Today is the biggest day of the year for those of us who watch recruiting. Unfortunately for me, I have a big day at work and will likely not have any access at all to any of the festivities. I likely won't know who has signed with who until I get home in the evening. But, in our continuing series of late recruiting drama, we discuss some of the biggest drama of all.
Whew! You want to talk about building suspense!? Wide receiver Rueben Randle of Bastrop has been the talk of the message boards for the past couple months, but it stepped up to apocalyptic proportions yesterday as a rumor went around that Randle's father had claimed Rueben was lied to by LSU coaches about where Rueben stood on the depth chart and that he was not comfortable at all with the situation to say the least. He was also concerned about the LSU depth chart, especially if Deangelo Benton was at LSU. It's not exactly clear exactly what the lie was supposedly about. One report said that Randle had been told he'd be competing for the X receiver spot and that another receiver was told that he would be competing with Randle for the Y receiver spot. It's kind of bizarre, and I'm sure it's much more misunderstanding than anything else, but you sure don't like to have misunderstandings with the #1 rated player in the state on the eve of National Signing Day.
LSU message boards went into full-on meltdown mode upon this rumor getting out there. It was mayhem. Pandemonium. Dogs and cats were living together. However, as the evening progressed, things seemed to cool down. Some people with a little closer knowledge of the situation came on and indicated that while there was a problem, it was not nearly as dire as it was made out to be. Randle did not feel lied to, and this was not a deal-breaker.
Still, Randle was officially undecided at the time between LSU, Alabama, and Oklahoma. I have thought for quite some time that this would play out like the Julio Jones recruiting, where the #1 player would check out his options all the way to the end, make everyone nervous and then ultimately sign with the home school. I still feel that way, but I am somewhat less confident today than I was yesterday. And yes, he could take this past signing day (there's no rule saying you HAVE to sign on National Signing Day; it's just the first day you're allowed to).
Wide receiver Kendall Kelly is a guy I haven't talked much about on here. He is out of Gadsden, Alabama, and he has shown an interest in LSU all the way to signing day. Kelly is a kid whose rankings have dropped over the course of the recruiting year. He started as a five-star, but is down to a mid-level 4-star. His senior film and his senior numbers were not all that impressive.
I heard an interesting radio interview with his high school coach talking about how Kelly played through injuries all last year, and how he was not himself. He had to shift to tight end because he couldn't run the long routes he had been running due to a hip problem that will have to be corrected by surgery. He said the injury should not affect his future at all, and that he should be back to his old self after rehabbing from surgery. That suggests he may be better than his rating, that he is one tough bastard on the field, and that he is willing to sacrifice for the team. I suddenly became a much bigger Kendall Kelly fan.
He is a big outside receiver at 6'4" and 210#, though the height may not be accurate. Still, if the weight's accurate, he Brandon Lafell-sized already. And before his injury he had good speed.
Kendall is down to LSU, Alabama, and Clemson, and no one really has a good idea of where he's going to go. Most of the time, these kids say they're down to 3, but everyone knows it's really two, or perhaps even just one. With Kelly, some think he's going to Bama; some think he's going to LSU; and some think he's going to Clemson. It's anyone's guess, really.
Wide receiver Kenny Bell of Rayville, Louisiana, is the last profile we will have in this series. He has been committed to LSU for about 6 months, but like Trent Richardson he has never seemed really committed to his commitment.
On the one hand, he has never taken a visit to another school. On the other, he never took an official visit to LSU and he has talked several times about possibly taking a trip to Bama. Apparently, he is concerned about the depth chart at LSU as well. I would almost venture to say rightly so. Bell is a small waterbug of a receiver at 6'1" and 160#. LSU already has one receiver on the small side who will be a redshirt freshman next year, in Chris Tolliver. He is listed on LSUSports.net at 6'1" 179#. The consensus #1 player in the state for the 2010 class is wide receiver Trovon Reed, listed at 6'0" and 172#. With Bell and Reed added, the roster could get awfully crowded of smaller, slot-type receivers.
But, it is my opinion that you should only be worried about the depth chart if you are only hoping to be average. Plus, I guarantee that Bama has wide receivers too. I don't know what to expect from Bell. It would be a shame to lose him at this point, but if we did, LSU would move on to Trovon Reed. Everyone would move along with their lives.
Well, that's it. There's more drama than I've been able to go over, as there is still the announcements of Trent Richardson, Sam Montgomery, and Xavier Sua'filo to pay attention to, but neither of those guys is really expected to sign with LSU (though any of them could).
I will try to check in and see what's going on. If anyone wants to keep up with it here and do FanPosts, it would be greatly appreciated.