BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - Say what you want about the Tigers missing out on targets like five-star DT Marvin Wilson from Texas and four-star WR Devonta Smith from Amite, but I don't think many will be looking down on LSU's 2017 class.
Ed Orgeron had a very limited amount of time to salvage and then build on LSU's shaky recruiting class after Les Miles was fired mid-season. In many regards, he exceeded expectations and filled some of their biggest, immediate needs.
"We didn't really start recruiting until I became full-time coach," says Orgeron. "We are excited with our recruiting staff, within the department, and our football staff the way we pulled together to get most of the good players in the country."
Those biggest needs the Tigers had to fill were at inside linebacker. They flipped the number one ILB in the country, Jacob Phillips, from Oklahoma in January. And in addition to Phillips, LSU added two more four-star inside linebackers and a top five edge rusher with K'Lavon Chaisson.
"We have to have guys that can come in and play early," says Orgeron about their newly signed linebackers. "All of these guys will be with us in June. Dave (Aranda) is going to put them in football school very early in June. Those guys will be studying their playbook and getting in good shape, but we think they will be physically ready to go."
And don't forget about their crop of three top 11 safeties. Number one ranked Jacoby Stevens and ninth ranked Grant Delpit enrolled early and should be ready to go for spring football. The 11th ranked safety, Todd Harris from Plaquemine, made it official with the Tigers today.
But when the dust settles from National Signing Day and the position battles begin in the spring, we know the quarterbacks will garner the most attention. LSU already has two seniors on the roster with Danny Etling and Brandon Harris, but they were also able to land two top 20 quarterbacks with pro-style QB Myles Brennan and dual-threat QB Lowell Narcisse. Ed Orgeron expects their new offensive coordinator Matt Canada to have an open competition for the starting job.
"Obviously, Danny has done a tremendous job for us. We have some very talented quarterbacks on our roster. We're going to see what type of offense we need to run with the quarterback that can run it. And obviously, we know that Myles is a pro-style quarterback, and Lowell is a dual-threat quarterback. We think both of them will have success at LSU."
A strong recruiting class helps, but games aren't won in February. We'll have to wait to see how Orgeron and the Tigers use their weapons on the field, and if they can return LSU to the top of the SEC West.