Class of 2010 Recap
Better to take than give come Signing Day
By BEN LOVE
Tiger Rag Acting Editor
With National Signing Day a mere four days before the Saints’ Super showing in Miami, Les Miles never had a chance of upstaging the Brees buzzsaw slicing through the nation.
But while the black and gold were preparing to finish strong, the purple and gold did just that themselves and, in the process, might have stolen a headline or two.
LSU, fresh off a year in which it hauled in a consensus top-three class, reeled in another top-tier crop of recruits in 2010. While this group may lack a bit of the star power attached to its predecessor, the men of ‘10 offer every bit the amount of depth which signed in 2009.
So much so that Rivals.com ranked LSU’s recent class the sixth best in the country. Scout.com tabbed the Tigers seventh and ESPN.com placed LSU at eighth. Not too shabby when considering a slew of decommitments in December and January cast serious doubts as to the merits of this bunch.
To play the comparison game, Florida, Alabama and Auburn were consensus top-six classes according to the major recruiting services. No other SEC team ranked above LSU. Rivals.com and ESPN.com had Tennessee at No. 9. The rest of the conference ranked outside of the top ten.
How’d the Tigers climb the charts when the outlook going in was rather bleak?
They won the turnover battle on Signing Day.
LSU was able to pry three four-star verbal commitments away from their previous suitors and lost none of their own. Two of the three inked letters of intent with LSU early in the morning to get the Bayou Bengals off and running. They were Ocala, Fla., wide receiver Kadron Boone (6-1, 190) and LaGrange, Ga., defensive tackle J.C. Copeland (6-1, 290).
Boone, who was a top-25 overall prospect in Florida, gave Tommy Tuberville and Texas Tech the last-minute stiff arm in favor of Miles and LSU. Credit new coach Billy Gonzales for this heist as he had established a prior relationship with Boone while still on staff with the Gators.
Copeland was a high school teammate of fullback and fellow LSU signee Brandon Worle. The defensive lineman yanked his verbal commitment out from under Tennessee after Tigers special teams coach Joe Robinson lured him to Baton Rouge.
The third catch in the wave of decommitments was a bit more on the radar. Jarrett Fobbs (5-11, 180), a speedy wide receiver from Huntington High in Shreveport, reversed his decision to attend Texas A&M and gave LSU a fourth signee at that position (a month before Signing Day, the Tigers had no receivers).
To compliment this talented trio, LSU got big-headed and found an Ego.
J.R. “Ego” Ferguson, that is. One of the top defensive end prospects in the nation, Ferguson (6-3, 272) is a product of Virginia’s Hargrave Military Academy, the same institution that gave LSU Keiland Williams. A mammoth at the corner spot of the D-line, Ferguson may have a move to the interior in his future. Wherever he plays, expect the nation’s No. 31 overall prospect (according to Rivals.com) to make a huge splash in Tiger Town.
That fearsome foursome acquired on Signing Day is really what catapulted LSU in the national rankings, but the foundation for a better-than-average class had already been set with a class of 25 verbal commitments.
Of the 25 student-athletes, 23 gave their John Hancocks to LSU (the two who didn’t sign, defensive linemen Houston Bates and Dexter Blackmon, are not currently inked elsewhere and its widely suspected Bates will receive a gray shirt for LSU next season).
Highlighting those who did sign is Cincinnati-area athlete Spencer Ware. The Tigers’ only five-star prospect in the class of ‘10, Ware (5-11, 200) projects as a running back even though he played quarterback in high school. He also looks tailor-made for the Wildcat formation.
Ware is joined by fellow offensive playmakers Armand Williams (6-3, 185) of Slidell and James Wright (6-2, 180) of Belle Chasse as well as by pro-style quarterback Zach Lee (6-4, 195) from McKinney, Tex. Rounding out the skill positions are Miami-area RB Jakhari Gore, Hahnville RB Alfred Blue, Eunice athlete Tharold Simon and a bevy of tight ends (Ken Adams, Travis Dickson and Nick Jacobs).
In the trenches, LSU signed offensive linemen Evan Washington (6-5, 290) from Texas and will convert Shaw’s Elliott Porter (6-4, 280) from defensive end to offensive guard. Defensively, West Monroe stud Jordan Allen (6-6, 266) and Justin Maclin (6-4, 215) of Memphis are the biggest catches on the line.
The Tigers also picked up Dutchtown’s Eric Reid (6-2, 210) to man the safety position while fellow signees Sam Gibson, Tyrann Mathieu and Ronnie Vinson will likely contribute in the defensive backfield. Additional LSU signees include LB D.J. Welter from Crowley, LB Luke Muncie from Texas, OL Cameron Fordham from Georgia and Parkview Baptist P Brad Wing.
Ben Love is the acting editor of Tiger Rag. Reach him at email@example.com.