns a lot from that squad and has gained valuable experience. Kentwood was a team many thought could repeat in 1A, but Logansport was able to knock them out last week in a defensive battle, 18-7. Look for this one to be a tight contest with both teams lead by stout defense. We give Haynesville a slight advantage, but this one could go either way.
Of particular interest to Tiger fans are Haynesville juniors Jamarceon Jackson (S, 6-0, 190) and Jalan Harris (DE, 6-2, 248). Both will be highly recruited for class of 2018.
2A State Championship:
No. 2 Madison Prep (14-0) vs No. 4 (12-2) Sterlington
Friday, December 9, 8:00 PM @Mercedes-Benz Superdome
This Madison Prep team is absolutely loaded on both sides of the ball. On offense, they are led by senior QB Edwin Kleinpeter who is a threat with his feet and his arm. The Madison Prep defense has been a force throughout the year, but Sterlington is a team that lights up the scoreboard, as evidenced by scoring at least 40 points in all four of their playoff games. We predict this one will be close early on, but in the end, Madison Prep has too much firepower for Sterlington to keep up.
Of particular interest to Tiger fans are Madison Prep’s senior defensive ends Bryan Jones (DE, 6-5, 240) and Tory James (6-4, 275). Jones will likely end up at Texas A&M and James is an Arkansas commit.
In closing, how bout this winter weather? If this latest cold front has given you the envie to make a gumbo, as it has for me, my recipe for the Chicken and Sausage gumbo can be found on our recipes page. Have a great day, Tiger Fans.
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