Signing day brings new players and new hopes
The Super Bowl of college football was played Jan. 11, but it was won in more than one way on the first Wednesday in February.
National signing day approaches, and for both LSU, and Tulane, the results are telling.
The 2012 LSU signing class included offensive lineman Vadal Alexander, wide receiver Travin Dural, running back Jeremy Hill and linebacker Deion Jones.
Hill was a second-round pick of the Bengals in 2014. Although Hill played only two seasons at LSU, he left school in fourth place in career 100-yard rushing games with 11.
Les Miles’ 2012 class was solid. But, Alabama’s 2012 class was stellar.
Wide receiver Amari Cooper won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top receiver in 2014. Cooper was the fourth pick overall in the 2015 draft by the Oakland Raiders. Safety Landon Collins of Dutchtown High was the first pick of the second round to the New York Giants. Running back T.J. Yeldon was a second-round pick of Jacksonville. And, linebacker Reggie Ragland is expected to be a first-round pick this April.
Alabama’s 2013 signing class included a Heisman Trophy winner, running back Derrick Henry. Defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson is expected to be a first-round pick. And, in the 2013 class, Alabama literally signed a player off the LSU campus. University Lab's Tim Williams registered 12.5 quarterback sacks for the 2015 national champions.
Many of LSU’s 2013 class, including cornerback Tre’Davious White, center Ethan Pocic and defensive end Lewis Neal, will return to give LSU its deepest senior class in years.
LSU’s 2009 class was the backbone of the 2011 team that was SEC champion and unbeaten in the regular season.
That class included first-round picks Michael Brockers, Morris Claiborne and Keke Mingo.
Curtis Johnson’s first recruiting class at Tulane was 2012. It included three who would form the nucleus of an outstanding secondary: Jordan Batiste, Lorenzo Doss and Darion Monroe.
Johnson followed with a 2013 class that included a pair of 2015 first team American Athletic Conference selections: linebacker Nico Marley and defensive tackle Tanzel Smart. Also part of the 2013 class was cornerback Parry Nickerson and quarterbacks Tanner Lee and Nick Montana.
But Tulane was not as suc- cessful in signing quality on the offensive line. Montana and Lee both paid a physical price. Johnson’s 2014 class included wide receiver Teddy Veal, who has transferred.
But, overall, that class of 24 has yet to make an impact.
So, next Wednesday, the cycle repeats itself. Players will say they went to this school because they can play immediately. Head coaches will say they lled a bunch of needs. For that day, they are correct.
But, years later, because of injuries, coaching changes, and other variables, the final outcomes are often different than the celebration of the day.