This is the time of year when it happens.
Underclassmen leaving school early, of course.
It’s always interesting because sometimes the guys you never expected to leave early do, and the guys you just knew were going to leave early end up staying.
The schools that always have the most guys leaving early are always the teams with boatloads of talent (i.e. The SEC). Even still, most of those schools usually lose about 3-4, tops.
Ten underclassmen leaving early, coupled with the 11 seniors graduating, will leave quite a hole in the Tigers depth chart. Here’s the underclassmen that have declared early…
Chris Faulk– Offensive Tackle
Brad Wing– Punter
Barkevious Mingo– Defensive End
Sam Montgomery– Defensive End
Bennie Logan– Defensive Tackle
Eric Reid– Free Safety
Kevin Minter– Middle LInebacker
Tharold Simon– Cornerback
Spencer Ware– Running Back
Michael Ford– Running Back
And we all know about the infamous Honey Badger- Tyrann Mathieu, who has been declared for some time now.
As you can see, quite the list. There’s some major talent right there that LSU no longer has. Many must be wondering how in the world Tigers coach Les Miles will be able to come back from this.
Well, this is reality. This is college football, and this is the SEC. This is one of the many things that makes this conference so special. It’s truly the best of the best, and it’s a 365 day per year battle. Miles knew when he recruited these players in 2009 and 2010 that this could happen. Heck, he knows this could happen to him again in three years when the kids he’s recruiting right now become eligible to declare.
That’s why you recruit as many of the most talented prospects as you can. You can’t dwell on the fact and wonder ‘what if’.
Do you really wonder if they’ll be able to replace those players? All this does is open up a spot for someone else. LSU recruits with the best teams in the country, so there’s talent all over that roster. Talented players like those that are leaving are coming to Baton Rouge every single year.
Besides, it’s not like LSU was going to have those guys forever. This is college football, not professional. You can’t keep a guy a dozen or so years. You have five years to play four seasons, and that’s it. It’s all about getting the right group of guys together at the right time.
So will LSU be hurting when spring ball rolls around? Maybe for a few days, at least until they get everyone where they need to be. But by next fall, LSU will still be a challenger in the incomprehensibly difficult SEC West.