Not everyone is thrilled about Miles getting the job but I feel like Skip Bertman and the search committee found the best man that was available. Miles compiled a 28-21 record at Oklahoma State with limited resources available and playing second fiddle to the Oklahoma Sooners. At LSU he will have top of the line facilities and squad loaded with young talent. It's up to him to keep the talent coming in.
From an X's and O's standpoint Miles has a good reputation. He did beat Oklahoma twice while he was at Stillwater and he did not have anywhere near the talent that Bob Stoops had in Norman.
From a recruiting standpoint, Miles is known for being a good recruiter. He shoots straight from the hip and does not tell recruits what they want to hear which is a quality prospects loved about Saban. Miles recruited Louisiana hard while he was at Oklahoma State and he already has a good rapport with many of the coaches in the Bayou State. That will help him tremendously over the next three weeks as he searches for the best talent out there in filling out his class.
Lets take a look at the top prospects on the board but expect new names to pop up each week as we head down the stretch.
January Wish List
Note: The Players are listed according to their national ranking at each position and I have included what I feel are the chances of each prospect committing to the Tigers. I added some Louisiana guys who did not get much interest from the previous staff but will from the new regime. Players will be added, removed and updated each week. Rankings are provided by Scout.com.
Commits: 0; Needs: 1
2--Ryan Perrilloux 6-2, 207, 4.6 Reserve (La.) East St. John 50-50 (Offer)
NR--John Hundley 6-3, 215, 4.7 Lafayette (La.) St. Thomas More 70-30
NR--Brock Landry 6-2, 205, 4.6 Patterson (La.) 60-40
Notes: It looks like it is down to these three in-state quarterbacks. The coaching change is going to be too much to overcome in such a short time with guys like Jon Crompton, Jonathan Garner and Colt McCoy. While the coaching change affected the out-of-state quarterbacks in a negative way it may have increased Ryan Perrillloux's interest in the Tigers. Perrilloux, a soft commitment to Texas, met with Les Miles the day he was introduced as the new coach and the meeting went real well according to some of my sources. Miles wants to bring in a quarterbacks coach with NFL experience and that excited Perrilloux. I think bringing in a fresh gun like Miles this late in the game could end up being a positive. Perrilloux heard Nick Saban tell him all of the reasons he should go to LSU and now Miles is reinforcing those same ideas. I know trying to predict where Perrilloux is going to end up is like winning the lottery but I think LSU comes out as the lucky winner.
LSU has to have a backup plan if things fall through with Perrilloux and although he does not take his official visit until the last weekend in January the coaches will probably have a pretty good feel for what he intends to do. John Hundley and Brock Landry are two guys the previous staff showed a little interest in and would be good alternatives. Hundley would probably be rated a little higher in terms of passing skills but Landry is the better athlete. I think it would be hard for either of these guys to pass up a scholarship offer so keep them in mind.
24--Paul O'Hara 5-11, 215, 4.6 Cross City (Fla.) Dixie County 30-70 (Offer)
55--Deon Wallace 5-7, 170, 4.4 Houston (Texas) Worthing 50-50
NR--Patrick Jackson 5-11, 195, 4.5 Edgard (La.) West St. John 50-50
Notes:I spoke to R.J. Jackson the day Miles was introduced and he sounded more positive about LSU than before. That comes as no surprise because Oklahoma State had a slight lead over LSU before Miles' move but much of that was attributed to the coaching staff. With a good number of those assistants expected to make the move to LSU it definitely gives the Tigers a good advantage over the Cowboys. If Jackson opts for Oklahoma State, Texas or Florida (1/28) then Patrick Jackson could be the next man on the list. He was a late bloomer because he played in a smaller classification but anytime you rush for more than 3,000 yards in a season then you obviously can play.
Commits: 0; Needs: 1-2
3--Patrick Turner 6-5, 210, 4.5 Madison (Tenn.) Goodpasture 10-90 (Offer)
20--Slick Shelley 6-4, 180, 4.6 Fort Smith (Ark.) Southside 50-50 (Offer)
NR--Brian Jackson 6-3, 190, 4.6 Baton Rouge (La.) Woodlawn 50-50
NR--Aaron Brown 6-3, 195, 4.4 Zachary (La.) Northeast 30-70
NR--Trindon Holliday 5-6, 155, 4.4 Zachary (La.) Northeast 70-30
Notes:LSU has still has a descent shot with D.J. Hord and Slick Shelley because they already know Miles through his recruiting efforts at Oklahoma State. Both are scheduled to visit the weekend of Jan. 21 and what a great coup it would be to land those two. Brian Jackson is a name that could surface because of the relationship Miles has with the Woodlawn coaches from the time he recruited Chijuan Mack. Jackson never received much attention from LSU before but he would likely jump all over an offer. It is tough to get in touch with Patrick Turner but my sources tell me LSU has dropped in his order and USC is be the team to beat. Aaron Brown is another Louisiana wide out that could benefit from the coaching change because he could be No. 1 on the list after Hord and Shelley. Brown's teammate, Trindon Holliday, had a gray shirt offer from Saban but he could end up being part of the ‘05 class now as the new staff scrambles to find receivers.
