LSU Tigers: Tim Williams

When he was first hired, Les Miles said one of the key ingredients for success at LSU was to win the local recruiting battles. Through the years, Miles has done a masterful job of doing just that. But in the past few classes, some LSU fans have complained after watching highly-ranked prospects such as Landon Collins, Tim Williams, Cameron Robinson, Laurence Jones and Speedy Noil end up at Alabama or Texas A&M.

Never mind that the Tigers landed Leonard Fournette, the nation’s No. 1 player in 2014, and five of the top 10 Louisiana players in both 2013 and 2014. All fans wanted to focus on were the setbacks. They shouldn’t.

LSU and Miles continue to be the kings of The Pelican State and continued to prove it Wednesday with the additions of two local ESPN Junior 300 prospects. The Tigers added pledges from St. Francisville (La.) West Feliciana four-star receiver Jazz Ferguson and Mandeville (La.) Lakeshore four-star running back David Ducre.

Editor's note: This week, GeauxTigerNation and TideNation will examine all aspects of the LSU-Alabama rivalry during the Nick Saban-Les Miles era. Today's stories focus on the past and future of the schools' recruiting battles.

The LSU-Alabama rivalry extends well beyond the football field. Since Nick Saban took over the Tide, he and Tigers coach Les Miles have clashed in some epic recruiting battles. Through that, both coaches have learned that you can’t get everybody on your wish list, regardless of ties or proximity.

Here’s a list of five prospects who got away from Alabama and five who got away from LSU in what has become one of the nation's top recruiting rivalries.

Five who got away from Alabama:

WR Chris Tolliver, 2008 (Rayville, La./Rayville): It was a classic Tide-Tigers battle for Tolliver, the nation's No. 11 wide receiver. He took official visits to Alabama and LSU in consecutive weeks right before he made his decision. Although he chose to stay in state, the Tide were able to steal his teammate and fellow wide receiver Kenny Bell the following year.


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BATON ROUGE, La. -- While University Lab School has a solid athletic tradition and some good football history -- Louisiana Class 1A state champions in 1974 and 1988, and a smattering of college and pro players like Brad Banta and Brian Kinchen -- it isn't necessarily on the state's "A" list of football powers.

Schools like John Curtis and Evangel, which eliminated the Cubs from last year's Class 2A playoffs in the semifinals, have won more championships and perhaps have a longer list of past stars.

Few, however, can match the star power now going through the small, academically rigorous school located on LSU's campus.

A year after defensive end Tim Williams left "U-High," as locals call it, for Alabama as ESPN's top-rated player out of Louisiana, the Cubs produced Garrett Brumfield, the ESPN 150 defensive end who committed to LSU over the weekend.

The trend will continue in upcoming years. Nick Brossette, will be among the top running backs in the country in the 2015 class, and all eyes are on Class of 2017 super prospect Dylan Moses, who made national news when he was offered by LSU in the summer before his eighth-grade year. He subsequently has earned offers from Alabama and Florida. Moses has yet to play his first game at University's high school team, yet people have long been speculating where he'll play in college.

U-High, always the strong academic school with a competitive football program, is suddenly a hotbed.

(Read full post)

LSU commit Brumfield a quick study 

April, 25, 2013
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BATON ROUGE -- Meet the artist, Garrett Brumfield (Baton Rouge, La./University Laboratory School).

It's easy to find online, the video of LSU's latest football commitment using some spray paint and a handful of improvised tools to create what he calls his "space painting."

It's pretty impressive for a high school junior and makes one wonder, is he going to be the rare football-playing art major at LSU?

Not at all.


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Louisiana represented well on signing day 

February, 25, 2013
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- How deep is the football talent in Louisiana?

Consider this: Every football bowl subdivision (FBS) conference in the nation has had a least two Louisiana players sign letters of intent with its member schools for the 2013 recruiting cycle, according to the ESPN database of recruits.


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Mailbag: In defense of Zach Mettenberger 

January, 17, 2013
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We had such a great chat Tuesday that a bunch of questions remained unanswered when I ran out of time. I take some of them on here:

From Justin in St. Louis: When do you think people will finally realize that Zach Mettenberger is a good QB? In all the games I watched this season, when he was protected, he was on it. Also, when he's on, he's on. Example: Second half of the Alabama game.

