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Recruiting roundtable: Catch a top WR?

10/24/2012

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Three questions to ponder for LSU recruiting with LSU in a bye week. Our Gary Laney and David Helman give you their answers:

1. Ricky Seals-Jones took in the LSU-Texas A&M game and he'll be at the Alabama-LSU game. With the exposure he's giving the Tigers' program in this stretch, what should LSU sell him on?

Gary Laney: That LSU needs him. In the Texas A&M game, he had a chance to see firsthand the receivers' struggles in getting open. If I'm LSU, I'm selling him on the notion that he could be the one who makes the wheels start spinning in the passing game. He'll draw the double teams, which creates openings for everybody else. He won't have to wait around to take a primary role in the passing game.

David Helman: It has to be a pretty solid pitch, that's for sure. Seals-Jones just saw firsthand the pass-happy numbers the Aggies like to put up, as Johnny Manziel nearly reached 300 yards on one of the nation's best defenses. LSU needs to be sure to point out that it is attempting to pass -- Zach Mettenberger fired downfield plenty of times last weekend, he just couldn't connect. A 6-foot-5 force of a receiver could be the difference in opening things up.

2. Gene Chizik's on the hottest of the hot seats right now. Does LSU stand to benefit?

GL: Two guys jump out at me. Reuben Foster, the linebacker who flipped to Auburn from Alabama, has already been in Death Valley this fall for the South Carolina game. It's always a good thing when you get top prospects into your stadium.

Also, I'm sure LSU would love to be able to fill a need at defensive tackle with a prospect the caliber of Dee Liner. But LSU hasn't been a big player in his recruitment, and with Liner having had off-the-field issues -- he was suspended from his high school team and arrested for an off-the-field incident -- I'm not so sure LSU would be interested.

DH: Does LSU stand to benefit right now, with this particular class? I'm not so sure. None of Auburn's 17 commits come from the Tigers' typical geographic footprint, and LSU hasn't been a big player for many of them anyway. Foster was here for the South Carolina game, but I'd need to see more than that to suspect a switch.

LSU does stand to benefit from Auburn's drop-off, however. The other Tigers have been trying hard to make an impact in Louisiana recruiting under Chizik, and it's worked in some instances. High-profile Louisiana players such as 2010 ESPN 150 athlete Trovon Reed and 2011 offensive guard Greg Robinson have committed to Auburn in recent years, and Auburn also swooped in on 2012 LSU offensive tackle commit Patrick Miller when the Tigers couldn't find room for him in Baton Rouge.

The more Auburn struggles, the less likely it is LSU will have to deal with the prospect of losing recruits in that direction.

3. Given the way the season's gone so far, is defensive line still LSU's biggest recruiting need?

GL: I think it's arguable now.

In terms of pure numbers, LSU still needs pass-rushers. But they might need an impact wide receiver more. Junior college wide receiver Quantavius Leslie might be that guy, but with LSU struggling in the passing game, there might be urgency in getting another young talent who can make an impact in the passing game.

DH: Worrying about the receiving corps feels like a knee-jerk reaction to me. It would be such a huge coup for LSU to land a talent like Seals-Jones -- from outside the state, no less. But LSU still has talented receivers on the roster, and there are other talents like Leslie and ESPN 300 athlete John Diarse coming in to bolster the depth.

LSU is most likely going to lose Sam Montgomery, Barkevious Mingo and Bennie Logan to the draft. The Tigers are guaranteed to lose senior depth in Lavar Edwards, Josh Downs and Chancey Aghayere. They need bodies on the defensive front.