Commits: 1 (12--Kyle Anderson 6-5, 255, 4.65); Needs 1-2
1--Dajleon Farr 6-5, 240, 4.62 Galena Park (Texas) Northshore 40-60 (Offer)
22--Brian Ellis 6-3, 235, 4.6 Daytona Beach (Fla.) Mainland 30-70 (Offer)
Notes:Kyle Anderson will likely honor his commitment and I don't foresee any problems on his front. The new LSU coaching staff will do everything within its power to get Dajleon Farr back on board but that is going to be tough to do. He really likes Miami but there could be an opening if Miles can get the mother on his side and play the distance factor card. LSU really needs another tight end in this class and Farr is the best one in the country. Another possibility could be Brian Ellis but he will only be available if the Florida schools fill their spots.
10--Chris Scott 6-4, 315, 5.3 Lovejoy (Ga.) 40-60 (Offer)
49--Calvin Wilson 6-5, 335, 5.5 Hattiesburg (Miss.) 20-80 (Offer)
NR--Ernest Jones 6-5, 337, 5.5 New Orleans (La.) St. Aug 50-50
NR--Dwight Alexander 6-6, 300, 5.1 Carencro (La.) 60-40
NR--Glenn Gibson 6-7, 300, 5.2 Haughton (La.) 70-30
NR--Larry Shappley 6-5, 282, 5.2 West Monroe (La.) 60-40
Notes: Losing Josh McNeil to Tennessee really hurt and Chris Scott could end up following him to Rocky Top. It is critical to sign at least two more offensive linemen and they will probably be names you haven't heard much about in a few months. There are some good offensive line prospects in Louisiana that could see an offer thrown their way. Dwight Alexander is a player Miles recruited for Oklahoma State we could start hearing more about soon. He has good size and quickness but is very raw. Ernest Jones, Larry Shappley and Glenn Gibson could also get a strong look from the new staff and after a few years they could all be solid contributors. Michael Oher will likely end up at Ole Miss or Tennessee and it is unclear as to whether he still plans to visit LSU on Jan. 21. Calvin Wilson is a long shot but a player the new staff should pursue.
Commits 1 (7--Al Jones 6-3, 240, 4.8); Needs 1-2
6--Raymond Henderson 6-5, 255, 4.65 Oak Creek (Wis.) 10-90 (Offer)
48--Antonio Coleman 6-2, 230, 4.69 Mobile (Ala.) Williamson 20-80 (Offer)
NR--Chris Jones 6-3, 235, 4.7 Carencro (La.) 30-70
NR--Matt Slocum 6-4, 245, 4.6 West Monroe (La.) 40-60
Notes: I took Ricky Jean-Francois off the list after he told Allen Wallace that he was not visiting LSU and that Miami, Tennessee and Auburn were the schools he was still looking at. Nick Saban was a big reason LSU had a chance in the first place but maybe Les Miles can spark an interest with the Miami-native. Raymond Henderson is pretty much a long shot and I will probably take him off the list in a couple of days. A name to look for is Carencro defensive end Chris Jones because he committed to Oklahoma State a few months back. If he gets an offer he may choose to stay closer to home. A player Miles knows about is Matt Slocum and he may try to get the West Monroe product in for a visit. Slocum has offers from South Carolina, Tulane and Louisiana Tech and I bet he would jump on an LSU offer.
