It’s early yet to truly identify trend differences between Orgeron and Miles on the recruiting trail, but one that seems to be surfacing is O’s preference for athletic prospects with high upside. It’s not so much that Miles ignored those types, as I think he placed more value into “football players” whereas O looks more for athletes he can mold. There’s pros and cons to either strategy, and, of course, the naturally high fail rate which comes along with human evaluation.
Whether or not O’s gamble on high upside athletes will pay off, there’s a clear movement in that direction. We’ve seen the dividends already in Saahdiq Charles, who may well be our left tackle for the next few seasons. Earlier this week, we talked about Dare Rosenthal, who fits the mold. And now we turn our eyes to Cameron Wire.
Big guys get attention is one of the chief tenets of recruiting. When you stand at six-foot-seven and nearly 300 pounds, you’re gonna field some phone calls. And that makes Cameron Wire’s journey to LSU all the more interesting. As a Junior, offers came. All the local Louisiana schools. Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa State next. As Spring approached, Arkansas, Houston, and Oklahoma State. Then Texas schools came calling: Tech, TCU and Baylor. Then Auburn, Oregon, Tennessee. Mississippi State, OU and Texas. Louisville, Florida and Ole Miss.
Conspicuous by their absence? LSU.
Not until May before Wire’s senior year did LSU come calling, well after he piled offers from all across the country. FSU and Alabama came through shortly thereafter. Turns out, the delay didn’t matter. A month later, Wire popped for LSU.
Unlike many of his signees, Wire didn’t take only a single official visit to Baton Rouge. Instead, he took two: one in Norman, Oklahoma and the other in Baton Rouge. It didn’t matter. Though some early outlooks penciled him to OU, in the end he stayed home, signing with LSU during the early signing period.
Reportedly, Wire nearly took an official visit to Austin, just before the early signing period, but Orgeron caught wind of it and put a kibosh on it. Suck it, Tom.
Wire was selected for the Offense-Defense All-American bowl.
110 - 101 = Franchise Player. One of the best players to come along in years, if not decades. Odds of having a player in this category every year is slim. This prospect has “can’t miss” talent.
100 - 98 = Five-star prospect. One of the top 30 players in the nation. This player has excellent pro-potential and should emerge as one of the best in the country before the end of his career. There will be 32 prospects ranked in this range in every football class to mirror the first round of the NFL Draft.
97 - 90 = Four-star prospect. One of the top 300 players in the nation. This prospect will be an impact-player for his college team. He is an All-American candidate who is projected to play professionally.
89 - 80 = Three-star prospect. One of the top 10% players in the nation. This player will develop into a reliable starter for his college team and is among the best players in his region of the country. Many three-stars have significant pro potential.
79 - below = Two-star prospect. This player makes up the bulk of Division I rosters. He may have little pro-potential, but is likely to become a role player for his respective school.
247 Composite Rating: ***
247 Composite Ranking: .8851
Again, I’m not a huge proponent of “EVERY GUY IN OUR CLASS IS UNDERRATED. TRUST THE COACH’S EVALUATION!” mentality. But again, I can logically look at 6-foot-7 300-pound guy with offers from the world over and wonder why he’s not ranked higher? Without watching a snap, Wire looks immediately like a guy that would hit the 4-star threshold. And yet, here he is.
So yeah, I won’t fight the war here. I think Wire has a solid case for 4-star status based on offer lists, which we know are legitimate because of his official visit to Oklahoma and planned but thwarted official visit to Texas.
Above I said I wasn’t going to fight that war here. But now, I will.
What about Wire isn’t a four star? The size and offer sheet are hashed out above. So when you see he’s a three star, you may think he’s hardly played football, is terribly raw or something of the like. Instead, Wire looks like a stud. I’m not advocating for him being the no. 1 tackle prospect in America. I’m not even advocating for him to be a top 10 tackle prospect. But 30 offensive tackles rank ahead of Wire in the 247 composite.
Wire is impressive in so many aspects. His length sticks out on tape. And I’m impressed with his footwork. He bases well. He can sometimes lose his base and get overextended, but I think that comes with adding necessary bulk and strength. He’s a big, athletic tackle. He shows a mean streak, at times going for the patented belly flop finish on top of a hapless defender. His punch isn’t always there. But sometimes, he’ll knock your lights out.
So, really, his rating doesn’t mean shit. I look at this kid and think, “That’s exactly the type of prospect I want to take a chance on.”
Unlike Dare Rosenthal and Chasen Hines, Wire doesn’t have two-way versatility. I mean, he could play DT, but I think his guy is a future offensive tackle all the way. Wire isn’t perfect as a prospect, and I could see why services would ding his rating. And yet, there’s just so much to like. Humans this size don’t grow on trees. He’s got mass without being fat. Some took to comping him to Tyron Smith, who was also coached by new OL coach James Cregg, but that’s a pretty hefty comp. Where he aligns is in their length and lean frames. Wire definitely looks more like a 90s NBA power forward than a football player right now.
I’m biased toward athletes, but I think Wire could be special. He’s got some growing to do and I think 2018 is the perfect year for him to redshirt, add 20-30 pounds of good mass and learn the finer points of being an offensive lineman. A year in the factory and he might be a ready-made ass kicking machine by 2019.
High End: All-American, high draft pick
Low End: Depth chart casualty/rotational player
Realistic: Starter. All Conference.