IMPACT: Garrett a huge addition for LSU

The LSU defense got exactly what it needed in five-star LB Clifton Garrett, who committed to the Tigers on Tuesday. As talented as he is, Garrett also signals the start of a very special period for the Tigers.

Clifton Garrett is exactly what the LSU defense didn't have in 2013. Now that he's officially a part of the Tigers' 2014 class, LSU can start looking forward to finding out how he'll work into the mix, as he's the type of player that can have an immediate impact.

Scout ranks him as the No. 1 MLB in the country. Other recruiting services consider him an OLB, but the consensus is that he's the top linebacker regardless of where you put him. The fact that experts can't fit him into one LB category speaks volumes to his ability.

At 6-foot-2 and almost 230 pounds, Garrett has plenty of size to man the middle of a SEC defense. The Tigers' two MLBs in 2013 — D.J. Welter (6-1, 226) and Lamar Louis (6-0, 216) — aren't anywhere close to that, and LSU fans frustratingly watched both players get beat physically time and time again. Garrett's a downhill linebacker that fills the gaps and makes strong, aggressive tackles. The Tigers didn't get much of that from the linebackers this season.

He also has the speed to move sideline to sideline and can cover a lot of ground if need be, which could make him a fit on the outside as well. But considering how many teams gashed the LSU defense straight up the middle, Garrett could be the solution to fill the vacancy left in 2012 by Kevin Minter.

For years, the focus on this 2014 recruiting class has been on the big names in Louisiana — Leonard Fournette, Malachi Dupre, Gerald Willis, etc. But for the Tigers to land the No. 1 class, they needed to add players from out-of-state like Garrett to complement that in-state crop.

For the second straight year, LSU went into B1G country in Illinois to pull one of the nation's best. LSU first identified Garrett as a primary target in February, and did exactly what they had to do in the next 10 months to secure his commitment. That's the kind of work it takes to reel in a No. 1 class, and LSU is well on its way to that achievement after Garrett's commitment.

This pledge signals the start of what will be a very special seven-week period for LSU. Garrett is LSU's first five-star prospect to join the class, but there are many more on their way. Tiger fans have already dealt with their fair share of disappointment in this recruiting cycle, but the addition of Garrett is a big piece of good news with plenty more to follow.


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