Monday, August 19, 2013
The Early Offer: LSU fans need patience
By Jeremy Crabtree
The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's latest feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: reasons for LSU fans to be patient, Ohio State's start, and Sonny Dykes reloading.
Patience is a virtue for LSU
LSU fans have been waiting impatiently for history to be made, but slowly and surely the Tigers coaches have been putting together an in-state class that could give them the nation’s top recruiting class. With the best crop of high school talent in more than 20 years graduating this season from Louisiana, LSU fans knew if the right group of players committed, it would overtake Alabama as kings of the recruiting world.
But for some LSU fans, the commitments hadn’t been coming fast enough.
There are 18 Louisiana players in the 2014 ESPN 300, and 14 of them have offers from the Tigers. Of those, receiver Trey Quinn (Lake Charles, La./Barbe) became the sixth in-state ESPN 300 prospect to pledge to LSU . Quinn committed on Saturday, joining quarterback Brandon Harris (Bossier City, La./Parkway), offensive guard Garrett Brumfield (Baton Rouge, La./University), tight end Jacory Washington (Westlake, La./Westlake), linebacker Donnie Alexander (New Orleans/Karr) and wide receiver D.J. Chark (Alexandria, La./Alexandria).
The other eight remain uncommitted, and history still can be made. It is still possible -- some say likely -- for LSU to sweep the top 14 players ESPN 300 players it is targeting. If that were to happen, it would be awfully tough to keep LSU from No. 1 on signing day.
Quinn’s commitment made some of those eight uncommitted players take notice. His decision drew congratulations on Twitter from other key recruits on the Tigers’ list, such as five-star offensive tackle Cameron Robinson (West Monroe, La./West Monroe) and four-star receiver Malachi Dupre (River Ridge, La./John Curtis).
But the best players in the country often drag the process out as long as possible. So while the commitments might not have come as quickly as some LSU fans want, it’s hard to argue with the results Les Miles and Co. have produced so far.
Ohio State has speed to burn
Urban Meyer knows if the Buckeyes are going to compete for conference and national championships, his team is going to have to be faster than everybody else. There is no denying that Meyer has done a tremendous job of addressing that with the past two recruiting classes, including the most recent commitment from Curtis Samuel (Brooklyn, N.Y./Erasmus).
Samuel clocked a 4.36-second time in the 40-yard dash at The Opening and joins an impressive group of speedsters for Meyer. In the last two years, Meyer has landed Dontre Wilson (4.33 40-yard dash), Ezekiel Elliott (4.33), James Clark (4.38), Parris Campbell Jr. (4.41), Terry McLaurin (4.41), Jalin Marshall (4.42), Corey Smith (4.50) and Samuel for his offense.
Meyer loves to use speed to push fast forward in his offense and also likes to create mismatches with his skill players, lining them up in the slot to face slower linebackers. The Buckeyes are becoming the fastest team in the Big Ten, and Meyer knows speed rules.
Bears loading up on offensive talent
While Cal hasn’t garnered as many recruiting headlines as Pac-12 rivals Stanford, Arizona, USC and Washington, the Bears are quietly putting together a solid class.
That’s especially true on the offensive side of the ball. A commitment late last week from ESPN 300 athlete Devante Downs (Mountlake Terrace, Wash./Mountlake Terrace) gives the Bears two ESPN 300 players and 10 overall commitments. Of the 10 pledges, eight are projected to start out on offense in Sonny Dykes' high-octane offense and should give Cal a much-needed shot in the arm at skill positions like running back and receiver.
Dykes also isn’t afraid to play young players right away. Naming true freshman Jared Goff as Cal’s starting quarterback last week was well received by several high-impact Bear recruits, including coveted running back Joe Mixon (Oakley, Calif./Freedom).