Tag:Les Miles
Posted on: August 9, 2011 10:10 am
 

Halfway to Signing Day: SEC Edition

Posted by Bryan Fischer

We're right about halfway to Signing Day and that means it is time to take a look at the SEC and see how the conference is shaping up on the recruiting trail. Here's a few accolades for a few of the programs who are making head way (or not) at this point in August.

SEC
Commitment List

Best class: Vanderbilt

Georgia. Florida. Alabama. National Champion Auburn... nope Vanderbilt has the best recruiting class in the SEC, maybe not by the total talent they are bringing in but by the quality of athletes they've managed to get in 2012 compared to past years. The job head coach James Franklin has done at a school that generally finishes last in the SEC recruiting rankings has been nothing short of amazing - especially when you consider he hasn't even coached a game as a head coach, much less at Vandy.

Work left to do: Tennessee

The Volunteers have really built up some momentum with a great month of July but they need to make sure they sustain it. This class was amongst the smallest in the country a few weeks ago and while it has grown, there's no impact, top flight player that we're used to seeing Tennessee get. There's plenty of needs to fill and players to recruit so it's up to Derek Dooley and staff to close strong this year.

Under the radar class: LSU

For a top 10 class, you sure don't hear much about the Tigers' class of 2012. Build largely on in-state talent, Les Miles and staff have done a great job of targeting athletic players who are fast and quick no matter what position they play. Davante Bourque and Torshiro Davis are among the names you'll likely hear more of once they start their senior seasons and linebacker Trey Granier is a big-time pick up who could play early on defense or special teams.

Top commit: Offensive tackle John Theus (Jacksonville, Fla.), committed to Georgia.

Loading up: Kentucky on offensive linemen (5), Vanderbilt on defensive ends (5), South Carolina on wide receivers (4).

Frequent Fliers: Auburn with commitments from eight states.

Fence builders: LSU, 14 of the school's 18 commitments are from Louisiana.

Road to Signing Day storyline: Who finishes on top in the conference?

If you look at the top 25 team standings (below), you'll see a list littered with SEC teams. The only question is who will finish on top come February. Florida is on top at the moment but that could certainly change. Alabama has missed out on a few top recruits but is still in it with several top 100 prospects. Auburn could move ahead of their rival if players such as corner Geno Smith select the Tigers over the Tide. Either way, should be a fun six months until Signing Day

Top 25 Teams:
3. Florida
7. Alabama
9. LSU
10. Auburn
12. South Carolina
20. Georgia
23. Vanderbilt


Posted on: July 21, 2011 7:39 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 8:00 pm
 

LSU picks up three commits for 2012

Posted by Bryan Fischer

LSU coach Les Miles is at SEC Media Days for his annual appearance, and if he's walking around with a giant smile, we now know why. The Tigers picked up three commitments Wednesday: Katy (Texas) defensive end Danielle Hunter, DeSoto (Texas) cornerback Jalen Mills and New Orleans (La.) offensive tackle Derek Edinburgh.

"I was getting close to making a decision," Hunter told TigerBait.com. "They were in my top three. I was trying to wait until the season started and get my visit set, but it just happened today."

The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Hunter held offers from Arkansas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma, among others. He'll line up against Edinburgh on a daily basis once both get to Baton Rouge, but the two already have a few reps against each other since they both participated in the Tigers' summer camp on Wednesday before committing.

"I knew with the camp I would be able to talk to Coach Miles and (running backs) coach Frank (Wilson)," Edinburgh said. "I'm all about returning the favor, and he offered me a scholarship with my parents in the office, so I wanted to make sure I returned the favor and told him I wanted to be a Tiger."

Mills won the Texas state 7-on-7 championship the weekend before. With the stop at LSU for camp and eventual offer and commitment, it was an eventful week for the 6-foot, 180-pounder.

"I went to the camp, I worked out with Coach (Ron) Cooper and Coach Miles came out and saw me during the one-on-ones, then today Coach Cooper said he liked the way I competed and that he wanted to offer me a scholarship."

The trio gives LSU 18 commitments for the class of 2012. Mills is the fourth defensive back who has verbally pledged to the program.


Posted on: April 15, 2011 5:03 pm
 

Maxpreps: An early look at top 2012 classes

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Like the weather or Les Miles' level of sanity, the world of recruiting can change dramatically in a matter of days or weeks, much less the 10 months still remaining before Signing Day 2012.

