GTN Mailbag: In-state recruiting


You have questions, we have answers. Gary Laney will handle your questions today, as David Helman recharges his batteries before the LSU football camps (July 14-21) and, of course, the start of August camp. Send questions for future mailbags to glaneyespn@gmail.com or helmanespn@gmail.com.

Question (actually a comment from Dan in New Orleans): Frank Wilson talked the other day about LSU getting the best players from around the country. I hope he doesn't forget how good the players are in Louisiana.

Gary Laney: I think it's safe to say that's not the case. LSU has already picked up 11 Louisiana commitments out of 19 total and ESPN 150 players like Tim Williams, the defensive end from Baton Rouge, La./University and Kendell Beckwith of Jackson, La./East Feliciana are still out there.

By signing day, I'd expect LSU to have a solid 13-14 in-state players.

Many of these guys will be players who may have been national unknowns, but have come on this summer. LSU's shown great interest for a long time in DeSean Smith of Lake Charles, La./Barbe, whose star rose with a solid showing at the recent IMG Madden 7-on-7 championships. LSU also received a commitment from Tevin Lawson (Denham Spring, La.) before he ascended into the ESPN 150.

The point: The evidence is clear that LSU is still putting in the due diligence necessary to show that evaluating and recruiting Louisiana talent is a priority. Wilson, LSU's recruiting coordinator, is a former Louisiana high school head coach head coach. Even though LSU's name will allow it to expand its recruiting base, it's doubtful that, under Les Miles, it'll ever forget that the foundation for its success is a home state that produces a ton of good football players.

Q (Bill in Baton Rouge): I keep hearing that Zach Mettenberger can't run, but I saw him go for a long run against Ole Miss. How good of an athlete is he?

GL: As discussed in our spring Top 20 preview, Mettenberger isn't the runner Jordan Jefferson was.

But I wouldn't go so far as to say he can't move. Ole Miss found out the hard way when he kept for 25 yards on a bootleg run last season. He showed a little speed on that play.

But the point remains valid that you can't expect LSU to use the quarterback in the run game the way you've seen it used with Jordan Jefferson, Andrew Hatch and Ryan Perrilloux in recent seasons. Unless the Tigers put Russell Shepard in the wildcat formation this season, I would doubt you see much quarterback involvement in the run game.

Q: What's your favorite Tiger Stadium moment?

GL: The "Earthquake Game" in 1988 when Eddie Fuller caught the touchdown pass from Tommy Hodson to beat Auburn, 7-6.

This was one of my first trips to Tiger Stadium. My date that night was the daughter of a former LSU player and LSU beat the No. 4 team in the nation on a late touchdown pass that resulted in a crowd reaction so loud, it registered on a seismograph at LSU's geology department.

The downside? Seeing that game so early in my LSU watching life sort of ruined future big moments. It's kind of hard to top that.