The new class

Kyle Riviere
Weekly Citizen Sports Editor Kyle Riviere.

In the two weeks leading to National Signing Day, LSU looked well on their way to bringing home the top-ranked recruiting class in the nation for the first time since 2009. Things didn't quite turn out that way.

When the day of truth arrived, Florida State and Alabama both made strong pushes and edged out the Tigers. According to, LSU's class dropped to third.

Though it's always disappointing to not finish No. 1, Tiger fans have plenty to celebrate over this year's class.

They fell just short of breaking the record for most ESPN top-300 players signed in one class. However, they did tie the record with 19.

It has been a tremendous offseason for LSU. The Tigers needed it after the sky began to fall in the latter stages of the year.

When they lost three straight games by double-figures to SEC West rivals Alabama, Arkansas and Ole Miss, things looked bleak. Not only did it appear the team's will was broken; it looked like Les Miles was well on his way to being fired.

Ever since that 38-17 loss to the Rebels, things have shifted in the Tigers' favor.

They closed the regular season with a 19-7 home win over Texas A&M. That victory allowed Miles to keep his job.

Less than a month later, LSU destroyed Texas Tech, 56-27, in the Texas Bowl.

And even when defensive coordinator Kevin Steele bolted after just one season, the Tigers quickly replaced him with one of the hottest candidates in the country in Dave Aranda.

Next, LSU finally reversed the trend of losing hordes of underclassmen to the NFL Draft. The Tigers only saw offensive lineman Jerald Hawkins make an early exit. Tre'Davious White, Kendell Beckwith and Travin Dural all decided to return for their senior seasons.

Now, the Tigers are celebrating another tremendous recruiting class.

LSU did a great job of getting back to basics with this 2016 group. What has hurt them in key SEC games over the past few years has been their lack of depth and size on the defensive line.

The Tiger front has been tremendous when playing spread rushing attacks, but they have struggled when facing downhill, power-rushing teams with big backs, running behind mammoth offensive lines.

Those struggles were well-documented against Alabama and Arkansas this season--two teams that rushed for over 200 yards.

To remedy this, LSU signed the state's best defensive tackle prospect in Rashard Lawrence of Neville. The 6-foot-3, 309-pound monster was the nation's 12th-ranked player.

They also picked up a 320-pound defensive tackle in Saint Thomas Aquinas' Edwin Alexander and Destrehan's 285-pounder, Glen Logan.

At defensive end, they signed three big prospects in No. 61 player Rahssan Thornton, No. 209 Andre Anthony and No. 298 Caleb Roddy of Denham Springs.

And, of course, to maintain its status as DBU, the Tigers have brought in an impressive group of prospects to fill the secondary.

They snagged five defensive backs in the top 300--including the No. 27 prospect in cornerback Kristian Fultan and the No. 31 player in cornerback Saivion Smith.

The Tigers have grown thin on the offensive line. So, they signed two top offensive-line prospects in John Curtis' Willie Allen and Ponchatoula's Donavaughn Campbell.

And even though it wasn't an immediate need, it was great to see the Tigers sign Zachary quarterback Lindsey Scott, Jr. Scott actually began his football career right here in Ascension as he played for Dutchtown.

In leading the Broncos to the state title, he won pretty match every major offensive award in Louisiana.

The only reason he's not a top-300 prospect is because of his height. He stands a shade under 6-foot. But as we've seen with guys like Drew Brees and Russell Wilson, the measurables sometimes lie.

Scott is a winner, a great leader and he's extremely intelligent. He has a good arm, and he has the speed and athleticism to burn defenses on the ground.

It will be interesting to see how he develops in Baton Rouge. He just may be the quarterback the Tigers have been desperately searching for these past few years.