LSU edges Florida, USC for top spot in final top 25
Updated: February 12, 2003, 4:13 PM ETBy by Tom Lemming, ESPN.com football recruiting analyst | ESPN.com football recruiting analyst
The top three classes in 2003 are tough to separate. LSU, Florida and USC are way ahead of the pack. The Trojans led the way most of the recruiting season and signed WR Whitney Lewis on Wednesday, but Florida and LSU did more at the finish to drop USC into third. Florida finished strong, getting WR Andre Caldwell and RB Joe Cohen. The Tigers' late additions came on both sides of the ball with QB Jamarcus Russell and DLs Kirston Pittman and Carnell Stewart. The top 10 players on all three teams are almost equal, but in the end LSU just has more depth than Florida and USC. Tennessee, Notre Dame, South Carolina and Florida State all closed with a flurry on Wednesday and made the biggest moves in the rankings. The only big-name prospect left on the board after Signing Day was Illinois DL Moe Dampeer, who signed with Oklahoma on Feb. 7. Big Moe allowed the Sooners to jump Miami and end up No. 5 in my final rankings.