Miles Recaps Highly Ranked Signing Class
Sr. Assoc. Athletic Director/SID
BATON ROUGE - LSU landed another consensus top 10 signing class on Wednesday as Les Miles and his staff added some of the nation's top high school players to the Tiger roster.
LSU's class was ranked No. 6 by Rivals.com, No. 7 by ESPN and No. 8 by Scout.com. It marked the fourth time in six years under Miles that the Tigers have had a class ranked among the top 10 in the nation. Last year's LSU signing class was ranked as high as No. 1 nationally.
Of the 27 players signed by the Tigers on Wednesday, 13 hail from the state of Louisiana. LSU also got three players from both Georgia and Texas, two from Florida and Alabama and one each from Mississippi, Tennessee, Maryland and Ohio.
The class breakdown saw the Tigers sign 14 offensive players, 11 defensive players, one specialist - a punter who is a native of Australia - and one player listed as an athlete - Sam Gibson from Prattville, Ala.
"I think it's a very good day for our football team," Miles said. "I think we improved our team; this is a very talented class. I think the last day certainly benefitted us. We didn't get everybody that we wanted, but we got those guys that we had to have and ones that will really come in and have an effect on this team."
The class included seven players listed among the ESPNU 150, including tight end Travis Dickson, the brother of former LSU standout Richard Dickson. Other ESPNU 150 members who signed with the Tigers include defensive backs Eric Reid and Tharold Simon, wide receiver Kadron Boone, defensive tackle J.R. Ferguson, offensive lineman Evan Washington, and linebacker Justin Maclin.
Jordan Allen, a four-star defensive end from West Monroe, was a member of the prestigious Parade All-America team.
The highest-rated player to sign with the Tigers was running back Spencer Ware from Cincinnati, Ohio. Ware, a five-star product from Princeton High School, threw 2,200 yards and 17 touchdowns and rushed for 982 yards and 18 scores from the quarterback position as a senior. Ware will play running back for the Tigers.
The Tigers signed one quarterback, Zach Lee from McKinney, Texas. Lee, who also excels as a pitcher in baseball, threw for over 2,500 yards and 31 touchdowns as a senior.
"Offensively, I think anytime you look at a class you look at the quarterback first, and I think we have probably signed the best passer since Matt Flynn," Miles said of Lee. "He's is a pitcher that throws 90 miles per hour. He's got a lot of moxie, and I think Zach Lee is going to be a great quarterback in the future."
LSU brought in four wide receivers, led by Boone, who was rated among the best at the position nationally. Joining Boone at wide receiver are Jarrett Fobbs from Huntington in Shreveport, James Wright from Belle Chasse and Armand Williams from Slidell.
"I feel like these four guys were exactly what we needed at that position," Miles said. "I like those guys because they are good students. On the field, they are physical players with good speed and great ball skills, so I think the ability to put young guys on that field that will compete in those multiple wide receiver sets is back."
Defensively, the Tigers got a pair of huge pickups on signing day with the addition of defensive tackle J.C. Copeland along with defensive lineman Ferguson. Ferguson was rated as high as No. 31 in the nation by Rivals.com, while Copeland comes to Baton Rouge after recording 27 sacks as a senior at Troup (Ga.) County High School.
"In the secondary, we had to have a great class, both at corner and safety," Miles said. "Eric Reid, at 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, reminds me of a young Chad Jones physically. Ronnie Vinson, Tyrann Mathieu and Tharold Simon can all play corner and are, in my opinion, a very capable group."
The Tigers also added punter Brad Wing from Parkview Baptist. Wing is a native of Australia who played just one season of football at Parkview after moving to Baton Rouge from Melbourne.
"I think it's a very talented group," Miles said. "I think there is speed and size. I think they give you physical play. It's difficult to predict how good they are. I just believe this group has character, and this group will compete for a championship. I'm pleased."