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LSU Post-Regular Season: Wednesday Post (or "Some Aspects of This Could be Self-Correcting")

OK, we all know the season ended disastrously.  If you weren't able to figure it out for yourself, you have certainly been told it enough times by this and other outlets.  If you believe that one of the problems was bad attitude-slash-low morale by some of the players, I firmly believe this is a problem that is self-correcting.

Players who show bad attitude usually leave of their own volition, either to transfer to another school or to declare early for the NFL.  At this point, LSU really has no underclassmen who appear to be dead-sure locks for the first round of the NFL draft, though I suppose Ciron Black could get there, but there are several who could end up getting enough interest from the NFL to warrant jumping ship.

The good news is that no matter what happens to LSU on the NFL-attrition front, it is going to be good for the program.  If a player leaves early for the NFL, it is probably going to be more because he was disenchanted here rather than because he is getting a can't-pass-up offer from the NFL.  If he's disenchanted here, we're better off without him, as Bama proved this year after a number of talented but allegedly prickly players left the program last year (though they were seniors).

On the other hand, if Ciron Black, Brandon Lafell, Ricky Jean-Francois, or others stick around, it's because they believe they have unfinished business here, and because they believe in the coaching staff.  All three of those guys COULD go to the NFL and get drafted.  All three of them could conceivably stay for their 5th and final years.  

The ones who would be bad for us to have around will inevitably leave.  Why would they stay in an unhappy and unproductive situation that has (for them) deteriorated to the point where they and the coaches are each hurting each other, when the opportunity will be there to get a nice (though not outstanding) contract?  

The ones who would be good for us will inevitably stay.  They will want to prove themselves after this disappointing year, and after all none of them are looking at first round money and/or the unspoken guarantee of being allowed to hang around the league for 3 or 4 years on reputation alone.  They will all have to earn their way to the first really big contract, and staying in college another year won't hurt them.  This is not a Jamarcus Russell situation where the promises of the NFL were just too enticing to even seriously consider staying an extra year in college.  All of them have reasons to stay and reasons to leave, to the point where each one will ultimately have to decide how much they like being at LSU, and that should be the deciding factor.

I will say that losing the talents of Lafell and Black would hurt a lot, as both of those guys have been key players for this team, and we don't necessarily have an heir apparent for either one of them at their positions.  And honestly I have heard nothing about either one of those guys being unsatisfied or disenchanted in any way.  It would be a surprise to me if either of those guys was really itching to leave.  Of them, Black probably has the best draft stock and so may have the harder decision.

As for Ricky Jean-Francois, no LSU Tiger was more disappointing this season than he has been, at least from where I sit.  Sure, some other players did not live up to their billing, but Ricky Jean-Francois was supposed to be an All-America calibre player, and he wasn't even an All-SEC calibre player.  He wasn't especially good at all, to be honest.  At least, he wasn't a playmaker, and so did not live up to his billing after his dominating performances in the SECCG and BCSNCG of last year.  There are also rumors that he has more academic problems, and so the handwriting is on the wall that he is probably looking to the NFL.  He's a wonderful athlete, so he should have good combines, and the NFL is always looking for more defensive linemen.  He should do OK.

If I'm wrong and he wants to come back to prove he can do better than he did in 2008, all the better.

So, as we hear the news trickle out about who is going pro and who isn't, just keep in mind that whatever happens, it's all good news for us.