Louisiana Talent Represents in Oregon
Beaverton, Oregon is home to The Opening, the first of what will become an annual event for Nike. The five day event, which runs from July 5 to July 9, will allow the invited prospects to be tested through Nike’s SPARQ Combine, work alongside some of the nation’s top coaches during position drills, and compete in a 7-on-7 and linemen competition – where they will stack up against the nation’s elite talent from the 2012 class.
Louisiana sent four prospects, two of which are current LSU commitments. Breaux Bridge athlete Lamar Louis and Shreveport defensive end Torshiro Davis will be representing the Tigers, while uncommitted prospects Landon Collins – the state’s unanimous top prospect – and Cyril Noland round out the quartet.
After Tuesday’s opening ceremonies, the group took to the field on Wednesday to take part in the SPARQ Combine, which lasted deep into the evening.
For Tiger fans back in Louisiana, the wait for the results was worth it.
Collins, who, at 6-foot-1, 210-pounds, finished the day with the highest vertical jump at 43.7 inches, took home the overall title from the day – giving a Louisiana native the first spotlight moment of the event.
In addition to his 43.7-inch vertical, Collins finished with a 4.2 shuttle, 4.42 40-yard dash, and 43-foot ball toss.
Louis, who worked out with the linebackers, scored the second-best overall mark among the group with a score of 112. Running at 215 pounds, Louis also recorded a 4.18 shuttle and 4.54 laser-timed 40-yard dash.
LSU’s First (and Second?) Quarterback Coming?
But after having to leave Louisiana for a quarterback for the 2011 recruiting class, Miles and his staff eventually landed arms out of Florida (Jerrard Randall), Alabama (Stephen Rivers), and Kansas (Zach Mettenberger)
And despite the offseason addition of an offensive coordinator (Steve Kragthorpe) and a special teams coordinator (Thomas McGaughey) who both have ties to the Lone Star State, it looks like the Tigers aren’t looking West when organizing the top of their board in 2012. With the final session of summer camps approaching, the lead candidates to become possible additions to a class without a quarterback reside in Mississippi and Alabama.
Oxford’s Jeremy Liggins and Petal’s Anthony Alford represent the Magnolia State, and both prospects remain high on the Tigers with a scholarship list that includes numerous SEC schools – including Mississippi State and Ole Miss.
Liggins told Scout.com on Wednesday that he was down to LSU, Alabama, Mississippi State, and Ole Miss. When asked which team he would choose if National Signing Day were today, the 6-foot-4, 260-pound passer answered, “I could see myself at LSU.”
He went on to talk in detail about the Tigers and their offensive system:
“They run the same kind of offense we run. It’s a spread offense. And for a dual-threat quarterback, he can run it, hand it, throw it, pitch it. You have multiple choices.”
When TigerSportsDigest.com caught up with Alford earlier this week, the 6-foot-1, 210-pounder said that the Tigers were “still sitting pretty” in the race for his services. Alford, who called LSU his “dream school” after Les Miles offered him a scholarship, also holds offers from the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, and Tennessee.
Then there is Hueytown, Ala. quarterback Jameis Winston.
Scout.com has tabbed Winston as the No. 2 overall quarterback in the country (trailing only Indiana’s Gunner Kiel, who also remains uncommitted), and in late-June Scout.com’s Chad Simmons caught up with the rising senior to talk about a possible summer pledge.
“I will be committing soon,” Winston said. “I do not have a date picked out or anything yet, but it will definitely happen in July. It could happen before I go out to California for the Elite 11 on July 18, but I am not sure yet.”
Winston also said that his mind might already be made up.
“I would say I am about 90 percent sure of the school right now.”
With 15 commitments already on board, the question becomes whether the Tigers take one or two quarterbacks into the class – and whether the spots become first come, first serve. Also on the mind of Miles is Alford’s high Major League Baseball Draft status, as the staff certainly doesn’t want to find themselves play through another Zach Lee scenario.
Still Waiting on Two
After signing 23 prospects this past February, the Tigers staff only needed to get 20 prospects onto campus by fall camp, bringing in Zach Mettenberger, Kenny Hilliard, and Anthony Johnson as early enrollees in January.
By mid-June, all but two of the signees – Alonzo Lewis and Mickey Johnson - had been cleared by the NCAA and were enrolled in summer courses and participating in workouts with the team. Both expect to be cleared before August workouts begin.
With the self-imposed recruiting violations comes a scholarship total capped at 83, meaning that the staff will have decisions to make before the team travels to Dallas for the opener against Oregon.
Cornerback Ryan St. Julien, fullback Kellen Theriot, and wide receiver Chris Tolliver have all reportedly been granted medical hardships, meaning they will stay on scholarship but not count against the overall total. If Johnson and Lewis both get cleared, then the roster will need to be cut by three. Options include greyshirts to members of the 2011 signing class or the departure of three current members of the team.