In order to beat Alabama on the football field, LSU first needed to beat Nick Saban’s machine-like program on the recruiting trail for difference makers along the offensive and defensive lines.
Those were Ed Orgeron’s words and a sentiment he’s shared on many occasions since taking over as LSU’s coach. There was optimism that breakthrough could come Wednesday — symbolically at least — but instead it was more of the same.
Four-star defensive tackle Ishmael Sopsher announced he’ll be signing with Alabama over LSU and Oregon at an announcement ceremony on Wednesday afternoon. Sopsher was the top unsigned player in Louisiana coming into National Signing Day.
The afternoon wasn’t a total loss for LSU however as the Tigers did land a signature from Sopsher’s Amite High teammate Devonta Lee. The multi-talented receiver chose LSU over Kentucky in a relatively unsurprising development.
Adding Lee to the class brings LSU’s total up to 24 out of a possible 25. The Tigers added an uncommitted cornerback earlier in the day in Jay Ward out of Georgia.
LSU did most of its damage during the Early Signing Period, but Wednesday will go down as a day defined by misses.
LSU couldn’t get Sopsher away from Alabama or flip Alabama commitment Byron Young, a defensive end who took an official visit to Baton Rouge recently. Charles Moore, another four-star defensive end, chose Auburn LSU earlier in the day.
Barring any unforeseen changes, LSU will finish the cycle having signed three defensive lineman. Nose tackle Apu Ika is already on campus as an early enrollee and LSU signed defensive tackle Joseph Haynes during the early period. JUCO edge rusher Soni Fonua also signed with LSU on Wednesday.