LSU thoughts/fan enthusiasm

Discussion in 'The Tiger's Den' started by EELSU1, Feb 10, 2003.

  1. EELSU1

    EELSU1 Founding Member

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    It's been a long time coming since the quality of LSU football may finally start matching the level of enthusiasm LSU fans bring to the table each week during football season.

    I don't ever remember a recruiting year where a LSU head coach was able to so completely able to lock up in-state talent. Saban mentioned at the Bash he wasn't able to land 4 Louisiana kids he was recruiting, and he mentioned that their not choosing LSU was "their loss." But otherwise, Saban landed every player he targeted. I've never seen Carnell Stewart play, but he's been the kind of LSU recruit loses to the FSU's and Miami's every year. A kid who shows nearly no interest in LSU during the entire recruiting process. Yet Stewart had to have taken notice of the recruiting explosion LSU experienced in January. And Stewart, and others, had to have noticed what Saban was able to do this year out-of-state. Saban wasn't just landing out-of-state-players. He was landing some of the best out-of-state players in the country. Tim Washington. Shawn Jordan. Dwayne Bowe. Amp Hill. Sean Merrill. Barrington Edwards. JaMarcus Russell. If Saban was going to lose in-state players, he was doing his best to replace them with out-of-state players as good as, if not better, than the players he was losing. And recruits took notice, and this year's class is the end result of that, where their was a mad scramble for a LSU scholarship in the days leading up to signing day.

    Out-of-players want to play for LSU for a variety of reasons. One of them's certainly Saban and his staff. Another is how often LSU gets to play on TV. LSU's seemingly strenthened its strong brand name from coast to coast with all its TV exposure. But the constant that ALL recruits are mentioning is the enthusiasm of LSU's fans. Saban said EVERY SINGLE RECRUIT and EVERY SINGLE FAMILY mentioned this to him during Saban & his staff's in-home visits. LSU fans, in the past couple of years, have really taken ownership in their part of the process, in supporting the team unconditionally. In 2002, I don't ever remember a year where LSU was supported so well, even as there were the kinds of disappointments that would usually cause many more LSU fans to get negative much more quickly. As has been the trend for years. But now, my sense is LSU fans as a whole truly believe Nick Saban has the program's best interest at heart at all times, has the competance needed to lead a big time program, and because of this there's been a faith placed in him that I can't remember any other coach having the same faith placed in them. Not even Arnsparger. Not even McClendon (although I can't speak for Mac's place with Tiger fans in the 60's, my memory comes from the 70's, when Mac had his fair share of critics). After this year's Arkansas game, as upset as LSU fans privately became, it's fair to say the consensus realizes no single person was more upset & disappointed with that loss than Saban, and that he'd work even harder to make the team better.

    And look how Saban's responded, with the best recruiting class in LSU history. Aruguably, of course. Now it's time for LSU to win where it counts, on the field.

    A note about JaMarcus Russell. When he got on national TV and chose a LSU cap over a FSU hat, that was a big deal. He got LSU more publicity than he could have possibly realized. He helped insure LSU will land even more out-of-state players in the future. And he also helped GUARANTEE that the best in-state players, assuming they have an interest in attending LSU, will not wait to commit. They will commit early, or they may find that they won't have a scholarship waiting for them, because someone else will want it. And that may be the biggest development from last week's signing day.

    And IMO, that's the way Saban's planned it all along. To turn a LSU scholarship into something that's valued, that's wanted badly. And he's doing it.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. AUDave

    AUDave Founding Member

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    Out of State Recruits

    From an Auburn fan's point of view, I would guess that the factors considered by out of state players that signed with LSU in order of significance are:
    1. depth chart/playing time/relative needs
    2. being an SEC team
    3. recent success
    4. your fans' support
    5. tv appearances
    6. Saban

    Do you think that LSU and Auburn will compete for the top in our division in future years much like UT and UF in the east has for so long? I hope so. It looks like UGA has emerged and made it a three way race in the east. If there is continuity in our programs and if the NCAA stays away from LSU and Auburn and does not return to Bama, then I think it will eventually be a three team race in the west as well. You guys are gaining serious momentum and we Auburn fans are gaining excitement for our team as well. The future in the west should be exciting.

