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Tuesday, January 29, 2013
History says LSU will have pros, busts

By Gary Laney

BATON ROUGE, La. -- As LSU puts the finishing touches on its 2013 recruiting class, one might ask what to expect from the incoming class.

One way to judge is through history.

Looking at the last three classes to complete their eligibility -- and the first three that existed in the RecruitingNation era (starting in 2006) -- one can see some noticeable patterns.

Patrick Peterson
Patrick Peterson is one of 18 players from the 2006-2008 classes who has moved on to the NFL.
Among the things you can learn from looking at the trends of the past:

1. An LSU recruit has a little better than a 50-50 chance at completing his career as a Tiger. Of the 77 players signed in those three classes, 37 (48 percent) did not finish their LSU careers in a good way, as they quit, were kicked off, got hurt or opted to transfer. The other 40 either played four years or left early for the NFL.

2. LSU players who stick around have a great chance at earning an NFL paycheck. Of the 40 players who completed their careers at LSU, 17 (42.5 percent) went on to become NFL draft picks or make teams as undrafted free agents. (That number figures in players expected to be drafted this season. Some seniors, notably Russell Shepard and Josh Downs, stand a chance of working their way into the draft.)

3. The majority of players in that stretch won at least one SEC championship and played for a national championship.

4. The trends favor the players. The 2009 class will likely include a double-digit number of NFL players. The 2010 class is already producing NFL talent with Eric Reid and Tharold Simon both departing for the NFL.

Here is how the 2006-2008 recruiting classes have done at the completion of their respective careers:

2006

Signed: 25

NFL draft picks (6): LB Kelvin Sheppard (3rd round, Bills, 2011), DT Al Woods (4th round, Saints, 2010), LB Perry Riley (4th round, Redskins, 2010), KR-WR Trindon Holliday (6th round, Texans, 2010), RB Charles Scott (6th round, Eagles, 2010), DE Lazarius Levingston (7th round, Seahawks, 2011).

NFL free agents (4): SS Danny McCray (Cowboys), LB Jacob Cutrera (Buccaneers), RB Richard Murphy (Jaguars), Keiland Williams (Redskins).

Finished at LSU (3): CB Jai Eugene, TE Richard Dickson,  WR Chris Mitchell.

Did not finish (12): WR Ricky Dixon (transferred to Texas Southern), DL Charles Deas (junior college), LB Troy Giddens (dismissed from team), LB Shomari Clemons (left team), LB Derrick Odom (dismissed from team), C Matt Allen (transferred to Texas A&M), G Zhamel Thomas (dismissed from team), OT Mark Snyder (injury), TE J.D. Lott (transferred to Samford), WR Jared Mitchell (decided to concentrate on baseball and became a first-round draft pick of the Chicago White Sox), DB Jason Teague (never qualified academically), OL Steven Singleton (left team).

2007

Signed: 28

NFL draft picks (5): S Chad Jones (3rd round, Giants, 2010), RB Stevan Ridley (3rd round, Patriots, 2011), DT Drake Nevis (3rd round, Colts, 2011), CB Ron Brooks (4th round, Bills, 2012), WR Demetrius Byrd (7th round, Chargers, 2009).

Finished at LSU (10): WR Terrence Toliver, QB Jarrett Lee, C T-Bob Hebert, OT Joe Barksdale, G Will Blackwell, S-LB Stefoin Francois, TE Mitch Joseph, LS Alex Russian, K Josh Jasper, OL Josh Dworaczyk

Did not finish at LSU (13): CB Phelon Jones (transferred to Alabama), WR DeAngelo Benton (did not qualify academically, then signed with Auburn), DT Sidell Corley (transferred to Troy), WR Toddrick Bajoie (did not qualify, attended junior college), TE Jordan Hammond (left team, injury), OT Ernest McCoy (transferred to Texas Southern), WR John Williams (left team, injury), K Andrew Crutchfield (left after being beaten out by walk-on Drew Alleman), DT Kentravious Aubrey (left team, injury), OT Jarvis Jones (dismissed from team), OL D'Montreal Wilson (did not qualify, attended junior college), DB Delvin Breaux (injured), TE Jordan Corbin (left team, injury).

2008

Signed: 24

NFL draft picks (2): CB Patrick Peterson (1st round, Cardinals, 2011), S Brandon Taylor (3rd round, Chargers, 2012).

Projected draft picks (1): DE Lavar Edwards.

Finished at LSU in 2012 (3): DE Chancey Aghayere, TE Chase Clement, C P.J. Lonergan.

Finished at LSU in 2011 (6): S-LB Karnell Hatcher, QB Jordan Jefferson, OT Greg Shaw, DB Derrick Bryant, TE Deangelo Peterson, LB Ryan Baker.

Did not finish at LSU (12): WR Chris Tolliver (injury), TE Tyler Edwards (academically ineligible in senior season), OL Matt Branch (left team, injuries), G-FB Thomas Parsons (left team, injury), WR Jhyryn Taylor (left team, injury), CB Ryan St. Julien (left team), LB Kyle Prater (transferred to Rice), OL Cordian Hagans (transferred to UL-Lafayette), OL Clay Spencer (injured), LB-FB Kellen Theriot (left team), WR Tim Molton (transferred to Louisiana Tech), OT Alex Hurst (left team in middle of senior season).

For comparison's sake, here's a look at the 2009 class, which still has a handful of players who will return to the Tigers next season:

2009

Signed: 25

NFL draft picks (3): CB Morris Claiborne (1st round, Cowboys, 2012), DT Michael Brockers (1st round, Rams, 2012), WR Rueben Randle (2nd round, Giants, 2012).

Projected draft picks (6): DE Barkevious Mingo (projected first-round pick, 2013), DE Sam Montgomery (projected first round, 2013), LB Kevin Minter (projected first round, 2013), DT Bennie Logan (projected early-round draft pick, 2013), OT Chris Faulk (projected draft pick, 2013), RB Michael Ford (projected draft pick, 2013).

Still has eligibility (4): S Craig Loston, LB Tahj Jones, LB Lamin Barrow, G Josh Williford.

Finished in 2012 (3): WR-RB Russell Shepard, DT Josh Downs, S Rockey Duplessis.

Finished in 2010 (1): K Derek Helton (two-year junior college transfer).

Did not finish at LSU (8): Chris Davenport (transferred to Tulane), OL Stavion Lowe (left team), DB Drayton Calhoun (transferred to Middle Tennessee), G Carneal Ainsworth (left team), QB Chris Garrett (transferred to Northwestern State), RB Dominique Allen (dismissed from team), LB Josh Johns (left team), DT Akiem Hicks (ineligible to join team after NCAA violation).

Note: Several undrafted players worked in NFL training camps. Only undrafted players who stuck in the NFL were included in the list of NFL free agents.