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What's Going On With Recruiting At LSU?

Photo: Gerald Herbert/AP

Last week, LSU landed the nation’s seventh-ranked recruiting class—signing 15 players who were ranked in ESPN’s top 300, and trailing just two other SEC schools. But 17 of the school’s 23 total commits came from outside Louisiana and only three of the state’s best 12 high school players signed with the Tigers (as opposed to the usual eight or ten). New coach Ed Orgeron recruiting that well out of state is impressive, but Louisiana is one of the most fertile recruiting grounds in the country for football and LSU has historically dominated inside state lines.

Then came the day after signing day, when Orgeron demoted running backs coach and New Orleans-area recruiter Jabbar Juluke. Per SEC Country, Juluke was directly responsible for bringing in three-star wide receiver Racey McMath and he also helped lock down the commitments of three other players. Shortly after his reassignment, Juluke left the program and was hired to be the running backs coach and associate head coach at Texas Tech.


Today SEC Country reported that Juluke’s unceremonious departure might have irked a number of New Orleans high schools. Several head coaches will reportedly discuss organizing a boycott of LSU football because they felt Orgeron “took advantage” of Juluke by dumping him immediately after he delivered his recruits. Juluke won a state championship with Edna Karr High School in 2012, and his relationships with New Orleans high school football made him a good candidate to recruit from the talent-rich area. From the SEC Country report on the meeting, scheduled for Thursday:

Some of the schools expected to be in attendance include McDonogh 35, Edna Karr, Landry-Walker, Warren Easton and St. Augustine. These are some of the primary public schools in the city that have produced several LSU signees in recent years, including Leonard Fournette, Tyrann Mathieu, Jamal Pettigrew, Donnie Alexander, Isaiah Washington, Andre Anthony, Tyron Johnson, Sci Martin and, most recently, McMath.

However, a source from Landry-Walker later told SEC Country that they wouldn’t be part of the meeting. Two other coaches told WGNO that there wouldn’t be a boycott. St. James head coach Robert Valdez, who played college football with Juluke, said he “expressed [his] concerns” to Orgeron, but that he wouldn’t boycott the program. WGNO reported that Juluke’s departure is not the primary subject of the meeting. According to SEC Country, Orgeron already has started calling coaches to smooth things over.

At this point, a full-on boycott seems unlikely. One of the five schools named in the initial report already has said they won’t be at the meeting and and Valdez went on the record about his “great conversation” with Orgeron. Perhaps a few schools end up with a weaker relationship with the Tigers over Orgeron’s shitcanning of Juluke, but it doesn’t seem like a death knell. That said, Kansas (Kansas!) has already nabbed six recruits from Louisiana for 2018 and, even if there’s no outright boycott, LSU appears to be losing its grip on in-state recruiting.

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