1/22/18 5:25 am CST
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Good morning, Tiger Fans,
As promised, today I’ll share with you a half-dozen comments/questions I’ve received lately, along with my brief response to each. Please note that the first response contains a link to a Q&A we recently conducted with LSU’s compliance department about the “hard cap” of 25 signees per year. It should go a long way toward clearing up any questions you recruitniks might have about exactly what is allowed and how last April’s rule changes affect things. Other topics in this week’s Mail Call include a projected lineup in baseball, thoughts on LSU basketball freshman guard Tremont Waters, former Tiger running back Kevin Faulk, and more.
DANDYDON.COM’S MONDAY MORNING MAIL CALL
From Richard: Everyone says you can only sign 25 players, however we lost over 20 seniors, several came out as juniors and we lost several transfers. This would total more than 25 players. So why can't we sign more than 25 players this year to replace all we lost? I understand 9 enrolled at mid-semester, but as I understand, they still count on this year’s class. Does every school have a 25 signee mandate this year as 247 sports says?
My Response: Yes, every school is limited to a maximum of 25 “initial-counter” signees per year, regardless of how many players leave early for the NFL or otherwise transfer out. You will see some schools showing more than 25 signees this year only because “back-counting” to the previous year’s class is allowed as long as that previous class did not sign its full allotment. To help clear up any confusion and get some definitive answers on transfers, gray shirts, and walk-ons, we at DandyDon conducted this Q&A with Blair Napolitano of LSU’s compliance department and she was gracious in providing some definitive answers.
From Dan: Hey Scott. Like you, I’ve got spring fever bad and can’t wait for some Tiger baseball. Don’t know much about what to expect and would love to see your projected lineup.
My Response: Dan, I’ll have a much better feel for the team after attending LSU Baseball Media day this Friday. As of now, here’s my best guess at a potential lineup:
C Hunter Feduccia, Jr.
1B Bryce Jordan, Jr.
2B Hal Huges, So.
3B Jake Slaughter, So.
SS Josh Smith, So.
LF Daniel Cabrera, Fr.
CF Zach Watson, So.
RF Antoine Duplantis, Jr.
DH Nick Webre, Fr.
Weekend Pitching Rotation: Caleb Gilbert, Jr., Zach Hess, So., and who knows for No. 3. Candidates include Todd Peterson, So., Ma’Kail Hilliard, Fr., Devin Fontenot, Fr., and JUCO-transfer Cameron Sanders.
From John: Seems like LSU basketball will go as freshman Tremont Waters goes. What’s been up with him the last couple of games? Seems like he’s been in a funk.
My Response: You’re right that Waters hasn’t seemed the same recently. Fans (people in general) always seem to try to point to this one thing or another to explain a “problem” but I suspect there are several things at play here. Teams have figured out how to better defend Waters, the competition has been stiffer, and perhaps more than anything, consistency is hard to achieve as a freshman. He’s an outstanding player, though, and awfully fun to watch when he’s “on.” I’m sure we’ll see plenty more big games from him.
From Bobby: I’m by no means a conspiracy theorist. But, in regards to the possible hire of Kevin Faulk, could coach Orgeron be setting up a potential replacement for the running backs coach Tommie Robinson? Your thoughts on Kevin as a possible coach and recruiter for LSU.
My Response: I really don’t know if there’s anything to that theory, but I doubt it. I say that just because I’ve known about LSU’s plans to bring Faulk on in a Player Development role for some time now but did not want to announce it until it was finalized and he had a chance to tell his players. (Only after it was reported by FootballScoop, The Advocate, and others did I mention it.) I don’t know when the Robinson/Cleveland interest began, but I suspect it came after “Faulk to LSU” was already in the works. Now, could Faulk end up a candidate should Robinson be hired by Cleveland? I don’t know. I’ve heard nothing to suggest that’s been discussed, though I surely could get behind it!
From Charles: Scott, thank you for all the work you do for the Tiger Nation and this site. I wanted to get your thoughts on team leadership for next year. I don’t coach football, but I have been a high school teacher and coach for about 15 years and, to me, one of the biggest deciding factors in how a team plays is leadership. It can elevate less talented and players and it can kill the most talented teams. Who do you see as the offensive leader for the team next year? With Guice, Etling, Chark, and Clapp all moving on it seems like there is a big leadership vacuum and that concerns me, especially with an inexperienced quarterback in control. I have confidence in Brennan’s ability, but I think the team will need someone to step up and shoulder the group next year. Who do you see as the best people to fill that role?
My Response: That’s a great question, Charles. It’s easy to identify guys like Rashard Lawrence and Devin White on defense as leaders, but much harder to identify any on the offensive side of the ball. I’m hoping that whoever grabs the starting QB role will emerge as that leader. Another who comes to mind is Foster Moreau as he is one of few returning seniors on that side of the ball.
From Jason: What do you make of Nick Saban interviewing Patrick Surtain, Sr. for a coaching job?
My Response: Well the first thing to note is that Surtain, Sr. won’t be coaching there. Saban filled the defensive backs coaching position by hiring former UL-L defensive coordinator Karl Scott. On the surface, it looks like that was pretty a pretty sly move by Saban to go after Surtain, Sr. (and it was), but the truth is it would have been perfectly legal and was a sensible move on several fronts. The elder Surtain not only had an illustrious NFL career as a defensive back but he’s an outstanding football coach with a proven record. Having such a man for a father is a big factor in Patrick Surtain, Jr. being such an incredible athlete and student of the game. I know LSU felt very good about its chances with Surtain last week, and, as of now, I haven’t heard anything that would lead me to feel differently since Surtain visited Bama this weekend.
That’s it for today, folks. Tune in tomorrow for your daily dose of Tiger News presented in Tuesday Tidbits mode.
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