Gary Laney: I also like Mettenberger Justin and will get called a homer by some for saying that. I do think there were issues with the passing game, but they were mostly systemic and sometimes resulted in Mettenberger's flaws sticking out more and made him sometimes take blame for things that weren't necessarily his fault.


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Big one gets away from LSU 

January, 14, 2013
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- It didn't take long in the recruiting process before it began to seem like LSU would not keep its most local target on campus.


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Bama leads for No. 5 DE after visit 

January, 14, 2013
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The University of Alabama was the first school to start showing interest in ESPN 150 defensive end Tim Williams (Baton Rouge, La./University Lab) back when he was a freshman. Now, three years later, the Crimson Tide hosted Williams on his first official visit over the weekend.


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Junior day gets LSU off to fast start 

January, 14, 2013
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU took a step forward in its recruiting process without adding a single player to its 2013 class over the weekend.

That's because LSU took a break from the 2013 grind by hosting its big, in-state junior day, "Boys in the Boot," a one-day gathering of the state's top 2014 prospect that serves as a primer to the recruiting process for the up-and-comers.

A couple of Tiger prospects brought the process to (perhaps) a conclusion by committing.


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'Boys from the Boot' have top 2014 players 

January, 11, 2013
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- Ask any long-time observer of Louisiana football and they'll tell you that the Class of 2014 will be a special one in the state.

Headlined by running back Leonard Fournette, offensive tackle Cameron Robinson and safety Laurence "Hootie" Jones, is expected to be a banner year for Louisiana, which is already a normally recruit-rich state.

LSU tries to get a jump start on its in-state recruiting every year with its "Boys from the Boot" event, an unofficial visit day for rising seniors that serves as a kickoff to the heart of the recruiting process for them.

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LSU Mailbag: Time for a new OC? 

January, 11, 2013
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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!


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LSU holds No. 8 spot in team rankings 

January, 10, 2013
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- When LSU got a commitment from athlete Kendell Beckwith at the Under Armor All-American game last week, it looked like the Tigers had secured the top player in Louisiana.

Think again.

The new ESPN 150/300 and team rankings came out, and while the Tigers remained at the same spot, No. 8, in the team rankings, the player rankings had some significant shuffling.

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Is the three-year cycle sustainable? 

January, 9, 2013
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- Around the nation, and to those who follow LSU from an arm's length, the news that trickled out from Nicholson Drive in the last week was alarming.

Vadal Alexander
Steve Franz/Getty ImagesVadal Alexander is one of five true freshmen that started for LSU this season, something that might become more commonplace.
The Tigers lost nine, count them, nine underclassmen to the NFL draft over the weekend, leaving the defense in a rebuilding mode and their deep stable of running backs an injury away from being dangerously thin.

It was called a mass exodus. Best we can tell, it set the record for the number of underclassmen leaving one school early for the NFL. Before they left, LSU figured to have 10 defensive starters back. After the early exits, it was down to four.

But understand this: It didn't shock those close to the program.


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Top DE Williams has news, but not that 

January, 8, 2013
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- Reports and rumors circulated Tuesday that ESPN 150 defensive end Tim Williams (Baton Rouge, La./University Lab) would make an announcement Friday on local radio regarding where he was going to school.

Turns out, Williams had news Tuesday, but not the news that was circulating.


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With trio of departures, LSU DL has holes 

January, 7, 2013
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- It looks like LSU will be starting over on the defensive line, as expected.

Sources told ESPN's Joe Schad that Tigers junior defensive linemen Sam Montgomery, Barkevious Mingo and Bennie Logan will all leave the Tigers a year early for the NFL draft. Their departures will increase LSU's growing list of defections to eight, but they are hardly the most surprising on the list.

All three have been projected as first-round picks since last spring, so the feeling for most of the 2012 season was that it would be the last for the trio of juniors. With senior Josh Downs holding down the fourth starting defensive line spot for most of the season at defensive tackle next to Logan, that means LSU will be looking to break in an entirely new starting defensive line next season.

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