To open the 2016 season, LSU encountered a few stumbles under the leadership of head coach Les Miles and chose to remove him as the head of its football team. In his 12th year coaching the Tigers, Miles had assembled the No. 3 class in the country, a ranking that has slipped to fourth since his September firing.
As a result of this move, LSU lost the pledge of wide receiver Stephen Guidry and primary target five-star linebacker Dylan Moses, which is a sign of the many recruits who believed in the Mad Hatter. For three-star Madison (Miss.) Ridgeland Academy offensive lineman Saahdiq Charles, an LSU commit, the news of Miles’ firing certainly got his attention.
“The whole coach Miles situation hurt me because growing up as a fan, that’s all I knew from the time I grew up, basically,” Charles told Today’s U. “At that time, I had built a great relationship. I grew up an LSU fan and I like the LSU program.”
In the time since Miles has left the program, the Tigers have been led by Ed Orgeron on an interim basis. Orgeron was elevated from his position as a defensive line coach, a familiar face within the program to keep the ship on course until the end of the season. What comes after that, however, is unknown to Charles.
“I don’t really know what the deal is,” Charles said. “I feel like I want coach Orgeron to keep the job, but you never know what will happen because I don’t think people knew coach Miles was going to get fired when he got fired. I’ just going to focus on my team and what we’re doing here now.”
With a bit of uncertainty surrounding the LSU program, Charles is evaluating all of his options. The three-star recruit holds offers from schools such as Tennessee, Louisville and Mississippi State, and he has his sights currently set on an official trip to the Gators’ campus.
“I’m taking an official to Florida,” Charles said. “I had it scheduled for December, but we kind of switch it round, so maybe in January, maybe February. I don’t know yet. I’ve never been, so I’m going to have an open eye for everything, my first time on campus.”
Before arriving on campus, Charles and his 5-3 team is looking to finish out the 2016 season on a positive note, which features a highly emotional title game this week against Jackson Academy (5-3).
“We have the conference championship game tomorrow, so we’ve had a pretty good season,” Charles said. “I feel pretty good about it. It’s a rivalry game 10 minutes separating from the school, so I’m excited.”
In terms of his personal play, Charles is a versatile lineman at 6-foot-5 and 314-pounds who played a lot of tackle in high school but projects to a guard or interior lineman at the next level. Charles has strong hands and is adept in throwing defensive lineman to the ground when run blocking, though he is also a competent in pass protection given his selection to The Opening this year.
“Some games I play better than others, but when I go back and break down my film I feel like I’m a pretty good player,” Charles said.
Pay close attention to Charles’ future Florida visit as commitments continue to shake out for LSU in its post-Miles days.