Lots to talk about. Let's get this started.
Who will LSU Replace the players who went to the 2013 NFL Draft with?
That's a lot of people. At DT, Ego Ferguson and Anthony Johnson. At DE, Jermaria Rasco and maybe Danielle Hunter or Jared Allen. at LB, I look for Lamin Barrow to move inside and Kwon Alexander outside. At corner, Jalen Collins. At safety Ronald Martin. At punter, Jamie Keehn. At LT, La'el Collins. Cover it all?
Gary Is 9 wins a fair estimate for next years squad?
9-11 would be a fair guess.
The absence of the TE in the passing game has been obviouse. Is the ineptitude the scheme, or lack of weapons (probably as combination of the two)? If the latter, does Desean Smith have the size to be an every down SEC TE coming out of HS? Reviewing his highlights online show 50/50 WR/TE. Thanks.
I think you hit the nail on the head with a combination of the two. I think Smith is the next big TE weapon for LSU. Stokes is better tha npeople think in the passing game.
Hearing of a Priest Willis flip. Another recruiting writer mentioned Eddie Jackson. What do you know?
I'm hearing that Willis will not sign tomorrow (still working to confirm that, but at this point, the info looks solid). That bodes well for LSU. It's looking like a flip is more than just possible.
You kept saying you didn't think LSU would have any offensive staff changes. Now I keep hearing the Cam Cameron rumors. Were you wrong? Admit it!
I must admit, I am a bit surprised that the rumors appear to have legs, though I have nothing solid yet. Cameron was fired in early December and I based my skepticism that LSU would pursue him on the fact that it didn't happen sooner. I thought if LSU made a move, it would be later in December, not after signing day. That may prove not to be the case.
Who are some unknowns that could possibly sign w/ lsu outside of DE?
I don't know if there are unknowns LSU is involved with. More likely, LSU is after players, like Willis, who are supposed to be off the board. Bower, the Auburn commit, is another. I hear LSU has not given up on Alabama commit Eddie Jackson, though I can't confirm how hard LSU is working that angle.
Who/what do you blame blame for the offensive woes plaguing the program since '09? Les was there before and after the program hit this slump.
Mix of QB issues and coordinator issues. LSU invested a lot in Ryan Perrilloux and when it cut ties, it set them back a bit because there was a hole in QB recruiting the year before and after Perrilloux. That ties into Crowton's troubles. Then, since Crowton's last year, there have been three OCs in three years and a potential Cameron hiring would make it four (Crowton in 2010, then Kragthorpe, who steps aside for health reasons, then Studrawa). Doesn't help to have so much turnover at OC.
Gary, I am hearing some serious rumors that LSU is close to signing Cam Cameron as the OC. Have you heard on this and if it's true do you look for it to be a one and done situation?
Jim, it is sounding like it could happen. As for one and done, if Miles thinks that to be the case, he shouldn't pull the trigger. To me, one of the problems with the offense has been inconsistency in leadership. Lots of OCs in the last few years. He needs to get somebody in who can put his stamp on the offense over the long haul. Will that guy be Cameron? I think if he comes, that should be the approach.
Is there any speculation as to why so many underclassmen left LSU this year?
That is the emphasis from the top at LSU. They sell recruits on preparing players for the NFL (while also pursuing degrees). LSU is second in the SEC in graduation rate and it's putting players in the NFL. I don't think LSU looks at the mass exodus as a negative, but as proof that they deliver on what they are selling to these top-line recruits.
Who could be a great surprise pick up for the Tigers tomorrow?
Would you call Nkemdiche a surprise? Then that COULD happen, though I have serious doubts. Look out for Bower too. Lots of rumblings that Willis may flip, but that wouldn't be tomorrow.
Recently, more than one article has appeared regarding a growing rivalry between LSU and Texas A&M. Any feel from either of the two fan bases on this ?
It's a natural. A&M and LSU do have a history. Houston has more LSU graduates than any city outside Louisiana (maybe more...not sure). LSU is recruiting SE Texas hard agianst A
Did my brief meeting with Nkemdiche close the deal for Les Miles? Or will the young man decide to be a Rebel?
You did a hell of a job. Nkemdiche spoke of what you talked to him about on the Tweet Chat he did with us today (read it if you haven't). You told him to pave his own path. Brilliant stuff Shaq. LSU should hire you as athletic ambassador.
