ENGSTER: LSU performing better on signing day than on game day

By JIM ENGSTER
President, Tiger Rag Magazine

Based on recruiting numbers assembled by Rivals, LSU should have the third best talent among the nation’s college football factories. Over the last four years, Les Miles outpaced all competitors on signing day with the exception of Alabama and Ohio State.

The SEC has prevailed as the most fertile recruiting territory. The conference boasts 67 of the 134 5-Star signees as judged by Rivals from 2013-16. This gives the SEC half of the most elite players in the land.

When recruiting numbers are examined, it’s hard to believe the top eight teams in the SEC could ever lose more than an occasional non-conference test. The dominance of the league in recruiting is so astounding, it makes one ponder why some foes even bother to be in the same zip code with an SEC juggernaut, much less have the audacity to compete in a conference cathedral.

Some lists accent the superior talent assembled at the 14 league institutions.  According to Rivals, cellar dweller Vanderbilt has inked a reservoir of athletes superior to the crop of recruits at the University of Houston, an early season contender for national honors.

South Carolina, ranked ninth by Rivals among SEC recruiting powers in the last four years, has the 18th best talent in the NCAA. The SEC boasts eight of its members among the top 14 recruiting scores in the country, yet many of the coaches responsible for spectacular talent harvests are under the gun. It is challenging to stay at the pinnacle in a conference in which every week offers another potent obstacle.

Rivals SEC Recruiting Numbers

[table]

2013-16,Points,Recruits,5 Stars, 4 Stars,3 Stars

Alabama, “12,357”,100,19,51,28

LSU, “10,585”,100,8,53,31

Auburn, “9,832” ,99,9,49,35

Georgia, “9,719”,104,6,33,28

Texas A&M, “9,477”,99,4,46,43

Tennessee,”9,269″,104,7,44,50

Florida, “9,244”, 99,6,30,47

Ole Miss, “8,916”,98,5,32,58

South Carolina, “7,808”,99,0,36,55

Mississippi St., “7,125”,95,2,15,66

Kentucky, “6,889”, 96,1,16,66

Arkansas, “6,835”,94,0,18,61

Missouri, “6,165”,96, 0,12,68

Vanderbilt, “5,804”, 88, 0,12,52 [/table]

 

National Recruiting Rankings

[table]2013-16,Points

1. Alabama, “12,357”

2. Ohio St., “10,869”

3. LSU, “10,585”

4.Florida St., “10,554”

5. USC, “10,035”

6. Auburn, “9,832”

7. Notre Dame, “9,816”

8. Georgia, “9,719”

9. Clemson, “9,480”

10. Texas A&M, “9,477”

11. Tennessee, “9,269”

12. UCLA, “9,258”

13. Florida, “9,244”

14.Ole Miss, “8,916”

15. Texas, “8,561”

16. Oklahoma, “8,543”

17. Michigan, “8,206”

18. South Carolina, “7,808”

19. Miami of Florida, “7,709”

20. Oregon, “7,429” [/table]

For those who believe coaching is as important to success as talent, an argument is validated. Some schools with puny recruiting numbers prevailed on the field in September even though recruiting gurus noted they were not comparable on paper to the teams they defeated.

Best Examples of Recruiting Numbers Being Overrated, 2013-16

[table]School, Points,Recruits,5 Stars,4 Stars,3 Stars

Houston, “4,573”,88, 1 ,235

Wisconsin, “5,908”,83,0,14,58

Louisville, “6,106”,95,0,9,68[/table]

Alabama remains the classic example of a roster stocked with overpowering talent that wins big consistently. The Crimson Tide has been ranked No. 1, 1, 2 and 1 in the nation by Rivals over the past four years, and the Alabama record is indicative of this standing. LSU’s recruiting classes from 2013-16 have been ranked No. 6, 2, 8 and 5.

Only two of the 100 recruits lured by Nick Saban to Tuscaloosa since 2013 have not been at least a 3-Star performer. Alabama has attracted 14.2 percent of the Rivals 5-Star standouts in the last four years.

  1. Alabama, 19
  2. USC, 13
  3. Florida St., 11
  4. Auburn, 9
  5. LSU, 8

 

 Diversity of LSU graduates is remarkable

As the LSU Alumni Association welcomes LSU graduates back to campus for Homecoming, the scope of LSU’s influence in the world is apparent with graduates in 130 countries and all 50 states.

The University claims 212,922 living graduates with 54.9 percent residing in Louisiana.

States with more than 2,000 LSU Alumni and “Friends

  1. Louisiana, 161,013
  2. Texas, 32,289
  3. Florida, 7,457
  4. California, 6,108
  5. Georgia, 5,468
  6. Mississippi, 4,917
  7. Alabama, 3,539
  8. Virginia, 3,534
  9. North Carolina, 3,427
  10. Tennessee, 3,344
  11. New York, 2,434
  12. Colorado, 2,197
  13. Arkansas, 2,135

Parishes with most LSU Alumni and “Friends”

  1. East Baton Rouge, 58,481
  2. Jefferson, 13,551
  3. Tammany, 11,036
  4. Orleans, 9,958
  5. Ascension, 7,700
  6. Lafayette, 7,321
  7. Livingston, 5,157
  8. Caddo, 4,632
  9. Rapides, 4,593
  10. Calcasieu, 3,706

LSU lists 49 Alumni and Friends in Germany and 45 in France, but those countries do not make the Top Ten for most Tigers abroad.

Other Countries

  1. Canada, 184
  2. India, 104
  3. United Kingdom, 91
  4. Honduras, 90
  5. Columbia, 83
  6. Thailand, 71
  7. Mexico, 65
  8. Costa Rica, 64
  9. El Salvador, 62
  10. Japan, 57

 

 

 

 

 

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