College coaches start off recruiting more than 1,000 kids by sending out letters and questionnaires during their junior year in high school and sometimes even as early as their freshman and sophomore years.
The list gets trimmed down throughout the year and in the end the coaches hope they have signed the next group of stars that will hopefully lead their teams to the promise land.
Tiger Rag does not claim to have any inside knowledge as to who the top recruits are that Les Miles and his staff have singled out for the Class of 2006. However, through many hours of interviewing the prospects, along with speaking with parents, coaches and other reliable sources, we have come up with a pretty good list of players that we believe are at the top of LSU's wish list for the Class of 2006.
Let's take a look at each position and see who is out there?
Needs 1; Committed: 1 (Alex Cate)
Most Tiger fans and analysts, including myself, felt it would be difficult for Les Miles to bring in a top-notch quarterback in this class. Largely due to the fact that the Tigers have three young guns battling it out for the starting spot in sophomores, JaMarcus Russell and Matt Flynn, and true freshman Ryan Perrilloux.
However, Miles, along with a lot of help from Jimbo Fisher, pulled off a huge coup and secured an early pledge from the nations fourth rated quarterback prospect in Alex Cate (6-2, 198, 4.7).
Cate put up some tremendous numbers last season at Salt Lake City (Utah) Cottonwood. He completed 196-of-379 passes for 3,586 yards and 40 touchdowns against 13 interceptions. He gave several reasons why LSU won out over the 25-plus other scholarship offers he received but this one came as a surprise.
"I know LSU has a lot of depth at quarterback but that competition will make me a much better quarterback down the road," he said. "Actually that was a big reason I chose LSU was because of the quarterbacks they already have."
There is a lot of time between now and signing day so is there a chance Cate could change his stance on his early commitment to the Tigers?
"I am excited about playing at LSU and I'm glad to have recruiting over with so I can focus on my senior season," he said.
Cate is on schedule to graduate this December and will be eligible to take part in spring practice for the Tigers.
Kudos to Miles and Fisher for landing another stellar signal caller.
Needs 2-3; Committed: 0
The Tigers will lose Joseph Addai and Shyrone Carey to graduation after the 2005 campaign and there is a chance Alley Broussard could test the NFL waters if he has a big season running the ball. That is three talented backs Les Miles may have to replace but Tiger fans should not worry because LSU is in excellent shape with some of the nation's top running backs.
At the top of the list is Louisiana's No. 1 rated back Charles Scott (6-0, 220, 4.5) of Jonesboro-Hodge. He is a superb back that has a nice blend of power, speed, moves and vision. As a junior he rushed for 1673 yards and 18 touchdowns on 213 carries to lead Jonesboro-Hodge's rushing attack.
Scott said he is up to 17 offers but he has four schools he has narrowed it down to.
Who is No. 1 on the list of Scout.com's 13th rated running back in the land?
"With LSU it's just incredible what they have," said Scott. "I love it. That's why they're No. 1 on my list."
Sources close to Tiger Rag and Scott say that he could pull the trigger and give Miles a pledge in July after he camps at LSU. However, if he wait's a little longer there is nothing to worry about because LSU is the big leader and will come out on top.
The state's No. 2 rated running back Richard Murphy (6-1,195, 4.5) of Rayville could also commit to the Tigers before the start of the 2005 season.
Murphy is still recovering from a torn ACL he suffered last season in the state playoffs. Before the injury he had amassed 2,147 yards and 24 touchdowns, which was good enough to take home first team all-state honors. According to the blue-chip back, he is about 90 percent recovered and will be full speed by the time August rolls around.
Who are the schools he is focusing on?
Murphy said he is keeping his options open but our sources tell us that LSU leads by a big margin.
When asked if it is going to be hard for Auburn, Florida or any other school to beat LSU for his signature Murphy gave a quick answer.
"Yes sir," he replied.
If the Tigers do take three running backs then the third will likely be Keiland Williams (6-1, 210, 4.5) of Hargrave Military Academy.