What is the word on Priest Willis?
Look for breaking news on Willis on our site this afternoon. I can say LSU fans will want to see it.
Any truth to the Cam Cameron rumors?
I can't say it's true or false, just that the information is looking very credible right now. Can't say it's a done deal or not, just that it does not appear to be some random rumor that's taken a life of its own.
What do you put the odds on LSU landing Nkemdiche?
75-25 Ole Miss
Hey Scott, you only have to post a question once buddy! Just joshing ya...but the questions do go into a bullpen and I pick them out of there. Just so you guys know.
Any big name out of state recruits that are interested in LSU for next season?
Went through a ton of questions on LSU's chances with Nkemdiche and Cameron...those have been answered, so moving on...
LSU already has a couple of out-of-state commits in Hardeman, the Texas CB, and Devin Voorhies, the Mississippi athlete (likely safety). Tony Brown, the CB from Texas, is also a big target. 2014 is going to be a huge, huge year in Louisiana, so look for a greater than usual focus in Louisiana. Louisiana will have one of the best RBs ever to come out of the state, one of the nation's top offensive linemen and four receivers who, as a group, may be the best group of receivers to come out of Louisiana since people started tracking classes the way they do now.
What would happen at an LSU-Bama football game if there was ever a blackout?
Yikes. I shudder to think. I actually think the fans are far more good natured than people think. With notable exceptions, of course.
I read that Nkhendiche's visit was a good one, what are LSU's chances to sign him?
As I mentioned, I do think he's a heavy Ole Miss lean. But LSU handled his visit about as well as anybody could hope for.
Has adding Texas A&M affected recruiting for LSU ?
I think people are overreacting when they look at the lack of Texas talent in this year's LSU class. There weren't a ton of Texas targets this year for LSU and much of the lack of Texans can be explained with higher priorities elsewhere. Next year will be different and will give us a better feel. Does LSU win Tony Brown? Does it hold on to Hardeman? I think Beaumont and Houston are going to LSU-A&M battlegrounds. A
Nkemdiche will make his announcement at 6:35 tomorrow morning. I leave for work at 6:30 usually. Should I stick around and watch and just be a little late or should I just go ahead and head in at the normal time?
what are LSU's chances with Leonard Fournette next year?
I haven't gotten a great feel for Fournette yet, but I hear from good people that his family and Frank Wilson have formed a nice relationship. I really like LSU's chances from what I'm hearing. Also, note the veteran group of RBs at LSU and the lack of a RB in the 2013 class. There's going to be a chance for Fournette to make a huge early impact in his home state.
What are the chances of Nkemdiche, Bower, and Willis signing with LSU tomorrow?
25 percent or less on Nkemdiche, hard to get a feel for Bower yet, but I'll say 30-40 percent, maybe better and Willis 0 percent ... tomorrow. I don't think Willis signs anywhere tomorrow. Later this week? I think LSU is very much in the picture.
Gary, Leonard Fournette lists LSU and Bama as his interests. I have noticed that LSU didn't sign one RB this year (obviously rolling out the red carpet) while Bama already has a loaded backfield and added 2 RBs in this class I think. Do you believe this is a sign that Saban thinks Fournette is an LSU lock? I can't see the kid choosing a team with a loaded depth chart over a team where he could immediately be the featured back especially if Hill leaves early.
I don't think Saban is just going to concede Fournette at all, but I do think it's looking like LSU has a great shot here. And I do think Alabama may think it needed to guard against that eventuality.
Any other rumours regarding the coaching staff (other than OC) ?
All kinds of scenarios on how it would shake out for the offensive staff. I've heard Kragthorpe to an administrative role and Stud back to OL. I've heard of wholesale changes. Heard lots of things. But I really don't know. All speculative at this point.
Are any of the football players going to be on the baseball team this year?
Unless I'm forgetting somebody, I can't think of one. Unless you include Jared Foster.
I know LSU has a home/home series with Oklahoma in a few years and TCU next year. Any chance we can get an LSU/USC game or two in the next few years?
Probably the best chance at that would be one of those made-for-TV neutral site opener games. All bets are off on those. Home-and-home? Probably not for a while.
Why do bassett hounds have such long ears?
Proof that we take questions on a variety of subjects. I'll consult with Mother Nature and get back to you.
