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Friday, January 11, 2013
LSU Mailbag: Time for a new OC?

By Gary Laney

BATON ROUGE -- GTN writer Gary Laney took your questions:

William (@TigernBham): Les is on the clock for finding a great offensive coordinator. Tigers have finished in the bottom 20 percent the last 3-4 years. The talent's too good for that!

Gary Laney: It's been a long time since LSU had a potent passing game in particular. It seemed like the passing game started coming together in the last third of the season, then it took a huge step back in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

LSU is still in the mix for Tim Williams.
Now the Tigers seem to be at a crossroads. They've had two straight years where, for various reasons, the offense couldn't get out of neutral for large chunks of a game.

In 2011, the perception from the program was it was inefficiency in the passing game that caused the Tigers to be inept for large chunks of not only the BCS National Championship game, but also large chunks of the Georgia game and the Arkansas game. LSU worked hard to improve the passing game, yet, at the end of the season, when one expects things to come together, the Tigers managed just nine first downs against Clemson.

That simply can't be acceptable, given the resources around the program, both in terms of player talent and the resources available to develop that talent, from facilities to coaching staff budget.

From Purple and Gold (@PurpleAndGold): Think it helps recruiting (Robert) Nkemdiche, that immediate playing time is pretty certain with all the departures?

GL: Not only do I think it helps, I think it's part of the recruiting strategy. It would be an exaggeration to say LSU is looking to show the guys the door after three years, but when you are looking to bring in players who think they are future pros, it helps to have annual proof that your program is indeed efficient at getting players to the NFL.

Does that win the day with Nkemdiche? It could, though I'm not banking on in. His mother likes Ole Miss and the idea of him playing with his older brother. Last time I looked, when mom isn't happy, nobody's happy. The key for LSU, one would think, is getting her to think of her son going to LSU as something that makes her happy.

Jonathan: LSU is doing well in state with Kendell Beckwith, Jeryl Brazil, Tre'Davious White and Josh Boutte, who to me are the four best players in the state. The next guy on the list, to me, would be Tim Williams. What's the deal with him?

GL: He will make an official visit to LSU which is good news ... for somebody. As the process has gone on, there have been times when it seems like one side or the other was lukewarm.

The bottom line is now Williams has an official visit scheduled and that shows, at this point, that there remains a level of interest from both sides. Lots of kids like the idea of going far from home for college. It gets much more difficult when it's time to make that decision.

Mark: Can LSU land two West Coast safeties in (Tahaan) Goodman and (Priest) Willis?

GL: I wouldn't say LSU is a leader for either, but is very much in the picture for both. It would say they are both more likely to end up at UCLA, closer to home. But the fact that Willis has taken a visit to LSU and liked it and Goodman has a trip to LSU on his agenda bode well for LSU's chances.