All it took was one mistimed snap in the Auburn game to seal former LSU head coach Les Miles’ fate with the school.
After leading the Tigers to a national championship in 2007 and an SEC title in 2011, Miles famously struggled to develop a quarterback and engineer a productive offense in Baton Rouge over the past several seasons. His inability to find a signal caller is eventually what ended his coaching tenure as the fan base grew tired of a predictable, stagnant offense.
One thing Miles did well during his time at LSU– and exceptionally well at that– is recruit at a high level. According to 247Sports.com, LSU signed the nation’s No. 3 class nationally in 2016, and the Tigers were on pace to landing a similarly ranked class in ’17. At the time of Miles’ dismissal, LSU boasted the No. 4 class overall in the 2017 cycle.
Thoughts from SEC assistant after Les Miles' firing. "It'll be open season with #LSU's recruits," the coach said. "Their class was so good."
— Jeremy Crabtree (@jeremycrabtree) September 25, 2016
That ranking, though, is under fire without the Mad Hatter roaming LSU’s sidelines. As of now, the Tigers still sport the 4th ranked class in the country, but schools across the country are inundating current LSU commits with visit requests, offers and other overtures in an attempt to pry their pledge free from the Tigers’ hold.
In the case of (Tex.) Cy-Fair offensive tackle Austin Deculus, who hails from the same school as YouTube sensation Sam McGuffie, had already entertained thoughts of visiting other programs well before Miles was shown the door. But with his one-time future head coach removed from the LSU program, Deculus was sent into a state of confusion regarding his commitment status.
What do I do now?
— I'm ReDeculus (@austindeculus76) September 25, 2016
Deculus, who stands at 6-foot-6 and 331-pounds, is listed as the No. 8 offensive tackle on 247Sports.com. With that ranking in mind, Deculus accumulated 30 scholarship offers throughout the recruiting process, so his options are plentiful if he decides to explore a future away from LSU.
Over the past several months, the University of Michigan has pushed for Deculus to use one of his five official visits to check out Ann Arbor and the Wolverines’ campus. After receiving positive news on that front previously, Today’s U is hearing that Deculus is expected to use an official for Michigan as the Maize and Blue hope to sign an offensive line class of at least five prospects. Right now Michigan have four lineman committed.
And while the Miles departure forced uncertainty among many LSU commits, many prospects, such as five-star linebacker Dylan Moses, are reconsidering their options as well. Moses, for example, was a one-time Tigers commit who is originally from Louisiana and is currently finishing out his high school career at IMG Academy in Florida. His connections to LSU run deep since he was at one time committed to the Tigers’ program and has a cousin on the school’s staff.
With these longstanding ties to the program, Moses openly claimed that he would not be taking an official to LSU since he was comfortable with the school as it was and had already seen enough of the Tigers’ campus and facilities to make an informed decision. The news of Miles’ firing, however, has not only forced Moses to reconsider an official to LSU but also to push his commitment date back.
January 1, 2017 ????
— King Ⓜ️oses (@Dylan1Moses_) September 28, 2016
Prior to Miles’ firing, Moses planned on committing on December 15th, but he now is targeting an announcement date for New Year’s Day. This gives other schools, such as Alabama, a window to convince Moses that LSU may not be the right option for him under interim head coach Ed Orgeron. Moses is slated to take an official visit to Alabama this weekend.
Without Miles steering the ship at LSU, Orgeron and staff will work tirelessly to keep its lofty class intact until National Signing Day, but it will be difficult to do so until a full time head coach is named. Until that time comes, expect for other schools to kick the tires on the Tigers’ commits and for those same players to fully vet their options on the recruiting trail.