Newfound stability gives LSU a boost on the recruiting scene


The LSU football coaching staff has finally found stability heading into the final stretch before National Signing Day.

For a few weeks in November, Les Miles’ days as the LSU football coach seemed to be numbered. Miles eventually held on to his job, with the decision reportedly being made at some point during the Tigers’ season finale, and finished the season with a 56-27 Texas Bowl victory.

Most importantly, stability was found within the coaching staff as a whole, something that will be a significant factor in LSU’s pursuit of the top-ranked recruiting class of 2016.

While former LSU quarterback commit Feleipe Franks said the questions surrounding Miles didn’t factor into his de-commitment, there was doubt surrounding the Tigers’ future. Everything seemed to be falling apart after three straight losses. For a team was once believed to be a national title contender in 2015, 2016 and beyond appeared to be a mystery.

Defensive line coach Ed Orgeron was rumored to be a candidate for multiple head coaching and defensive coordinator vacancies around the country, but he announced that he was sticking around.

Just a day after LSU’s bowl game, defensive coordinator Kevin Steele left to take the same position at Auburn. It did not take long to find a replacement, as ex-Wisconsin defensive coordinator Dave Aranda was hired on New Year’s Day.

With all the questions surrounding a change of offensive philosophy in Baton Rouge, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron’s name surfaced as a possible face to the problem. Now, Miles and athletic director Joe Alleva have said that talks have begun regarding a contract extension for Cameron.

Oddly enough, the Tigers have found stability with their coaching staff just in time for next month’s National Signing Day. LSU’s 2016 recruiting class claimed the top spot in the country after the commitment of four-star wide receiver Drake Davis and four-star linebacker Michael Divinity. The Tigers improved their stronghold of the No. 1 recruiting class on Friday, when four-star running back Devin White picked LSU over Alabama, Arkansas and Ole Miss.

The key for a staff with the No. 1 recruiting class that, to this point, has 20 recruits, is to ensure that all 20 officially sign with LSU on February 3rd. Such a highly-ranked class would do wonders for the program, which needs to win immediately and make its way back into the College Football Playoff discussion in 2016.

The current roster features some position groups that don’t need much fixing.

One of those areas is the secondary, although there are current commits that could provide valuable depth for the future. Saivion Smith — the No. 2 cornerback in the country and LSU’s only five-star commit for 2016, as well as four-star prospects Andraez Williams, Eric Monroe and Cameron Lewis could help the Tigers both in the present and for years to come.

On the offensive side of the ball, White will serve as help for an already-strong backfield. Wide receiver will likely be the biggest offensive haul from this class, as a trio of four-star prospects in Davis, Stephen Sullivan and Dee Anderson will add depth to a strong receiver corps.

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The biggest task at hand for the coaching staff is to fill out the defensive line, linebacking corps and find a quarterback to replace Franks, who flipped his commitment to Florida just six days after de-committing from LSU.

That’s where the recently re-established stability of the coaching staff can benefit the Tigers.

Orgeron is highly-regarded for his work with defensive linemen, so the addition of more talent to help the likes of rising sophomore Arden Key would be welcomed for a defense that is at its best when getting pressure on the quarterback. Divinity and Erick Fowler, a pair of four-star linebacker prospects, are currently committed to playing their home games in Tiger Stadium next year. This would be huge for a linebacker corps set to be led by Aranda, who coached some of the Big Ten’s top linebackers during his time at Wisconsin.

The perennial offensive issues need to be solved quickly. Without Franks, the 2016 class went from possessing a potential savior under center to not including a single quarterback. With the jury still out on junior quarterback Brandon Harris, LSU needs to find an answer, especially if Cameron is set to get a contract extension.

Cameron’s specialty is said to be at the quarterback position, so whether or not he can help bring in a signal-caller by recruiting or help the development of Harris, the newfound stability on offense should help the Tigers in 2016 and beyond.

One player that Cameron, as well as some LSU commits, are targeting is Dwayne Haskins, a Maryland commit with connections to the Tigers. According to 247sports, Haskins is the No. 3 pro-style quarterback in the class of 2016 — two spots higher than Franks in the rankings.

Related Story: LSU commits putting full-court press on Dwayne Haskins

The coaching staff is in place and the talent is there, but LSU is still a month away from getting a better look at their future.