Williams was an all-state performer for Lafayette (La.) Northside last season but because he will turn 19 before his senior year gets under way he is ineligible to play in Louisiana.
He is in the same mold as Scott being that he runs with a lot of power but he also has the speed to take it the distance at any time.
A wildcard to keep an eye on Chris Brown (5-10, 185, 4.4) of Alexandria (La.). He is a true speedster but word has it that LSU is a little concerned about his size.
Needs: 2-3; Committed: 0
There may not be a huge need for immediate help at the wide out spot but there is room for two or three if the right players elect to come on board.
Perrish Cox (6-0, 170, 4.4) of Waco (Texas) University is listed as the fifth best cornerback in the country but many schools, LSU being one, like him on offense. As a junior, he hauled in 47 passes for 670 yards and 12 scores, and added nine interceptions at corner.
Cox said the LSU staff talks to him more about offense but that he will have the opportunity to play both ways. After catching a glimpse of him in action he looks fluid on both sides of the ball and is good enough to see some time both ways.
Cox told one of our Texas sources that LSU is his solid leader over Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Some sources close to the Tiger program feel that Cox could commit to LSU before the season gets under way.
Two Louisiana guys who have offers from the Tigers are also reportedly close to making a decision.
Dixon, a four-star prospect, is reportedly torn between LSU and Florida but the distance factor will play a big role in his decision.
What are the chances of LSU being the school he selects?
"Pretty good," he said. "They're at the top of my board and they always have been."
Mitchell has been tough to get in touch with but I finally caught him for a brief moment on his cell phone.
Mitchell would not give any indication on where he is leaning but it figures to come down to LSU and Ole Miss since Miami has not stepped up with an offer.
Needs: 1-2; Committed: 0
Tight ends played a key role in Oklahoma State's offense under Les Miles but it remains to be seen as to how he will utilize them now that he has a lot more talent at the skill positions than he is normally accustomed to.
Brandon Warren (6-2, 235, 4.7) of Alcoa (Tenn.) is rated No. 15 in the country at his position and he is a player Miles would love to bring in. He is very athletic and could even move over to the other side of the ball at defensive end if offense doesn't work out.
Last season, Warren logged 45 catches for over 1,000 yards and 16 scores.
Ocean Springs (Miss.) product Richard Dickson (6-4, 240, 4.7) is someone Miles and company have a decent shot at pulling out of the Magnolia State.
LSU tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator Josh Henson has done a good job recruiting Dickson and the relationship the two have built will definitely benefit the Tigers on this front.
Signing at least five and possibly even as many as seven offensive linemen is Les Miles' top priority in this class.
LSU already has two commitments and several more high-profile players speak very highly of the Tigers at this juncture in the game.
Juco lineman Anthony Boudreaux (6-5, 360, 5.3) of Dodge City (Kan.) Community College was the first commitment for 2006 and is considered one of the top linemen in the junior college ranks. He originally signed with the Tigers but had to head to Dodge City to get his academics in order. He said he is on pace to be a mid-term grad and plans on enrolling at LSU for the spring semester of 2006.
Klein (Texas) Klein Collins offensive guard Matt Allen (6-3, 278, 5.2) gave the LSU coaches a verbal commitment at junior day but lately Tiger fans have gotten a little antsy due to a recent unofficial trip to Oklahoma.
"I am committed to LSU and I consider that I am committed to LSU," Allen told Scout.com. "Right now that is where I want to go but I am keeping my options open to make sure that I am making the right decision."
I followed up with Allen after that and he said he is just as excited about being a Tiger now as he
was back in March. He reiterated that LSU has always been where he wanted to go.
With two already in the fold and possibly four or five more slots available in 2006 who are some of the top candidates to fill those slots?
A family member of Geralds told us that he wants to take some visits but that LSU will come out on top and if Graves leaves the Magnolia State then LSU sill more than likely be his destination.
New Iberia (La.) offensive tackle Zhamal Thomas (6-4, 335, 5.2) impressed the LSU staff at a camp in June and he said the coaches told him if he can get his grades in order he will get an offer.
Check back Sunday for the defensive outlook......