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Friday, February 22, 2013
Mailbag: LSU 2014 class might be special

By Gary Laney

BATON ROUGE, La. -- GeauxTigerNation writer Gary Laney took your questions:

From: Michael (Baton Rouge): Do you sense discontent in Coach (Greg Studrawa) and Coach (Steve Kragthorpe) getting demoted after the hiring of Cam Cameron as offensive coordinator? Do you see them moving to another job next year?

Gary Laney: First, a little background is in order for those who don't know. Studrawa was LSU's offensive coordinator and Kragthorpe the quarterback coach before the hiring of Cameron as offensive coordinator a week ago. Studrawa was moved back to just offensive line coach and Kragthorpe will take a non-coaching administrative position.

Tony Brown
Landing CB Tony Brown would be key in making LSU's 2014 class special.
I'd be surprised if Studrawa is around much longer if he's not content with the move. Rumors of the move to Cameron dated back to December. So it's not like Studrawa would have started looking for openings last week. As far as Kragthorpe, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, there's the issue of his health that I'll pass on speculating about.

For Studrawa, I think the issue with him might be where he sees his niche in coaching. If he wants to grow into being a coordinator again and perhaps even a head coach, perhaps he will look.

But I've known many a good coach who found their specialty in a certain assistant's role and chose to take that role as high as it could get them in their career as opposed to leveraging it to a coordinator's job or a head coaching job. In other words, your ambition might be to be an offensive line coach in the NFL as opposed to being a college offensive coordinator.

If Studrawa sees himself as a pure O-line coach, maybe the focus on the position can actually be beneficial to him.

From Bill (Ohio): Have you seen much of (Leonard) Fournette and if so, who does he remind you of?

GL: I have seen Fournette a couple of times and, of course, plenty on film and YouTube. I can't think of another Louisiana back quite like him. I've heard some compare him to Eddie George, which might not be a bad place to start. Both are tall and, like George, Fournette has that smooth, sort of effortless gait when he runs with the ball.

I saw Fournette's St. Augustine team live against St. Thomas More in the Louisiana Class 4A playoffs this season and let me tell you, it was one of the more impressive performances I've seen by a Louisiana running back (340 yards, 31 carries against a quality opponent) and I've seen Kevin Faulk, Cecil Collins, Justin Vincent and a lot of good ones.

As for Louisiana running backs, I'd compare him most to Collins. Like Ron Brocato of the New Orleans Clarion Herald told me, he's like Collins, only he won't get in trouble. Fournette is a good, focused kid.

William (Houston): What are your early predictions for LSU's 2014 signing class?

GL: This is shaping up to be a year where I think LSU can make a serious run at a No. 1 class.

Fournette can easily be the nation's No. 1 running back and Cameron Robinson (West Monroe, La.) is a strong candidate to be the nation's top offensive line prospect. Those two are in state while Tony Brown, a strong candidate to be the nation's top-rated cornerback, is right outside the state line in Beaumont, Texas (Ozen High School). Right now, I hear LSU's in good shape with Fournette and Brown.

I think either could be a pied piper for LSU's class, much the way Robert Nkdemdiche seemed to help Ole Miss build recruiting momentum this year.

If LSU can get spring commitments from, say, Brown and Fournette, then I think the dominoes would fall LSU's way. Robinson doesn't seem as solid towards LSU, but what would he think if Fournette and Brown are committed?

Personally, I think LSU will get a couple of huge names to commit in the spring and it leads to a special class in Baton Rouge.