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Recruiting: ESPN Releases Top 150

ESPN Recruiting Guru Tom Luginbill has released his ESPN150 of the top recruits in the country. And by every measure he puts forth, LSU has the chance to post the nation's best recruiting class. At this stage of the game, the Tigers have nine of the ESPN150 committed, tied for most in the country with USC and Texas. SuperProspect Russell Shepard ranks second.

Recruiting is the lifeblood of a program and it has almost become a sport of its own every January and early February. However, it's extremely important to remember that it is all a crapshoot. I live in Alabama and every recruiting year you hear about how it's not that important because some two-star guy became a stud and some five-star guy flamed out (mostly from Auburn fans trying to pour water on the Alabama class last year).

There are basically three different respected services that rank recruiting out there:,, ESPN (Scouts, Inc.). Rivals probably gets the most recognition as the longest standing recruiting ranker out there, but all three use different rating systems and come up with very different top players. Rivals and Scout are generally fairly similar while ESPN can vary widely from the other two. For instance, Rivals currently lists two LSU recruits as three-star recruits while ESPN places them both in the top 130 (Josh Downs, Kevin Minter).

So, who to believe? Who really knows. It would be a little easier if all the sites used similar rating systems or released those rating systems. Since that won't happen, the best thing to do is have faith in your coach. Right now, I have faith in Les Miles and his staff that they can develop the talent in their recruiting classes and turn that potential into production. That's what wins championships.