    AUDave
     
  3. DDTigerFan

    DDTigerFan Back from the Dead

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    I think the probation will take a toll on Bama and plus I have no reason to believe Price can do a good job. He barely had a .500 record at his time at WSU and only had two great years and only when led by a great QB like Leaf(great in college), and Gesser. I think Bama will not compete for SECW Title for next 5-6 years and eventually cans Price.
     
  4. red55

    red55 curmudgeon Staff Member

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    AUDave, according to the recruits actual quoted remarks, I'd say the list would be:

    1. Saban
    2. facilities
    3. fan support
    4. possibility of early playing time
    5. school tradition
    6. TV and bowl potential

    Nick is our biggest draw right now, no doubt about it. He is all business about the game and prepares players well for the NFL. Parents are especially impresssed by the new Academic Center for Athletes, while players like the indoor football facility and the new training and strength facilities.

    Early playing time is usually higher on the list, but there are few starting jobs (QB, MLB) that aren't already locked up this year. Most of this class will redshirt.
     
  5. dplsu

    dplsu Founding Member

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    One point I think your missing and it's a big one in my opinion. Don't ever underestimate a parents role in helping a recruit select a school. I saw on the news where a HUGE selling point with the parents was the academic center. Parents know that not all college athletes are bound for the pros and even the ones who are need something to fall back on if things don't work out. That would be a big plus if I was touring a potential school for my son...although if they don't go to LSU, I'll cut them off:)

    I've seen this on other boards when the topic of facilities was brought up. There is a big misconception about the value of quality facilities in the recruiting battle. Saban has shown the value of a quality facility for athletes.
     
  6. AUDave

    AUDave Founding Member

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    Saban and Recruiting

    You all make some very good points about parents and facilities. My thinking was that of a player without any help from parents and without the benefit of an official visit to the school or interview with the coach. However, those are integral parts of recruiting, so really my factors were secondary or distant from the environment and personality of the school and its representatives. Those factors that you all brought up are the real personal ones that can/will bring about an emotional response in the players and their parents. You guys are right, those have to be the factors that close or seal the deal.

    Red55: It sounds like Coach Saban is a good communicator and is good at addressing the parents' concerns. I have heard some coaches speak, particularly assistant coaches, at banquets and it is hard to believe that these guys are the ones on the front lines charged with building the relationships with the players and their families. Head coaches are usually a little more refined and sophisticated than the career assistants. I am not sure what the Auburn recruits like most or consider the most important factor choosing Auburn. I guess it is probably a combination of all of the above factors. However, I have not heard any recruits say that Tuberville is the reason they are coming to Auburn. That does not mean that none have felt that way, I just have no knowledge of it.

    DDTigerFan: Yeah, I agree with you. Price is really an unknown. I think that he has Alabama's past reputation that will help him in recruiting though. I think they will struggle also because he is hell bent on running an offense that they don't have the personnel for. He says he is going to implement it now as opposed to when he has had time to recruit the players. The scholarship limitations without a doubt will affect their depth, but the players that they sign will be good ones. There just won't be as many as everyone else is signing. I want the west to make a run in championships so bad. I am tired of the east.

    AUDave
     
  7. BamaBengal

    BamaBengal Founding Member

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    Valid points on Bama

    but don't count us out yet. Remember, Coach Fran redshirted every single freshman but one and the players we landed this year were good. I think in 2 to 3 years is when decisions, titles, etc., will be made. Still, the class of the West is broadening: LSU, AU, Ark, and Bama should contend every year and it'll likely be close. The east, imo, has UGA and UT as front runners with UF and SC always dangerous.
     
  8. Wilson

    Wilson Freshman

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    EELSU I really enjoyed your post. You hit the nail on the head. There is definintely a difference in fan enthusiasm. You can't place a value on a positive attitude!
     

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