So, when's the last time you had pizza at the Pasttime under the bridge, LOL ?
Ah, somebody who knows Baton Rouge. I live closer to the Passtime on Jeffeson Highway at Drusilla, so there's that. But I will say this: Went with a date to the Pasttime before the Earthquake game against Auburn. So, there's that. Shows my age too.
Do you think that Mettenberger comes into the season much improved, or do you think the passing game will still be a problem?
Regardless of who the OC is and who is working with Mettenberger, I expect improvement from both Mett and his pass catchers (including the TEs).
With next year's recruiting class from LA being one of the best ever, what are the chances LSU snags most of the most talented?
I think LSU will get is share. It will also miss on some, partly because it will just miss on a couple and partly because it may have to prioritize at spots. For example, does LSU take all four stud receivers? Will all four want to come to the same school and vye with each other for playing time?
With Mettenberger, Rivers, and Rettig coming in, is LSU moving toward the pocket passing style offense vs the dual threat qb offense? Seemed to be more successful in past (Mauck/Flynn)....
I think so Justin. Also, Jennings may be called a dual threat QB, but he's a great prospect as a guy who will read a defense and make the pass. As I've said before, you don't win an Elite 11 regional competition because you're a running QB. He's a passer too.
If the Cameron hire comes through, how do the dominoes fall re: the current offensive staff? Terminated or reshuffled?
Good question Neil. I honestly don't have an answer for you. I've heard scenarios that involve a handful of terminations. I've heard scenarios where everybody involved will still be getting an LSU paycheck, just in different capacities (like Krag to an administrative role and Stud back to OL, possibly with a new title to go with it). Can't confirm any of it right now.
Who is the greatest player that you have ever watched at LSU?
Wow. Pure talent, I'd have to say Peterson. Just a dominant player at his position. Kevin Faulk was a great player too and would be appreciated as such if he came a few years later and played on some of the teams that came after LSU was established as a top-tier program.
Do you Stephen Rivers transferring given the LSU QB situation? Or stick it out as a backup?
Too early to talk about it yet. Let's see how he competes in the spring. I'd hate to speculate about a transfer, then he comes out and kicks rear ends in the spring. I'll say this: There's going to be a lot of competition out there this spring.
who do you think will end up being the most significant signing in this class for LSU?
Hmmmm... good question. One of the two QBs. I like one of the two to be the QB of the future and I can see them leading the team to big finishes in 3-4 years. And if they don't live up to that, we may look back at this class and the failure to sign a guy who could lead them to the promised land..either way, it's significant, right?
Gary,Do you feel that Nick Saban is slowly tearing down that recruiting wall that was placed around Louisiana when ironically Saban was at LSU? Just seems like he is slowly but surely taking down that wall brick by brick. In my opinion, Les needs to take the war to Alabama and put more pressure on Saban to keep his own states kids from heading south on i59.
Patrick, I think it would have headed this way anyway. The volume of coaches that recruit Louisiana schools is way up. I used to cover the FCS (I-AA) level in Louisiana and the players those schools were able to sign back then, I think a lot of those guys are winding up in the Pac-12, Big 10, etc. We just had a kid flip from North Texas to TCU out of Louisiana. Another flipped from Nebraska to Arizona State. Another from Tulane to Louisville. Louisiana is recruited more heavily than ever at all levels.
Any rumblings of supposed LSU locks that might flip? Herron went to Texas this past weekend but didn't flip...yet, but could there be others?
I'm not hearing of any Scott. I think LSU is pretty confident with the names on its board. One might call Tevin Lawson a flip, but I wouldn't see it that way...and LSU may still hold on to him.
With LSU signing two quaterbacks this recruiting class, Who do you like better and why? I'd hate to have another quaterback controversy
That's hard for me to answer because, like you, what I've seen has mostly been on YouTube. I think Jennings' competition level may have been a little better in Georgia, which helps him early. I hear Rettig may have more upside as a passer. But I can't say this with a great deal of confidence. I can say that whoever emerges will have won a tough competition and I will also add that neither backing down from the other is a sign that they are both competitors, a great trait for a QB.
Best guess as to how many SEC schools finish in the Top 10 recruiting ?
