Oderint dum metuant - Let them hate, so long as they fear
No one can hate on the class Grimes assembled in his first full season as the LSU offensive line coach. Three of his five signees rank in the Top 11 at their respective positions, including No. 1 guard Maea Teuhema. What makes it even better is how it finished. Grimes landed Toby Weathersby (No. 11 OT) and Chidi Valentine-Okeke (No. 7 OT) within the final week of the cycle, the former on National Signing Day.
That took his group from average at best, to one of the best in the country. Prior to the late additions, Grimes had only played an exclusive role in reeling in one of the commits — No. 40 OT George Brown. Steve Ensminger landed Teuhema and Magee was actually recruited by Brick Haley. So Grimes still needed to leave his stamp on the class, and he did so in a big way.
Valentine-Okeke was the biggest surprise of the class. He had said himself that Alabama and Auburn were the two schools he was still considering. He was on the verge of committing to one of those schools two Mondays before NSD.
An in-home visit with Grimes two days later made him change his mind, and he committed to LSU the next morning.
Grimes brought a proven track record of recruiting to LSU. It was one of the biggest upgrades LSU made by hiring him. He was familiar with the SEC footprint and wasn’t afraid to go nationally, targeting states like California, Ohio and Virginia.
He proved himself with this class.
---Frank Wilson deserves as much praise. Aside from coordinating the entire effort, Wilson played lead man on more recruits than any. He landed all three four-star running backs and locked down the city of New Orleans with Donte Jackson, Tyron Johnson, Xavier Lewis, Isaiah Washington and Lanard Fournette. He also assisted on guys like Kevin Toliver and Jeremy Cutrer, though you can argue that Wilson had a direct hand in every signing as the LSU recruiting coordinator.
---Ed Orgeron only had a month to work his magic on LSU’s class. He did manage to land No. 9 Arden Key, so you can imagine what he’ll do with an entire year. LSU’s looking at an elite group of defensive linemen in the state next year, and you know Orgeron’s chomping at the bit to get them.
---LSU reeled in the nation’s best cornerback class with a pair of five-stars. Though Frank Wilson ran point on Donte Jackson and Xavier Lewis, Raymond was with him every bit of the way. Raymond also reeled in Kevin Toliver and held on to his commitment for more than two years. Raymond continues to uphold the DBU tradition on the trail.