August 9, 2001

Can't keep the Tigers down

It might be a down year compared to the past in the state of Louisiana, but that isn't going to keep LSU and coach Nick Saban out of the top 10 of the recruiting polls.

The Tigers have roared out of the gate early in the recruiting process, snagging eight very solid commitments, including Justin Vincent, a member of the Rivals100 team.

"It's all about getting the guys to jump on the bandwagon," said Denham Springs (La.) Amite quarterback Lester Ricard Jr., who committed to the Tigers a few weeks back.

"If we can keep the top players at home, then we know that we're going to have a great class and be playing for SEC titles and national championships in the future."

He's right.

The tools are there.

But the Tigers must continue to be winners in two key areas.

They must continue to keep the good in-state talent at home. LSU lost out to Shaw cornerback Sammy Joseph to Colorado, but with big-name blue-chippers still out there like receiver Aikeem Jolla and tight end John Doucette.

If they can convince them and other Bayou gems to continue to stay at home, LSU should continue to still do quite well.

But there is another piece of the puzzle - Texas.

Last season the Tigers did an amazing job in the Lone Star State, often taking away players that Texas, A&M and Oklahoma coveted.

Now they must do that again this year.

And the list of players that list LSU in Texas is almost endless. And it's not the scrubs that like the Tigers. It's the pure blue-chippers like defensive tackle Larry Dibbles, linebacker Archie McDaniel, running back Selvin Young, defensive end Hosea Atkinson and the many others that have LSU on their list.

So if Saban can close, expect the Tigers to be near the top of the national rankings once again.



 

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