Here we’ll talk about the offense. LSU signed 17 offensive players in this year’s class. We’ll go position-by-position to highlight each signee.
SIGNED: Justin McMillan
After missing on Ohio State signee Torrance Gibson on NSD, LSU was left with just one quarterback in the 2015 class. McMillan’s already on campus and will join Brandon Harris and Anthony Jennings during sprint practices. Cam Cameron discovered McMillan during camp in the summer, extended him an offer and McMillan essentially committed on the spot.
McMillan doesn’t figure to factor in the quarterback competition for the 2015 season. He will require some development, which Les Miles admitted Wednesday, but he has certain intangibles that gives LSU confidence he can take his game to another level. McMillan played for one of the powerhouse programs in Texas high school football in the highest classification. He played in front of 45,000 people during this year’s state championship game.
Miles said he loves his competitiveness and won’t rule him out as a guy that can impact the team early in his career.
“He’s a guy you need to watch play first,” Miles said. “We know he’s certainly a developmental player, but he might be a guy that can step forward and play early.”
SIGNED: Derrius Guice, Nicholas Brossette, David Ducre
LSU signed one of the best running back classes in the country, with all three rating as four-star prospects.
Ducre is already on campus. LSU officially lists him as a fullback, though he has the ability to line up as tailback as well. He’ll be one of three scholarship running backs on the team this spring, and those added reps should have him ready for playing time next fall. LSU likens him to Kenny Hilliard, and Ducre should definitely be a downhill back that does a little bit of everything out of that backfield.
Guice is the headliner as the No. 2 player overall in the state this year. He should take Terrence Magee’s role as a change-of-pace back to Leonard Fournette, but Guice can do it all. He’s physical, quick and can make guys miss with his lateral moves. He even showed during the Army Bowl — where he was named the game’s MVP — that he can make plays in the passing game as well.
Brossette’s one of the most accomplished backs in Louisiana history. He shattered records through a five-year career on the varsity level. He’s the more physical back between he and Guice, but Brossette has breakaway speed and often left opponents well in his wake.
"You want to stay fresh, you want to stay healthy,” Miles said. “That is a quality recipe for us. We're a very talented group of backs. Who's got the hot hand is who's gonna go. The contrast of styles is good...I'm very optimistic about both [Guice/Brossette]."
SIGNED: Hanner Shipley, Bry’Kiethon Mouton, Foster Moreau
LSU took three tight ends in this class, and each one brings a little something different.
Shipley, who’s an early enrollee, is the big buy. He’s pushing 300 pounds out of high school and actually played on the offensive line as a senior. LSU brings him in as a blocking tight end in the mold of Dillon Gordon, who played at 295 pounds this past year. It’s possible that Shipley winds up on the offensive line before the end of his career, but he’ll start this spring as a tight end.
Mouton comes from the run-heavy offense Acadiana’s made famous. Miles said Mouton will play both fullback and tight end for LSU, and he can definitely develop into an H-back for the Tigers.
Moreau was the last to join this group. LSU didn’t have a spot for him in the class until the Tigers missed on two players Wednesday. He’s probably the most well-rounded of the three tight ends, someone that can block as well as factor in the passing game.
“I'm glad that he overcame the anxiety that for those moments that he didn't necessarily have it in his hand,” Miles said of Moreau having to wait for a spot. “You're that player that wants to sign himself to a great college opportunity and you have a difficult time saying, whoa, slow down. I'm glad he did. I think he'll be a great contributor to us.”
SIGNED: Tyron Johnson, Derrick Dillon, Jazz Ferguson, Lanard Fournette, Brandon Martin
Johnson headlines this group as one of the top three overall players in this class. If there’s someone that can fill the big shoes of Odell Beckham, it’s Johnson. He’ll even wear his No. 3 jersey once he arrives at LSU. Johnson’s an incredible player when the ball's in his hands and has great ability after the catch. He can make guys miss in a number of ways, which he showed by hurdling a would-be tackler in last year’s State title game.
Ferguson should emerge as a tremendous red zone threat. A legitimate 6-foot-5, Ferguson also stars on the basketball, so that’s the level of athleticism he brings. He even played some tailback as a senior, so the big man can move. He didn’t get as much hype as Johnson, but Ferguson could be just as special.
Dillon gave the staff big news on NSD when he officially flipped his commitment from Florida to LSU. The Tigers originally saw him as a corner, but closely monitored him through his senior season and went all in with the idea of him playing offense. Dillon will be an inside receiver on the next level, but LSU can see him being a vertical threat as well. But he and Johnson are two guys that will really help in the intermediate passing game.
Lanard Fournette, the younger brother of Leonard Fournette, joined the class as an athlete/specialist. He’ll mostly factor on special teams, but can develop into an inside receiver down the line.
“We love to throw the football,” Miles said when asked why so many WRs chose to come to LSU. “There's no question that these guys came here because what they want to do is catch balls and what we want to do is throw them. We just need to improve at that [quarterback] spot.”
LSU did also sign a three-star in Brandon Martin. He’s a Monroe native that spent his senior year at Prime Prep in Dallas. He’s most likely headed to junior college though and should reappear in the 2017 class.
SIGNED: Toby Weathersby, Chidi Valentine-Okeke, George Brown, Maea Teuhema, Adrian Magee
Jeff Grimes reeled in quite a haul in his first full season as the Tigers’ offensive line coach. A pair of these players — Weathersby and Valentine-Okeke — didn’t join the class until the final week of the cycle, so Grimes proved he can close with the both.
Weathersby, Valentine-Okeke and Brown are the three projected tackles. Miles said he sees Valentine-Okeke as a left tackle, a “very mobile athlete.” Valentine-Okeke played soccer in Nigeria before immigrating to the United States. That shows the kind of footwork he brings to the table. He’s still raw, but his upside’s off the charts and most peg him to be an NFL star before it’s all over.
Miles compared Weathersby to La’El Collins in his body type, and he projects him to the right side. Weathersby chose LSU over Arkansas on NSD, and ranks as one of the top tackles in the country. Factor in Brown as well, and Miles praised all three of them for their athleticism.
The two guards — Teuhema and Magee — are absolute maulers. Both weigh in at well over 320 pounds, and Teuhema’s ranted as the nation’s best guard. LSU will be looking for a new right guard this season, maybe even a left one as well, and it’s not impossible to see Teuhema compete for one of those jobs if he shows up this summer ready for the challenge.
“Finding the best five guys this year will be a little bit more competitive,” Miles said. “These guys will step forward in a year or so, and we figure to be one of the best lines around.”