Odds and Ends

I’ve obviously taken some time off here recently but seeing as things are so slow right now, you have not missed a whole lot. 

On the recruiting front, we have seen a few developments.   Most noteworth is that Patterson linebacker Lorenzo Phillips committed to Florida last Friday.  Phillips, ranked #3 in my state rankings, seemed very eager to go out of state to play college football.  He made numerous statements that he wanted to get out of Louisiana.   Many have rationalized the loss of Phillips by pointing out the high number of in-state linebacker prospects this year.  But the truth is that losing Phillips stings.  Personally, I’m never happy when a top five in-state player chooses to go elsewhere, especially when its somewhere within the SEC.  With nearly eight months until National Signing Day, LSU still has plenty of time to work on Phillips.   This should really pave the way for Jesuit’s Deion Jones to earn an offer at LSU’s camp next month.  

LSU picked up their 15th commitment on Monday when Reid Ferguson, a deep snapper from Buford, GA decided to become a Tiger.  Many people do not seem terribly thrilled with the idea of using a scholarship on a deep snapper.   But it’s obvious that Les Miles places a high value on special teams, so in a sense he is investing into that philosophy. Ferguson is a pupil of Chris Rubio’s long snapping camp and is rated as one of his “Top 12” performers this year.   Rubio does a lot of work with kicking instructor Chris Sailer who has produced a number of recent LSU players and signees to include Derek Helton and James Hairston.  Here is Ferguson’s profile from Sailer and Rubio’s website.  LSU’s current deep snapper, Joey Crappell, is a senior so Ferguson could step right into a starting role in 2012. 

As a side note, Ferguson plays on the same high school team as offensive lineman Vadal Alexander, who LSU is recruiting very hard.  It certainly cannot hurt LSU’s chances to have Alexander’s teammate on board. 

Now with 15 commitments in the Class of 2012, the spots are filling up fast.   LSU will of course hold spots for in-state players with offers such as Landon Collins, Denzel Devall and Derek Edinburgh.   They will hold one for Phillips too if he decides to change his mind.  So in theory, that would bring LSU’s total to 18 if they can land the uncommitted guys they want.  LSU needs a quarterback from somewhere.  And most seem to think they need a couple of defensive tackles too.  That quickly brings us up to 21 spots.  With in-state hopefuls such as the aforementioned Deion Jones, Terrell Lathan, James McFarland, Julien Obioha, Bryan Singleton, Alonzo Moore, and Dwayne Benjamin, it does not appear that too many surprises are left in this recruiting class.  But as always, expect the unexpected when it comes to recruiting in the SEC. 

Speaking of Edinburgh, LA Football Magazine had a terrific article, including some high praise, about him on Monday.      

Switching gears to baseball for a bit, a number of LSU’s players and signees are participating in various summer leagues around the country.  LSU Signee Nick Goody is especially making some noise playing for the Mankato Moondogs of the Northwoods League.  Goody is acting as the team’s closer and has four saves in seven appearances.  What stands out the most is that Goody has 24 strikeouts in just 11.2 innings pitched.  That’s over two strikeouts per inning, which is just ridiculous.  At his junior college this spring, Goody struck out 114 batters in 84 innings.  Cross your fingers that Goody ends up at LSU next year.  He’d likely slide right into the closer’s role that is now open since Matty Ott signed with the Boston Red Sox.  

Some more of next year’s pitching staff is excelling.  

– In the Cape Cod League, Kevin Gausman has given up just one earned run in 12 innings pitched thus far. 

– Also in the Cape Cod League,  Ryan Eades has given up just one earned run in eight innings of work. 

– In the Prospect League, Nick Rumbelow is 2-0 in two starts with a 0.77 ERA, giving up just one run in 11.2 innings.

– In the Sun Belt League, Forrest Garrett has given up no runs in seven innings of work. 

I’ll try to keep an eye on these guys as the summer progresses.