Please join me for a pre-signing day chat, today at 2 p.m. right here on our blog.
Gary Laney, Les East and I will all be chatting throughout the day Wednesday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. as the national letters of intent roll in.
LSU learned Tuesday night that it had landed a commitment from Oxford, Miss., quarterback Jeremy Liggins.
Whether they can follow up with signings from a pair of highly pursued Oxford, Ala., prospects apparently won’t be known until the start of the national signing period on Wednesday.
Safety Trae Elston (6-0, 180) of Oxford tells the Anniston Star that he will make his nationally televised selection Wednesday live on ESPNU between LSU, Ole Miss and Oklahoma State.
Teammate Kwon Alexander (6-2, 215), an outside linebacker, has apparently made his choice between LSU, Alabama and Auburn, but has maintained that he will not reveal his decision until signing day.
Elston told the paper Monday he still hadn’t made up his mind as he tries to decide between two SEC rivals and Oklahoma State, where he’s been told he can play on both sides of the ball. Elston’s recruitment has set up a rare recruiting battle between LSU coach Les Miles’ current and previous employers.
According to the article, Elston visited both LSU and Oklahoma State last weekend, shortly after making a stop at Ole Miss.
Elston has good things to say about all three schools, but about LSU he points out the Tigers’ success at turning defensive backs into high NFL draft picks in recent years. Patrick Peterson was the first defensive back selected in 2011 and Morris Claiborne has a chance to be that player in this year’s draft.
“I feel good about them,” Elston said of LSU. “(Head coach) Les Miles is a funny guy that I could get along with and their DB coach, coach (Ron) Cooper puts DBs in the league. I could go there, get to the league real quick and make some money.”
Despite the fact that his home state schools Alabama and Auburn have combined to win the last three national championships, Elston said he has decided to take his talents out of state.
“I want to go somewhere else and do something different,” Elston told the paper. Oxford, Ala., is a community near Anniston roughly halfway between Birmingham and Atlanta in northeast Alabama.
LSU has 23 commitments after Monday’s pledges from Liggans and former Texas A&M commitment Corey Thompson (a safety/linebacker prospect) and could consider itself to have finished strong indeed if it could land both Elston and Alexander.
The Tigers are also pushing hard for junior college wide receiver Cordarelle Patterson. A four-star prospect out of Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College, Patterson has supposedly narrowed his list to three finalists but hasn’t announced who are his choices among LSU, Auburn, Ole Miss, Georgia and Tennessee.
LSU is trying to land Patterson (6-4, 205) be the big target in its passing game to replace Rueben Randle, who announced earlier this month he is foregoing his senior season to enter the NFL draft.
More recruiting updates as warranted …
LSU added two commitments on Monday night, pushing its total for the Class of 2012 to 23.
First, the Tigers landed quarterback Jeremy Liggins (6-3, 270) of Oxford (Miss.) Lafayette. Later Monday evening, LSU got Missouri City (Texas) Elkins prospect Corey Thompson (6-1, 190), long a Texas A&M commitment, to flip to the Tigers.
Liggins is No. 93 on the 24/7 Sports Top 247 and No. 118 on the ESPNU 150. Thompson is ranked No. 137 according to 24/7 and No. 168 on the Scout 300.
Liggins’ commitment in particular fills a big void in LSU’s class: that of a quarterback. The Tigers appeared to have that hole plugged for several weeks when Columbus (Ind.) East quarterback Gunner Kiel committed to the Tigers, but in early January he switched to Notre Dame and subsequently went there as an early enrollee.
LSU currently has just three scholarship quarterbacks: junior Zach Mettenberger and redshirt freshman Stephen Rivers and Jerrard Randall.
The national signing period begins Wednesday.
LSU commitment John Thomas tells the Shreveport Times that he is still committed to the Tigers but will likely delay his signing until at least April because of academic issues.
The Bossier City Airline tight end, one of LSU’s 21 commitments, told the paper he has until the end of the school year to get his grades up enough to be academically eligible as a freshman this fall.
Thomas (6-5, 225) is a member of The Advocate Super Dozen, is No. 121 on the Scout.com 300 (which rates him as the nation’s No. 3 tight end prospect) and No. 188 on the 24/7 Sports Top 247.
He is rated highly despite having missed his senior season with an August ACL injury.
To read the Shreveport Times story, CLICK HERE.
Reports are building that things are looking good, possibly great, for LSU with Oxford (Miss.) Lafayette quarterback Jeremy Liggins.
A report from Rebels247, a 24/7 Sports recruiting site, says that Liggins (6-3, 270) is saying he will commit to LSU over Ole Miss and Mississippi State. Scout.com site TigerSportsDigest.com also indicates that LSU is making strong inroads with Liggins, but stopped short Monday morning of saying that Liggins is a Tiger commitment.
