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National Signing Day Post-Mortem

We're still waiting on one recruit, Janzen Jackson, who says he would really like for his mother to be there for his signing ceremony.  His mother lives in California and couldn't get out of there until quite late, so he's putting off his ceremony until tomorrow.  I am still reasonably confident that he will be a Tiger, but we have to wait another day.

Overall, this has been one of the most dramatic National Signing Days in memory.  The news for LSU was mixed.  First the good news.  

Louisiana uber-recruit Rueben Randle made it official and signed with LSU.  There was lots of late drama, as documented this morning, but ultimately he signed with us.  We also got a big surprise and got a commitment from defensive end Sam Montgomery, who is a very good player filling a position of need as a pass-rushing defensive end.  He is out of South Carolina, and I was all set to write an entry about how LSU recruiting nationally has been mostly a waste of time.  Montgomery signing with LSU validates the LSU policy of taking shots at players from outside of our normal recruiting zones, and invalidates whatever I would have written earlier.  Montgomery is the second big recruit from outside of our normal recruiting area to sign in the last 3 classes.  The first was Joseph Barksdale.

Now for the bad news:

It appears that in order for us to sign Rueben Randle, we had to part ways with Deangelo Benton.  I don't know if LSU actually rescinded his scholarship offer, or if he just decided himself that there was too much trouble associated with his recruitment to LSU, but he ended up signing with Auburn.  According to the local Birmingham sports talk radio buffoons who talked to Benton's high school coach, this came as a big surprise to him, as Benton had just re-affirmed his commitment to LSU last night.

Benton and Randle are of similar talent.  Yes, I think that highly of Deangelo Benton.  The big difference between Benton and Randle is that Benton is already two years out of high school, and he's a big academic risk.  Benton will probably qualify and enroll at Auburn this summer, but he could go to the NFL at literally any time if he is having academic problems or if he has a big year.  He actually could be one-and-done if the NFL wants him.  Randle is going to be there for at least 3 years.

Now that I've said that, watch Randle leave after 3 years and Benton stay at Auburn for 4, being all-SEC in each one.

I don't have a big problem with Benton going to Auburn.  I think ultimately it's a good place for him.  He's talented enough that he could probably be their top receiver almost immediately, whereas at LSU he would be behind Lafell and would be fighting with a number of other very good prospects for any sort of playing time.  At LSU right now, even very good wide receivers may struggle to find the field.

We also lost out on Rayville wide receiver Kenny Bell.  He ended up signing with Bama, after having been committed to LSU for several months.  This is not a huge surprise, and I think it came down more to LSU's depth chart than anything.  LSU signed a pretty big wide receiver class last year, and some of the receivers from that class appear to have pretty bright futures.  One in particular, Chris Tolliver, seems to be built to play pretty much the same role that Bell would play.  The radio here in Alabama was saying that he's a guy who's good enough to contribute immediately, and I'm just not sure that's true.  He's rail thin, and likely needs to add at least 15 pounds before he'll be ready, and who knows what that will do to his speed?