In what can only be describing as a significant blow, the nation’s no. 1 CB recruit and a player LSU recruited heavily for three years picked Alabama this morning on ESPNU. On first blush, losing a player from the state of Florida to college football’s current juggernaut isn’t terribly surprising news. But if you’ve follow Surtain Jr.’s recruitment, you know this is absolutely devastating news.
Surtain Jr. has routinely and repeatedly emphasized LSU is his leader throughout his high school career, even deep into the recruiting cycle this season. His strong relationship with Corey Raymond, who is an elite recruiter in the state of Florida, along with having family in the area, as his father, former NFL CB Patrick Surtain, is from New Orleans, were major reasons driving his interest. LSU also cleared depth chart and de-prioritized other CB prospects to make a path for Surtain Jr. to step onto the field immediately in Baton Rouge.
There’s no way to term this other than failure. Three years of hefty commitment to a player with Louisiana ties is now headed to your biggest division rival and the measuring stick for elite level college football, Alabama. I cannot emphasize enough that virtually everyone in the know in recruiting expected Surtain Jr. to pick LSU all the way up through early this morning. It’s a devastating blow.
No single recruit makes or breaks a signing class, but Surtain Jr. is one of 2-3 pieces this staff looked to build this class around. Terrace Marshall is another, and perhaps JaMarr Chase, who still hasn’t officially picked, might be the 3rd. And now that’s gone.
It’s tough to swallow. It’s tough to not look at this and see anything other but a major blow to the Orgeron era. We were promised a few things with hiring Orgeron. No. 1 was always elite recruiting. No. 2 was hiring the best staff in America. This offseason LSU will finish with a class outside the top 10 and fired their offensive coordinator to internally promote a 60-year-old who hasn’t served as coordinator in 20 years. Many will say 2019 is the major recruiting year for LSU, but it’s hard to get excited for a potential class when you fail to lock up a player you worked 3 years to sign. Trending data right now screams sell, sell, sell. Orgeron has heavily lost the faith of the fanbase these past few months. The only way to win it back will be on the field.