Liggins visited LSU weekend before last (Jan. 20-22). He has been expected to make his announcement tonight.
Liggins is ranked No. 93 on the 24/7 Sports Top 247 and No. 118 on the ESPNU 150.
Meanwhile, 2013 LSU commitment Jeryl Brazil (5-9, 185) of Loranger had Tiger fans aflutter Sunday when he tweeted that he was decommitting to check out other schools (Ole Miss, Auburn, Clemson).
Later in the day he said he was back in the fold, apparently after a talk with LSU recruiting coordinator Frank Wilson. However, Brazil may still look around a bit – it’s a long way to February 2013.
Brazil, who is on the ESPNU 150 Watch List, is LSU’s only 2013 commitment so far.
The recruiting news is expected to come fast and furious these next few days, culminating with the start Wednesday of the national signing period, so we’ll try to keep you abreast of the latest (reliable) developments as we can.
Going into the week, LSU has 21 commitments, but could sign up to 25 players in all.
Remember, Sunday marked the last day of face-to-face contact between coaches and prospective football players. From now through Wednesday the only contact allowed is by phone.
So, on with the show …
You can add former LSU tight end Deangelo Peterson to those who are still scratching their heads about the Tigers’ offensive performance in the 21-0 loss to Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game.
LSU had fewer than 100 yards total offense, made just five first downs, and crossed midfield just once in the title game Jan. 9 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Reporters and fans alike have wondered why LSU coach Les Miles didn’t give quarterback Jarrett Lee a chance to play in place of Jordan Jefferson, who was playing poorly. Lee started the first nine games of the season and was a key contributor until giving way to Jefferson down the stretch.
Wide receiver Russell Shepard tweeted his disappointment at playing just three snaps and seemed to say he was headed to the NFL before being talked into staying for his senior season by Miles.
Now Peterson is telling reporters at practices for the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., that LSU essentially abandoned the game plan it had prepared and practiced for weeks leading up to the game.
“The game plan that we had,” Peterson said, “that we were working on in the weeks before the game and everything, I don’t think we used it.”
He didn’t offer many specifics, but Peterson did say “we didn’t have a chance to put the ball in our playmakers’ hands to do something,”
Peterson is one of three former Tigers on the South team at the Senior Bowl. The others are guard Will Blackwell and safety Brandon Taylor.
“We might call a couple of plays that we worked on, but as for the whole game plan I don’t think we used it,” Peterson said. “I just think the playmakers on offense, they didn’t really have a chance to make no plays. That’s the big thing that bothers me. I feel like I could have done more to help the team move the ball, Russell Shepard feels the same way, (wide receiver) Rueben Randle feels the same way, our other receivers feel the same way. That’s the main thing, that we didn’t have the opportunity.”
Meanwhile, Blackwell was the latest in a series of people on or close to the team to deny rumors of pre-game altercations in the locker room.
“It is totally fictional.” Blackwell said.
In one of the more obscure yet impressive statistics about LSU football, Sunday’s victories by the New England Patriots and New York Giants in the AFC and NFC championship games insured that for the 11th straight year at least one former Tiger will wind up a Super Bowl champion.
The Patriots’ roster includes former LSU running backs Stevan Ridley (a rookie) and Kevin Faulk (in his 13th season, an amazing bit of longevity for any NFL running back). Faulk will be in his fifth Super Bowl and aiming for his fourth championship ring.
Meanwhile, former LSU cornerback Corey Webster, now in his seventh season with the Giants, will be trying to grab his second Super Bowl ring. Most will recall that Webster and the Giants upset the unbeaten Patriots four years ago in Super Bowl XLII 17-14.
And for those of you who are wondering and have Super Bowl parties to plan, kickoff of Supre Bowl XLVI will be at 5:30 p.m. CST on NBC live from Luca Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
LSU has set its annual Spring Game for Saturday, March 31 in Tiger Stadium, the school announced Friday.
No time has been set for the game. Last year’s Spring Game kicked off at 3 p.m., but LSU is also set to host Arkansas that same day at 1 p.m. at Alex Box Stadium.
Coincidentally, the NCAA Men’s Final Four will play its national semifinals Saturday at the Mercedez-Benz Superdome.
LSU will open spring practice Feb.28. A complete list of spring practice dates is as follows:
- Week 1: Feb. 28, March 1, 3
- Week 2: March 6, 8, 10
- Week 3: March 13, 15, 17
- Week 4: March 20, 22, 24
- Week 5: March 27, 29, 31