LSU Football: A tough 2020 season didn’t impact Tigers’ strongest recruiting pitch

Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /

LSU football‘s 2020 season didn’t go quite like I thought it would.

In August, when the new SEC schedule was released, I made my game-by-game predictions for the Tigers.

I had LSU going 8-2 with losses to Auburn and Florida (yes I had the Tigers beating Alabama).

Boy was I wrong. LSU ended up going 5-5 (oddly enough, though, they actually beat the Gators).

In retrospect, I was foolish to expect the Tigers to experience only a slight dropoff in play from 2019 to 2020 after losing 14 players to the NFL draft.

Losing all those players was way too much for the Tigers to overcome — especially in a strange COVID year that provided a lot of unique challenges.

But despite the tough 2020 season, recruiting is still strong for LSU.

LSU football’s best recruiting tool is still effective after a tough season

LSU put together a top-five recruiting class in the 2021 cycle and they currently have the No. 3 2022 class in the country.

I think a question being asked by a lot of programs right now is why aren’t the Tigers struggling in recruiting after a lackluster 2020 season?

The answer is because LSU’s strongest recruiting tool hasn’t gone anywhere.

LSU puts players in the NFL. This is the Tigers’ reputation on the recruiting trail — go to LSU and you have a really good chance of playing at the professional level.

It’s something that nearly every recruit mentions when they’re asked about their interest in LSU.

Four-star wide receiver Omari Kelly, an Alabama native, recently spoke to Rivals about his recruitment. He noted his interest in LSU and mentioned the NFL as one of the main reasons he has the Tigers on his shortlist.

“LSU has a great winning history and they get players to the NFL,” said Kelly (via Rivals).

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This is a recruiting pitch that never goes out of style. Players love winning and championships, but ultimately it’s all about the NFL for top recruits. And they know if they go to LSU, they have a great chance of making it to the NFL.

That’s hard to recruit against.