LSU lost its only quarterback commitment for the Class of 2016.
Four-star recruit Feleipe Franks of Crawfordville, Florida, announced Monday night on Twitter that he decommitted from the Tigers. Franks is a top-five pro-style quarterback nationally, according to the 247sports.com composite rankings.
“For about a month now, I have been talking with LSU about decommitting,” Franks wrote in his Twitter post. “I have given this process a lot of thought and feel that is only best for me to make my decommitment public. I want to thank the LSU coaches, staff and the amazing fans for all of their support.”
The decision started to build momentum in recent weeks.
Franks, who attended multiple LSU games this season, got the rumor mill spinning when he visited Florida twice this month in the span of three weeks. The Gators had made Franks a priority under first-year coach Jim McElwain.
He reciprocated that interest by checking out Florida’s game against Vanderbilt on Nov. 7. He returned this past weekend to see the Gators beat Florida Atlantic.
Throughout the past month, Franks told reporters he remained committed to LSU but wanted to explore all options to ensure he made the best decision.
Two days after that second Florida visit, Franks officially dropped his commitment to LSU.
Franks was essentially the only quarterback LSU seriously targeted in the 2016 class.
The Tigers offered him in the spring before his junior year. LSU special teams coordinator Bradley Dale Peveto had a relationship with Franks’ family; Peveto and Franks’ father both grew up in southeast Texas. Peveto got the Tigers in the door during his recruitment, and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron played a large part in securing his commitment in June 2014.
Cameron, in the final year of a three-year contract, has not been given a new deal. Two sources told The Advocate that coach Les Miles attempted to extend Cameron’s contract earlier this year. It did not happen.
Franks planned to enroll early after playing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and had his official visit to Baton Rouge set for the weekend of Dec. 11. That visit is not expected to take place.
Franks intended to visit Florida again this coming weekend for the Florida State game before Monday’s announcement. It’s expected Franks eventually will join the Gators’ 2016 class.
This is the first major blow to LSU’s 2016 recruiting class, which had been ranked No. 1 in the nation, amid speculation surrounding Miles’ future.
A coaching change likely would lead to more upheaval.
If LSU is unable to sign another quarterback in this class, the Tigers will still have four scholarship passers on the roster for 2016, assuming no attrition.