Hey, I preached calm when LSU didn't steal Smith from the Vols, but LSU lost a recruit to the Vols the very next day. Justin Hunter, a four star wide receiver recruit from Virginia Beach, decommitted from the Tigers and gave his verbal to the Vols. How quickly things change. Not only are we not poaching Vol recruits, they are successfully raiding our class. By the way, this leaves LSU with precisely zero receiver recruits in this class, one year after signing just one (albeit a big one in Reuben Randle).
The rumor on the message boards is that Hunter was going to be Kiffin's Signing Day Surprise, Part II and Dooley simply put the kibosh on that and just had Hunter openly announce his intentions. We may never know if that story is true, as it's nearly impossible to confirm, but it does pass the sniff test. Kiffin did it to us last year, Hunter is far more local to Tennessee, and Dooley only needed one visit to turn the kid. If nothing else, it's a narrative that fits what we already believe about Kiffin and Dooley (one is a scumbag, one isn't). On the other hand, that would require Frank Wilson to be in the dark on Hunter. Or maybe he did know, which is why we've been pursuing every receiver prospect in the country it seems. Who knows?
Losing Davis was no great surprise, but losing Hunter as well is a huge blow. There's no good way to spin this. Never get hung up on one recruit, but when you had two four-star receivers as verbals and now you have no verbals at the position at all, that's bad.
So where do the Tigers go from here? Well, no doubt one of those running back recruits is going to be a receiver. I think this also solidifies the logical move of Russell Shepard to full-time receiver, where he probably belongs. But I still think LSU needs a receiver in this class. You can't go two years with only one receiver recruit.
So who's on the big board? Markeith Ambles decommitted from the Vols to make room for Hunter, which reopens his recruitment (obviously), and LSU is one of the leaders for him. Of course, the other finalists are Alabama and USC, so the staff's work is truly cut out for them there. Getting Ambles would be a major coup. Hunter for Ambles is a fair trade.
James Wright is a four-star recruit from Belle Chase and LSU is his final visit. He's got a long list of suitors, but LSU absolutely has to close on this kid now. He's not a can't-miss prospect, even if can't miss prospects even existed, but he's a big-time in-state recruit at a position we have a great need. Losing him when we had Hunter and Davis was no big deal, now it's a critical loss.
Or we can steal someone ourselves. Jarrett Fobbs is a Texas A&M commit, but he's getting the full-court press. Kadron Boone is a Florida kid, but he's committed to Texas Tech. He's still on the board as well. Or, LSU can throw the hail mary and steal Trovon Reed from Auburn. That's the dream scenario, getting the #1 recruit in the state, especially since he fills a need and he's from Thibodaux. But that is a long, long shot and we shouldn't hold our breath.
If we get Wright, the damage isn't too bad. We just lost one receiver and got one of similar quality. But if LSU can get Wright and either Ambles or Reed... well, that would be a home run. Miles hasn't been having his best month, but he's always been able to hang his hat on recruiting. Well, he absolutely must finish strong to demonstrate the program isn't slipping. It's not one guy, it's the big picture. And the picture is starting to get fuzzy.