The wait is on

LSU and college foootball programs around the country now play the waiting game. National signing day marks the first opportunity for recruits to send in their signed national letters of intent, and the Tigers are expecting a banner class for 2003.

Tiger Rag will be tracking the names as they are announced at the Bayou Bash Recruiting Party, being held at the Sheraton Convention Center Atrium in Baton Rouge. Look for updates on the Hot News portion of the home page.

In addition, the list of commitments on the right hand side of the page will be amended to show "LOI" once a letter of intent is received from a recruit.

Heading into Wednesday, LSU had secured 24 verbal commitments for its 2003 signing class and were waiting on a few more athletes to finalize their decision. Word - or written word to be more accurate - is expected today from those remaining recruits.

The prize catch of the class for LSU would be quarterback JaMarcus Russell of Mobile, Ala., who is scheduled to make his announcement tonight on the Fox Sports Network. Breaking the news will be Jamie Newberg, the top national recruiting analyst of network and a frequent contributor to

Russell has narrowed his choices down to LSU and Florida State, and there could be a ripple effect if he chooses the Tigers. Robert Lane, the star quarterback from Monroe-Neville who has committed verbally to the Tigers, has said he will not sign with LSU if Russell decides to come to Baton Rouge. Lane, who is expected to be a high pick in baseball's amateur draft next summer, visited Ole Miss last weekend.

LSU also has a commitment from quarterback Matt Flynn of Tyler, Texas, and currently has five QBs on scholarship who were part of the team in 2002.

Other recruits considering LSU who have yet to announce their intentions are defensive tackle Carnell Stewart of John Curtis, wide receiver Dwayne Bowe of Miami and defensive end Kirston Pittman of East St. John.

Stewart has narrowed his choices down to the Tigers and Southern California, who received a commitment yesterday from his teammate Ryan Watson.

Bowe is down to LSU and hometown University of Miami, while Pittman is supposedly down to Texas ans Miami. Unverified Internet reports yesterday indicated LSU was still very much in the picture for Pittman.

Linebacker Ali Highsmith of Miami is also torn between LSU and Miami, but the Tigers may not have enough scholarships to bring Highsmith aboard if some of the players above sign with LSU. Netwok is tracking letters of intent from around the country today. To keep track of the top names in national recruiting, you can click on the links below that break down the nation by region.

ACC / SEC / Southeast

Big East / Northeast

Big Ten / Midwest

Texas / Southwest


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