Nonetheless, the accelerated pace of modern recruiting means it's not too early to take a look at which teams have jumped out to an early read in the race towards next year's mythical recruiting "national championship." Which is what Stephen Spiewak and our colleagues at Maxpreps have done, compiling a top 10 2012 classes as they stand nearing the end of spring practice.

Many of the usual suspects are there, with Texas topping the list at No. 1, Florida and Florida State waging Sunshine State war at Nos. 3 and 2, respectively, and traditional recruiting powers USC, Alabama, LSU and Ohio State also featuring.

But there's some surprises, too. Perhaps taking their cue from the in-state rival Longhorns' practice of racking up early commitments, both Texas A&M and TCU have sprinted out to quick starts to rank at Nos. 4 and 8. And after a start so slow to the 2011 recruiting cycle that they had to play catch-up to conference rivals like Indiana and Iowa, Penn State has burst out of the gates with some big out-of-state pickups and ranks ninth.

Read the entire rankings breakdown to see what recruits are fueling these fast starts and which ones each team will need to land to stay in the top 10 when next February rolls around.

Posted on: April 10, 2011 7:28 pm
 

LSU adds local corner Thomas

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Les Miles got unexpected - but welcome - news shortly before the LSU Spring Game on Saturday with the commitment of New Orleans (La.) cornerback Dwayne Thomas.

"This is the place I felt I needed to be. This is my home state," Thomas told TigerBait.com. "I feel like I'm the missing piece on this defense to help LSU win national championships again."

The 6-foot-1, 170 pound corner broke the news directly to Miles and the the Tigers' head coach could not have been much happier with his decision.

"I told him I'm committing and want to be a Tiger. He was so excited that I made that decision and he was excited to have me now in the program," Thomas told the website. "He said it was like getting (current Tigers defensive back) Tyrann Mathieu all over again. Coach Miles talked about how he loves the fact that I am a big and physical cornerback."

Thomas is the ninth commitment for the Tigers in the class of 2012 and the first defensive back in the class.



Category: NCAAF
Posted on: February 2, 2011 5:50 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2011 1:44 pm
 

SEC Signing Day: Winners and Losers

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Taking stock of the day in the SEC:

WINNERS:

Alabama:
No surprise that Nick Saban's crew put together yet another huge Signing Day, with the No. 1 spot in the Maxpreps team rankings wrapped up after adding No. 1 offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio to what had already been a massive haul. The Tide pulled in a perfect 3-4 defensive end in Jeoffrey Pagan (pictured) and flipped supremely athletic outside linebacker Brent Calloway back from Auburn (after he'd committed to the Tigers at the U.S. Army All-American game), two major missions accomplished. Top those off with the rest of the Tide's commitments -- including five-star teammates RB Dee Hart and S Hasean Clinton-Dix -- staying securely in the fold, and missing out on Isaiah Crowell (and likely No. 1 overall recruit Jadeveon Clowney ) barely even stings.

Video: Jeoffrey Pagan highlights

Georgia: Linebacker Kent Turene was an awfully nice pickup. But landing Crowell was a seismic development, the one member of the much-ballyhooed "Dream Team" the tailback-starved Bulldogs absolutely had to have. He alone was enough to push Mark Richt into the winner's column, but add in Turene and the successful fending off of challenges for commits like defensive back Corey Moore, and even missing out on Pagan won't be enough to wipe the smile off of the faces of Bulldog fans.

Video: Todd Grantham talks Signing Day  

Auburn: Losing Calloway to the hated Tide stung, and the euphoria of watching Kouandjio announce for the Tigers dissipated quickly as he elected not to sign his LOI on Signing Day, eventually joining Calloway and his older brother in Tuscaloosa. But Chizik got a ton of help for his occasionally-porous defense anyway, inking one of the nation's best safeties in Erique Florence and a rock-solid defensive tackle prospect in Crowell teammate Gabe Wright. The Tigers also wasted no time replacing cornerback decommitment Marcus Roberson with coveted Mississippi athlete Jermaine Whitehead, a Mississippi State commitment. Even without Kouandjio, the Tigers landed a top-10 class that proved their program-changing 2010 haul was no fluke. Still, Tiger fans have to wonder: if they weren't coming to Auburn, couldn't Calloway and Koundjio have gone somewhere other than Alabama?

