News broke today that Dwayne Haskins, formerly a Maryland commit, has officially flipped to Ohio State.
This is most relevant to LSU as it seems the staff firmly placed all their eggs in landing the talented signal-caller's signature. Haskins previously stated he would take an official visit to LSU this weekend, so we will see if he intends to follow through with that or holds off due to his commitment to the Buckeyes.
LSU's staff seemed to hone in on a handful of players: Anthony Russo (formerly a Rutgers commit), Thomas MacVittie (Pittsburgh commit) and Haskins. Russo and MacVittie were never formally extended offers and Haskins just committed to the Buckeyes. Russo flipped his commitment to Temple and MacVittie seems contented to stick with Pitt. This is not great news.
I'm not sure where the staff can turn for a QB at this point. It's very likely the ship has sailed on that position. I know some will argue that a scholarship should be extended to Lindsey Scott, the 3-star QB from Zachary. Scott recently decommitted from Syracuse and some rumors abounded he may be headed just up the road to Tulane. He's since received offers from Maryland (undoubtedly aware Haskins would be moving on). Frankly, I'm not sure Scott is a top tier Power 5 talent. There's a reason his offer list is smaller D1 schools and lower tier P5.
Perhaps the staff has held off on offering thinking they can jump on him late and still secure the commitment, but even that would seem merely like taking a body just to take one. I'm not sure that's in this team's best interest.
That said, this will continue to perpetuate the problem LSU has had with QBs during the Miles era: improper recruiting of depth for the position forces young players to play before they are ready. Just take a look at the depth chart:
McMillan (RS Fr.)
Harris and McMillan are the only two known scholarship players. We assume Etling has received one, but we don't know that for sure. This puts the onus on McMillan to be ready to be the man, possibly as early as 2017. And he's not a 5-star waiting in the wings, but more of a developmental type. QBs are tough to evaluate, but that's quite the gamble. Adding bodies to the mix only increase your chance of hitting. Now, that luxury is thinned.
It seems more likely LSU will need to go into 2017 and land not only Lowell Narcisse (who recently decommitted from Auburn), but also a potential JUCO stop gap that will allow them to not throw Narcisse into the first just as they did with Harris and Jennings before him and Lee and Jefferson before them.
The other factor in this equation is what does this all say about Cam Cameron? LSU's offensive struggles were a bit overblown this year. They improved dramatically from 2014 and did so with re-shuffled OL and a bunch of sophomores and freshmen at the skill positions. LSU is probably closer to on track than most want to believe. But he cannot be absolved from QB recruiting. He dropped the ball on Feleipe Franks and failed to have any contingency in place in lieu of that. Curiously, Cameron's rumored extension has not been announced. Could he have been recruiting for his job? His contract runs up in March.
I'm not sure that's the wisest plan. I've supported retaining his services, but it's hard for me to ignore the growing concerns with QB recruiting. Who could LSU possibly hire this late in the process? Jeff Tedford is floating around out there and would literally be an ideal fit: QB developer, successful in college, wants to get back to college game. But he's a West Coast guy. Does he have any inclination to come down South and try and recruit here? The odds are heavily that Cameron is returning, but am I the only one that finds it odd the renewal hasn't been announced? Especially when LSU needs the assurances of security going forward.
At any rate, if this changes your impression of this class from anything other than, "This is an amazing class" then you probably needs to adjust your spectacles. LSU is in great position to land the no. 1 class in the nation. In fact, if Rashard Lawrence chooses LSU on Friday, as many suspect he will, LSU will jump right back to the top of the nation. It's foolish to complain too heavily about a class that every other team in the nation is looking up at. But I think it's safe to say this will be an amazing class with one glaring hole: a quarterback.