February 05, 2004
LSU sign nations top football recruiting classes
year, championship seasons really did bring teams the
countrys most talented recruits.
College footballs recruiting race finished up exactly
like the season did with Southern California and
LSU on top and everybody else chasing them.
Only this time, theres no disputing Southern Cal
is No. 1, according to five top recruiting services.
LSU was a strong second on national signing day, landing
every top player it sought in its own state while adding
to its already deep wide receiver corps.
Miami also made a strong rush Wednesday, but it was Southern
Cals off-the-charts class that was the buzz of the
college football world.
USCs recruiting class is the best in the 11
years Ive been doing this, said recruiting
analyst Bobby Burton of rivals.com. Its the
highest quality class youre ever going to see.
Gatorade and Parade national player of the year Jeff Byers
of Loveland, Colo., leads coach Pete Carrolls incoming
freshmen. He had 56 sacks and 14 forced fumbles on defense.
The AP national champion Trojans signed two top California
high school players in defensive end Jeff Schweiger and
offensive lineman Thomas Herring. They also journeyed
into recruiting hotbeds Ohio (wide receiver Fred Davis)
and Florida (linebacker Keith Rivers) to land key recruits.
Allen Wallace of Prep Football Report called the Trojans
recruiting class phenomenal.
There are no all-regional players on their list,
there are no second-list players there at all, Wallace
said. USC never dipped below (the top level), even
though they had great regional kids who wanted offers.
LSU was much the same way, capitalizing on its USA Today/ESPN
national championship with a recruiting class arguably
just as good as last years top-ranked class.
The Tigers, already loaded at receiver, landed not one
but three of the nations top pass catchers
Early Doucet of St. Martinville, La., Xavier Carter of
Melbourne, Fla. and Lavelle Hawkins of Stockton, Calif.
Doucet scored 79 touchdowns and had 7,104 all-purpose
yards in his high school career. Carter is one of the
nations fastest sprinters and could be a future
It was a great year for receivers, and LSU got three
of the best, recruiting analyst Max Emfinger said.
You wonder why another receiver would want to go
there, but the answer is they want to wear a national
LSU stayed in-state to land dominating 310-pound lineman
Marlon Favorite, then went next door to sign massive 395-pound
lineman Herman Johnson from Denton.
Student Sports.coms Doug Huff, who has been tracking
national high school recruiting since the 1960s, wasnt
surprised last seasons strongest teams USC,
LSU, Oklahoma had big recruiting years.
Recruits see teams in the big bowl games on national
TV and atop the rankings, and thats where they want
to play, he said.