Miles thinks LSU has the ingredients to win it all
Minutes after his team’s spring football game, LSU head coach Les Miles was asked by a reporter: “Is this 2014 recruiting class one that can lead you to a national championship?”
Miles didn’t hesitate.
“Is this a club that can win a championship?” asked Miles. “You realize how close we have been? Year after year. Go back to last year, it is really an interesting piece. Yeah, I really do. I think this class brings some key skills to a team to make a run.”
Miles went on to say that he likes his “core.” But, it is clear that there is ample opportunity at the skill positions.
St. Aug running back Leonard Fournette isn’t the only true freshman who is being counted on to make an impact. Miles mentioned running back Darrel Williams of John Ehret. Sophomore-to-be Travin Dural is the No. 1 receiver.
But, behind Dural there is immediate opportunity for Malachi Dupre of John Curtis and Trey Quinn of Barbe.
And, with a sterling performance in the spring game, true freshman quarterback Brandon Harris of Parkway High in Bossier City is pressuring incumbent Anthony Jennings. Harris was at times inaccurate. But his ability to scramble and throw the deep ball was intriguing.
The SEC, however, has not been kind to true freshman quarterbacks. Two of the SEC’s best, Alabama’s AJ McCarron and Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, were both redshirted as true freshman. Miles will still likely start the season with Anthony Jennings, who threw a pair of interceptions for touchdowns in the spring game.
“I didn’t come here to sit the bench,” said Jennings.
But, neither did Harris who clearly has a very high ceiling, one that he is not close to approaching.
The 2014 signing class could be LSU’s best in five years. The 2009 class included defensive tackle Michael Brockers, cornerback Morris Claiborne, defensive end Barkevious Mingo and wide receiver Rueben Randle.
The first three were all first-round NFL draft choices. Randle was a second-round pick. That class was part of back-to-back regular-season wins over Alabama and Florida.
In 2011, LSU turned in one of the great regular seasons in the history of college football.
Among 13 wins was an LSU rout of Oregon at Cowboys Stadium, a 26-point win at West Virginia, an overtime win over Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and a 32-point rout of Georgia in the SEC championship game.
Fast forward three years. Les Miles clearly likes what he sees.
“We have a nice core, and you add those guys, it could be exciting,” he said.