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Friday, November 16, 2012
GeauxTigerNation mailbag: Nov. 16

By David Helman

From Daniel in Monroe:  You mentioned LSU's passing attack the past few weeks has opened the door for recruiting. Do you think the Tigers wind up snagging Ricky Seals-Jones because of that?

It's undeniably good for LSU that Zach Mettenberger has proven the Tigers' ability to pass the ball the past two weeks. Big-time receivers are much more likely to feel comfortable with LSU if they know they're going to get the ball -- current commits like Chuck Baker, John Diarse and Quantavius Leslie have to feel good about that. But Seals-Jones, the No. 1 athlete in this class, is a tough sell in that he lives right outside College Station, Texas, also known as the home of Johnny Manziel. I think the combination of the Aggies' explosive offense with the home state appeal keeps Seals-Jones in Texas, which would be a boon for Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin. Of course, crazier things have happened and you have to assume LSU is going to keep the pressure on the 6-foot-5 prospect to come to Baton Rouge and be an immediate presence.

From Todd in New Orleans: Let's assume LSU wins its last two games of the season. Do you see the Tigers playing in a BCS bowl game?

Assuming the Tigers win out, it looks like their BCS hopes hinge on the Florida Gators. Obviously, Florida already beat LSU on the field back in October. More importantly, a 11-1 finish for Florida would likely shoot the Gators into the top four of the BCS -- because either Alabama or Georgia is guaranteed to lose if the two meet in the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 1. If Florida finished in the top four, they are an automatic BCS selection. With that in mind, LSU fans would do well to root for a Florida State win when the pair meet during Thanksgiving weekend. If the Gators suffer a second loss, the playing field evens out, and the Tigers suddenly become an attractive pick for the BCS. Of course, they'll be competing with the SEC Championship runner-up, as well as Manziel and Texas A&M. But as of right now, LSU holds as good a chance as anyone of reaching the BCS -- provided the Tigers take care of business.

From Shelley in Houston: Assuming LSU loses the likes of Sam Montgomery, Barkevious Mingo and Eric Reid on defense, what do you expect that side of the ball to look like in 2013?

Well, we know regardless of how early entry shakes out that talents like defensive tackles Anthony Johnson and Ego Ferguson are bound to return. That's crucial for the pass rush. Conventional wisdom in August said that cornerback Tharold Simon was bound for the draft. That's still possible, but Simons isn't having the Thorpe Award season many projected. If Simon stays, it could be huge for a secondary that is likely to return a senior leader in Craig Loston, as well as underclassmen like Ronald Martin and Micah Eugene. LSU coach Les Miles would love to retain pace-setter linebacker Kevin Minter, but that's probably up to the NFL draft advisory board. Luckily, the Tigers return plenty of young talent as well as rising star Lamin Barrow. Danielle Hunter was a freshman defensive end who turned heads in fall camp, and I'd imagine he'll be a favorite to fill the shoes of either Montgomery or Mingo, in addition to the talented freshmen LSU has signed -- such as ESPN 300 member Frank Herron. Safety Corey Thompson was a major coup for the coaching staff during last year's recruiting cycle. Should Reid leave, the soon-to-be sophomore would be likely to get a look behind Loston and Martin.