Video: Gene Chizik talks Signing Day at CBS College Sports , Kiehl Frazier commits , Coaches react to Erique Florence decision

Ole Miss: Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen enjoys pointing out the raw numbers of his team's players and recruits come from the state they share with the Rebels, but it was Houston Nutt who ran away with nearly all of the state's top-ranked talent. Having already secured the signatures of former Bulldog commitment five-star linebacker C.J. Johnson and highly-regarded receiver Tobias Singleton, the Rebels added to their in-state haul by keeping top-100 wideout Nickolas Brassell out of the clutches of the Tide. The battle between Nutt and Mullen on the recruiting trail was more-or-less a draw in 2010, but there's little question who had the upper hand this season.

LSU: The day was unusually quiet by the usually madcap Bayou Bengals' Signing Day standards, but that happens when you have your state on virtual lockdown and that state provides enough talent for one of the nation's best classes all on its own. Simply making sure their commitments (most notably offensive tackle La'El Collins and defensive counterpart Anthony Johnson) made it across the dotted line would have guaranteed Les Miles a successful Signing Day. But keeping Shreveport's Jermauria Rasco (pictured) -- one of the nation's most highly sought-after defensive ends -- at home (and away from Texas) more than made up for missing out on Florida defensive tackle Tim Jernigan.

Vanderbilt:
The Commodores won't finish anywhere near the top of the league's recruiting rankings, of course. But given the limited time James Franklin had to work with, the results were quite impressive. Franklin flipped Virginia Tech quarterback commitment Lafonte Thourogood first thing Signing Day morning and brought in several other candidates for immediate playing time, like Ohio tight end Dorien Bryant.

LOSERS:

Florida:
The Gators, as always, can still boast one of the nation's best classes, and no one anywhere signed a better QB-RB combo than Jeff Driskel and the underrated Mike Blakely. Roberson's arrival was a nice Signing Day surprise, and Will Muschamp and Co. turned away a serious Ohio State challenge for receiver JaJuan Story. But particularly looking at the way their rivals at Georgia and Florida State finished, Gator fans won't be happy about being unable to make up any ground with prospects like Jernigan, Curtis Grant, or Stephone Anthony. Roberson wound up the only new addition on Signing Day, and even he somewhat fell into the Gators' laps after his wild commitments and decommitments to Texas Tech and Auburn. Muschamp will be cut plenty of slack this season after his late arrival in Gainesville, but another class that so completely cedes the limelight to the Dawgs and 'Noles won't be as easily forgiven.


Mississippi State:
How thin was the Bulldogs' final class after seeing the likes of Johnson, Singleton and -- most painfully -- Whitehead decommit? Not one of their 23 commitments ranked among the top 25 at their position, according to Tom Lemming. The Bulldogs struggled going head-to-head with Ole Miss within Mississippi, and came up empty when going abroad for players like Washington D.C.-based Kevin McReynolds, who signed with UCLA. Players like receiver Joe Morrow and defensive tackle P.J. Jones are unquestionably SEC-grade talents, but after such a productive, promising year on the field, the lack of recruiting punch is puzzling.

Arkansas: There's nothing particularly disappointing about the Razorbacks' 2011 class (though watching tight end commitment Chris Barnett sign with Michigan wasn't fun), and keeping home-grown talent like quarterback Brandon Allen and tackle Brey Cook in Arkansas was a bright spot. But when you share a division with Alabama, LSU, and Auburn, "nothing particularly disappointing" may not be good enough to stay in the mix for a division title.






Posted on: February 2, 2011 4:06 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2011 4:07 pm
 

Jermauria Rasco geauxs with LSU

Posted by Chip Patterson

One of the last big name recruits to make his announcement on National Signing Day was highly touted defensive lineman Jermauria Rasco .  Rasco, the No. 6 rated defensive end, took things down to the wire - announcing at his collegiate plans at his high school along with three of his teammates.  But even though the administrators at Evangel High School (LA) tried to make the attention as inclusive as possible, everyone was there to hear what Rasco had to say.

