LSU had a very strong finish to the 2010 recruiting class. But while the Tigers finished with a class ranked between sixth and eighth nationally, they finished third in the SEC West and fourth in the SEC. So while it's a very strong class, it may not have improved LSU's position in the league. The SEC will see a lot of new stars in the fall and with the right opportunity, many of them will have an instant impact. Here's a brief look at some true freshmen who may have big impacts on the SEC next year:
RB Michael Dyer - Auburn: In my opinion, Dyer was the best running back prospect in the nation. Auburn went to Arkansas and stole him away from the Hogs. He's compact, powerful, and has great speed. With Ben Tate graduating and moving to the NFL, Dyer has a great opportunity to take over as Auburn's main back.
WR Da'Rick Rogers - Tennessee: The Vols stole Rogers, a Georgia native, away from Georgia a week before Signing Day. Rogers is the best receiver prospect in the entire nation. He's big, fast, athletic, has good hands and runs great routes. He does it all, and he could have a big-time impact as a freshman similar to what we saw from A.J. Green and Julio Jones in 2008.
RB Marcus Lattimore - South Carolina: The South Carolina native ultimately decided to stay home and play for the Gamecocks despite being heavily recruited by Auburn. The five star prospect has the opportunity to become the main ball carrier for the Cocks and could really help their offense, which now has a veteran quarterback (Garcia) and a big-time receiver (Jeffrey).
DT Sharrif Floyd - Florida: Floyd is as dominant a defensive tackle prospect as you will ever see. He'll have to pass up a lot of talented players at Florida to earn playing time but he's such a good prospect that he could make an impact once he sees the field.
QB Cameron Newton - Auburn: Newton was a five star prospect out of high school a few years ago when he signed with Florida. He ultimately landed at a Junior College and now has re-signed with Auburn. He's a big kid with a good arm who is fmailiar with a spread offense. He has a very good chance to win the starting job at Auburn in 2010.
Class Of 2011
It has now been over a week since Signing Day, so it's time to start looking at next year's group. In reality, I've been looking at next year's group since last summer and posted about it last month. The collection of talent in the state of Louisiana is the best it has been since 2001, and LSU is doing a great job with all of these players having already landed verbal commitments from seven of the state's top players. It's imperative that LSU take advantage of the in-state talent this year. If they do, they are sure to have one of the nation's top classes.
Even though Signing Day for the Class of 2011 isn't for another year, it's important to start following what is happening. LSU may not have room to sign a full class of 25 players, and seven players are already verbally committed. So LSU is already about 30% complete with next year's class. Additionally, Junior Days are coming up and we typically see a flurry of activity at these events.
Texas is hosting their first Junior Day this weekend and as usual, LSU has their eyes on a lot of prospects from the state of Texas. Texas doesn't publicly offer anyone until their first Junior Day, and they usually get a ton of commitments as a result. By next Tuesday, the Horns will probably have at least a dozen commitments. That will then clear things up for teams such as LSU as to what prospects in the state of Texas are willing to consider other schools. You can scan the list of prospects and note the large number of Texas players that LSU is recruiting.
LSU hosts their Junior Day the following weekend (Feb 19-21) and a number of big names will be attending. As we get closer to Junior Day, I'll try to track down a list of who is coming. LSU will be hoping to close some players next weekend too.
My idea for covering recruiting this year is to keep a running list of LSU Commitments and players that LSU is pursuing. When I've got enough information, I'll provide an evaluation for each player. I've started by doing the current LSU commitments but hope to add to this shortly with some of the other in-state guys on the Prospects List. This way, readers can check it out anytime. I'll frequently reference the list and link it to current articles. This is easier than re-creating the list for each new recruiting article. I'll also keep my Louisiana Recruiting rankings on their own page. It's also important to note that a ton of new names will pop up between now and the summer.