Five or six. There are five in the top 10 now. If Ole Miss gets Nkemdiche, it'll be in there too, I'd guess (though possibly at the expense of another SEC school).
If signing day was a couple weeks later and we could have Nkemdiche here on official during Mardi Gras I bet it goes 72-25 our way..No way an 18 year old kid says no to that scene.
LSU did its best to replicate that. There were parades in BR over the weekend. He went to a Wale concert (that's Wall-aye, to non hip-hoppers...or at least I think it is) and he met Shaq. That's pretty impressive.
I think if LSU signs Cam Cameron as OC I think this could be the tipping point to put LSU up & over Bama!
It would be a good hire, no doubt.
Can we expect LSU's 2012 LB class to be special this year, or must we wait until 2014?
I think it blossoms for at least one this year, although I do think Barrow and Tahj Jones play major roles, so only a couple of 2014 guys will get starter-level snaps this year. An injury could get a second 2014 guy serious playing time.
I don't think links will work in here, but cut and paste into your browser for the latest on Priest Willis:http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/colleges/lsu/post?id=7983
To summarize, he's not picking tomorrow. I hear LSU has a GREAT shot with him. Much needed, as safety is the one area of need not addressed by this class.
After LSU's record setting exodus, who do you believe will bolt early after next season? I think Anthony Johnson and La'el Collins are most likely with Hill and Landry being possibilities.
I think you got the main ones. Don't think this junior class is quite as strong as last year's. Beckham is another one I'll mention.
whats your take on nkemdiche's personal character. i dont know if you have personally met him, but when i read some of his tweets, it sounds like he took this visit to LSU just for the purpose of being pampered, and doesnt have great character.
I don't get that at all. He takes LSU very seriously. My LSU connections tell me they really think he wants to go to LSU, but the family tie is the big reason he won't. He didn't come to Baton Rouge just to eat steak and watch Wale.
Have a little extra time today folks, so I'm going to try to take a few more.
Speaking of the Pastime, I was in B.R. and Breaux Bridge this past weekend visiting Family & Friends, even took my Grandkids to a parade in Scott on Sunday, really miss my HOME!
Where in the NFL do you see Sam Montgomery and Brad Wing going?
Great time of year to be in Louisiana. I'm sure that gets mentioned a lot in late-January LSU recruiting trips...
Sorry, got the next question ahead of the answer... Many, I've been so caught up on signing day, I haven't really delved into the draft class. I'm hearing middle-to-late first round for Montgomery. Wing will more than likely have a chance to sign with a team with a need.
Yes sir, you have aged yourself. Being that I was 2 when Hamilton was in his heyday in 1971, I'll pass on that for the time being...
Maybe I am aging myself, but one of my favorite LSU players was Andy Hamilton. Any body from that era you think could compete today ?
got the answer ahead of the question...man, chat for an hour and it all comes apart...
Any chance the tigers land Willis?
Looking better and better for LSU, I think. But it won't happen tomorrow...for LSU, UCLA or anybody else.
Has anything been said as to why Kenny Hilliard disappeared last year, and what's the statu of Alfred Blue?
I think Hill was a quicker version of Hilliard, so Hilliard's skill set was seen as somewhat redundant. Blue, I think, will be ready for spring.
Any chance LSU gets the #1 recruiting class next year
With Nkemdiche and Willis, maybe. But I'm not in position to make that call.
Going into Spring, who looks to be the front runners at safety?
Loston's back. I really like Ronald Martin. Tough kid, athletic kid.
I agree with Kevin. He kept asking LSU fans to follow him on twitter and show him love. Is he already too big for his britches?
That's not unusual for "kids these days." Again, LSU people I talk to never give me negative feedback on character from this kid, as they have with some others. They've had a good relationship with him and I think there is mutual respect. LSU respects the family issue as well.
link for priest just gives the introduction not whole article
Have to be a subscriber for the whole thing!
You've mentioned Collins moving to LT. Your opinion or credible info?
At this point, my opinion. There are some young guys who can step over there, but I base my opinion on the fact that I think Collins can play LT and there are a LOT of quality guards. They can move La'el and still have a solid three-man guard rotation with Turner, Williford and Fanaika (I may have just butchered that name).
Well, I've gone well over my time today. Thanks for the participation! We'll be back this time next week and we can look back on the class and look forward to spring. Maybe we'll have a new OC to talk about too!