Rasco stood up behind two presentation boards, one for Florida and one for Texas, representing two of his final choices.  But when the 6-4 end took the microphone to announce his plans, he donned a purple cap and a new spread was revealed with all LSU paraphenalia.  The in-state crowd exploded when Rasco made it clear he would be playing for the Bayou Bengals, a great finish to an already good signing class for Les Miles

With seven commits in the MaxPreps Top 100 , LSU is pretty much a lock to finish the day with a Top 10 recruiting class.  Along with the talent returning to Baton Rouge, the Tigers are quickly building a case as a contender in 2011.  Les Miles' decision to stay put instead of jumping to Michigan looks better and better every day.

Posted on: February 1, 2011 3:18 pm
 

SEC Signing Day at a glance

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

As always, National Signing Day promises to be a seismic day in the nation's most cutthroat recruiting conference, the SEC. Here's a rundown of what you'll need to keep an eye on:

Players to Watch

Isaiah Crowell , RB, Carver (Columbus, Ga.): Potentially the final piece in the puzzle of Mark Richt's "Dream Team" of a 2011 class, Crowell will decide between his home-state Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama. The Maxpreps No. 6 running back and No. 55 player overall, Crowell has all the gifts necessary to make a Marcus Lattimore- esque impact, particularly at a Georgia program desperate for a difference-maker at the tailback position. No recruit at any position at any team in the SEC is as big a "must-get" as Crowell appears to be for the Dawgs.

Cyrus Kouandjio , OT, DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.): The No. 3 player in the country according to Tom Lemming, the 6'7", 290-pound prototype tackle (pictured) might hail from Maryland but nonetheless appears to be an intra-state battle between Alabama and Auburn. The Tide can offer Cyrus to chance to play alongside brother Arie Kouandjio (a redshirt freshman at Tuscaloosa) and are considered the team to beat, but the Tigers have made a late charge after Cyrus's visit to the Plains last weekend.

Jermauria Rasco , DE, Evangel Christian (Shreveport, La.): Les Miles has already put together a stunning collection of homebred Louisiana talent for his 2011 class, but LSU fans may feel it won't be complete without the explosive Rasco, the Maxpreps No. 6 DE and a top-50 player overall. But to keep one of the most hotly-contested recruits in the country at home, Miles will have to fend off a serious charge from Florida State.

Teams to Watch

Alabama:
Few teams in the country (if any) close as well as the Tide, and if Nick Saban can land Crowell, Kouandjio, and consensus national No. 1 recruit Jadeveon Clowney (who you probably know by now will delay his announcement until Feb. 14), Alabama will lay claim to the nation's top recruiting class once again. Then again, even if they sign only one of the three, the Tide's class is so deep already they'll be in the mix for that honor all the same.

Georgia: It's not just Crowell; the Bulldogs are in play for several other major recruits, like Maxpreps No. 4 defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan and mammoth JUCO defensive tackle Johnathan Jenkins, who could have the same impact as the nose tackle in Todd Grantham's 3-4 defense that Terrence Cody once had at Alabama. Putting the finishing touches on what's already a terrific class could prove to be a critical turning point for Mark Richt's Georgia tenure.

Auburn: As much attention as their competition in Tuscaloosa, Athens and Baton Rouge have received of late, it's Auburn that sits at No. 3 in the Maxpreps team recruiting rankings , and the Tigers could move even higher. No. 5 safety Erique Florence and coveted defensive tackle Gabe Wright are both expected to sign with Auburn, and Gene Chizik could also flip Mississippi State commitment Jermaine Whitehead, a prized defensive back. If Auburn can keep Alabama from re-flipping one-time Tide commitment Brent Calloway, their class should rank right alongside their in-state rivals.

The Below-the-Radar Storyline You'll Need to Follow

No one's going to complain too terribly much about Will Muschamp's finish on the recruiting trail, given the limited time with which he and his new staff have had to work. (Not to mention the presence of eye-popping skill position talent like ultra-polished quarterback Jeff Driskel.) But with Georgia and Florida State both poised to bring in substantial hauls, Florida fans still can't be happy about a class that stands at just 16 commitments today, or that Muschamp has added just two players to it since his hire. Finishing with big-time talents like fresh Auburn decommitment Marcus Roberson, blue-chip linebackers Curtis Grant or Stephone Anthony, or defensive tackle Tim Jernigan would go a long way towards soothing any frazzled Gainesville nerves.

 
 
 
 
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