After a devastating loss in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in December, LSU looked to the early months of 2013 to begin the reloading process, as National Signing Day and the start of the 2014 recruiting process gave the Tigers a chance to rebuild through recruiting.
The Tigers lost a plethora of names to the 2013 NFL Draft, including first-round picks Barkevious Mingo and Eric Reid, so the need to find the next wave of talent was a must for the Tigers.
When 2013 Signing Day officially came to a close Feb. 6, LSU had added 27 players to the program.
“I like the blend of size and strength and speed,” said LSU coach Les Miles at a press conference on Signing Day. “It’s a highly ranked class that has character and integrity. If I had to predict, this is as strong a class as we’ve signed, and it’s the style of class that will put us in a great position moving forward.”
Possibly the greatest haul of all came in the form of Tashawn Bower, a defensive end recruit who was a former Auburn commit. Bower was the second-to-last signee for the Tigers, but he was the one to draw the most excitement as the day came to an end.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if [Bower] plays in every game and at some point in time, should he continue to improve, he might start,” Miles said. “That kind of defensive end is exactly what we needed. He was a tremendous get for us, and it was a need that this team had to have.”
In total, the Tigers added 12 signees from Louisiana and 15 from out-of-state. LSU had the No. 6 recruiting class in the nation in 2013 according to Rivals.com.
“The depth of this recruiting class is very strong,” Miles said. “I don’t think there’s much of a difference between the highest-ranked guy and the lowest-ranked guy. They are all very similar and competitive.”
With the close of the 2013 recruiting class, the beginning stages of the 2014 haul began to take shape.
LSU has already begun adding names to the list of next year’s signees, as the Tigers have received commitments from 10 recruits as of May 3.
Of the players expecting to join the program in two years, the most notable are defensive back prospects Edward Paris and Chris Hardeman, offensive lineman William Clapp and receiver Jacory Washington.
Several names from this group, including Washington, will look to work on multiple positions during their senior seasons in high school. Washington played wide receiver for Westlake High School in the past, but the Tigers are looking for him to bulk up and become a future tight end.
“The players [in the Southeastern Conference] are bigger, they’re faster and they’re stronger,” said Shawn Demeritt, Washington’s coach at Westlake. “There’s a learning curve for every kid. That’s just part of it. There’s going to be a little different curve for him because he’s traditionally played wideout, and he’s going to have to learn to block defensive ends like Florida and Alabama have.”