As LSU enjoys recruiting rebound, slippery slope approaches

It’s been a great week for LSU football recruiting. With each passing day, it seemed as though another recruit was signing up to be a future Tiger. (Figuratively, not literally.)

It was topped off by the news that five-star wide receiver Jalen Brown had let the world know he wanted to play in Baton Rouge.

A few weeks ago, LSU stood at No. 37 in the always-exact recruiting rankings; after the slew of Instagram announcements – hey, at least they aren’t playing the shell game with caps anymore – the Tigers moved up to No. 8.

Or No. 9.

Or is it No. 10? Depends on who’s doing the rankings.

If nobody was worried about the Tigers’ recruiting ranking because “it’s only July,” then doesn’t it stand to reason that they shouldn’t be excited because “it’s only July?”

If the Jalen Brown news has you thinking about him catching touchdown passes, then are you just as excited about Alex Adams doing the same?


That’s another wide receiver who LSU landed a few years ago. He caught all of two passes and is now waiting for his turn at Akron. Yes, the Zips.

Brown may work out just fine for the Tigers. Or maybe he won’t. Look at any recruiting class and you’ll find that about a third of them are total non-factors. But there is no doubt that the process has been sped up considerably, which means it’s become even dicier to project.

Coaches love to tell you that recruiting is “the lifeblood of a football program,” but the true lesson for everybody else is that it is the ultimate in things that you can take as seriously as you want or pay no attention to at all.

The more you follow it, the easier it is to keep following it. Or you can just ignore it and you won’t miss it one bit.

It might interest you to know that of the three most highly sought-after national recruits from a year ago, exactly zero of them had the school they eventually ended up at as one of the those they had narrowed it down to last summer. Can you say N-I-L?

That is sure to evolve into something we may not recognize in a few years, which is what the whole sped-up college recruiting concept has done.

Look at what has happened already. For years, signing day was held on the first Wednesday in February. It was cemented on that day like Christmas or the Fourth of July.

Then came early signing day on December, which everyone thought would bring in a trickle of activity. Instead, it brought a tidal wave. By the time February comes along, many of those who used to be making decisions were already in a college classroom.

Here’s where things can get tricky. If all of these future college athletes are making announcements in the summer, then how long until the early signing gets pushed into July?

Longshot? Perhaps. But think about the effect it would have on high school football. Because if they have already signed up for college, what incentive would they have to actually play their senior seasons?

If you think college players skipping out of bowl games to get ready for the NFL Draft is a problem, then sit back and watch this.

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