Commits 1 (36--Lyle Hitt 6-3, 280, 5.0); Needs 1-2
1--Jerrell Powe 6-3, 322, 5.0 Waynesboro (Miss.) Waynes County 20-80 (Offer)
3--DeMarcus Granger 6-2, 325, 5.2 Dallas (Texas) Justin Kimball 40-60 (Offer)
26--Rashad Roussel 6-2, 260, 4.9 Boutte (La.) Hahnville 25-75
NR--Seth Adams 6-2, 285, 5.2 New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine 60-40
Notes: LSU is still in the hunt for DeMarcus Granger and it will be interesting to hear what he has to say in the next two weeks after getting to meet with Miles. Oklahoma State is still in the picture along with Oklahoma, Texas and Tennessee. When I spoke to Granger during the week he said he liked the fact that LSU hired Miles to replace Saban and that he was still considering LSU. Aside from that he really did not have much to say about the situation. Jerrell Powe is a long shot and Rashad Roussell could be the same. Powe will likely sign with Auburn and Roussell recently committed to West Virginia. There could be a chance Miles could convince Roussell to go the LSU route because he established a good relationship while courting him for the Cowboys. Seth Adams is a guy the Tigers could probably fall back on but I expect a few names to surface because there is a big need for one more defensive tackle.
Commits 1 (43--Darry Beckwith 6-2, 220, 4.5); Needs 2
4--Luthur Brown 6-2, 227, 4.7 Lakewood (Calif.) 30-70 (Offer)
9--Nic Harris 6-3, 207, 4.7 Alexandria (La.) 50-50 (Offer)
33--Jon Demps 6-3, 223, 4.65 Pensacola (Fla.) Washington 20-80 (Offer)
JC--Steve Craver 6-2, 220, 4.6 Kilgore JC 40-60 (Offer)
NR--Matt Lewis 6-1, 235, 4.6 Daytona Beach (Fla.) Mainland 30-70 (Offer)
NR--Tim Holloway 6-4, 215, 4.65 Collins (Miss.) Seminary Attendance Center 30-70
Notes: The Tigers could use one more linebacker and there is a good chance Nic Harris could commit out of this group. If Miles installs his 4-2-5 defense at LSU then Harris could be a perfect fit for that fifth defensive back that is more of a linebacker/safety. Harris has the size to fill that role and he can definitely drop back in pass coverage. Luthur Brown may still visit but if Derek Dooley leaves like he is expected to then the chances of landing Brown are slim. It looks like Florida State and Miami are battling for the top spot with Jon Demps but there could still be time for Miles to get more into the mix. This is another area where we will probably hear some new names surface in the coming days.
Commits 1 (33--Chris Hawkins 6-1, 185, 4.5); Needs 1-2
15--Derek Pegues 5-10, 175, 4.5 Batesville (Miss.) South Panola 40-60 (Offer)
21--Anthony Johnson 5-11, 185, 4.6 Jackson (Miss.) Provine 30-70 (Offer)
NR--Tyson Andrus 6-1, 185, 4.6 Lafayette (La.) Northside 50-50
Notes: Bryan Evans is still keeping LSU in mind but losing Kirby Smart would hurt LSU's chances. The Tigers led for Evans' signature before Saban bolted to the NFL but Georgia is now the team to beat. According to one of my Mississippi sources, Derek Pegues has narrowed his list to three with LSU, Mississippi State and Ole Miss making his final cut. Pegues told him at LSU he would have a good opportunity to play early since Corey Webster and Travis Daniels will be gone. He also liked the idea of getting to start off on an even level with the others at learning the new defense. Anthony Johnson's interest is tough to gauge but Tyson Andrus would likely jump all over an offer from LSU. Miles gave him one at Oklahoma State so there is a good chance he would take him at LSU.
Commits 0; Needs 2
7--Chris Keys 6-2, 2-5, 4.5 Stevenson (Ala.) North Jackson 50-50 (Offer)
35--Gerrod Sinclair 6-0, 208, 4.65 Jacksonville (Fla.) Mandarin 30-70 (Offer)
NR--Gary Riggs 6-2, 205, 4.6 Jennings (La.) 60-40
Notes:While Chris Keys says he is committed to Alabama I expect him to end up at LSU. I think after he takes his official visit he will get to know Miles and the other coaches and see that he wants to come back home to Louisiana. Gerrod Sinclair was leaning to LSU before Saban jumped ship and could still be a good possibility depending on how his official visit goes on Jan. 14. Gary Riggs is someone to keep in mind because he could be a good fit for that 4-2-5 defensive scheme too.
Official Visit List
Jon Demps, Kevin Myers, DeMarcus Granger, Calvin Wilson, Luthur Brown, Bryan Evans
12--17 R.J. Jackson
1/14--Carlos Thomas, Gerrod Sinclair, Luthur Brown, Ciron Black
1/21--Slick Shelley, Derek Pegues, D.J. Hord, Michael Oher, Patrick Jackson
1/28--Ryan Perrilloux, Chris Keys