Gunner Kiel of Columbus (Ind.) East, the nation’s top quarterback prospect, attended Friday’s LSU-Arkansas game on an unofficial visit with his family.
He and his parents returned to campus for an official visit Tuesday, according to Scout.com website TigerSportsDigest.com. Kiel, who earlier this season pulled back on his previous commitment to in-state Indiana, will reportedly also make an official visit to Vanderbilt this weekend and Notre Dame next weekend.
Kiel (6-foot-3, 215 pounds) is expected to quickly wrap up the recruiting process and enroll in January at whichever school he chooses.
Ranked the nation’s top quarterback prospect according to Scout.com and ESPN.com, Kiel is also rated the top pro-style quarterback by Rivals.com. Kiel is ranked No. 17 on the Scout.com 300, No. 18 on the Rivals 100 and No. 20 on the ESPNU 250.
LSU currently has 20 commitments for its 2012 recruiting class, but none from any quarterback prospects.
QB rotation still evolving
Tigers coach Les Miles said that for the second time in three games he didn’t get quarterback Jarrett Lee into the game in relief of Jordan Jefferson as early as he had planned. Lee didn’t enter the 41-17 victory against the Razorbacks until 3:34 remained and the scoring had been completed.
“The issue for me is that we would like to have victory secured,” Miles said. “That is a necessity that I have and that I ensure. We got him in as fast as we could. We would have liked to get him in maybe a series before that.
“I don’t think the status has changed. I think it has changed the last couple of games only in the fact of how we play. It will be reviewed yet again as we go to the Georgia Dome.”
LSU plays Georgia in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game on Saturday in the Georgia Dome.
Lee, started the first nine games of the season, Miles said Lee’s entrance into the 42-9 victory against Western Kentucky on Nov. 12 - Jefferson’s first start - also came later than planned.
“I recognize that we would not be in the position that we are in today if it had not been how Jarrett Lee played for us as quarterback,” Miles said.
“Our football team is obligated to him, and we will do everything we can to fill that obligation.
“I can tell you this, the contributions that he’s made thus far and that he is about to make certainly in the next two games will be very significant and has been very significant.
Ford surprise as leader
Anyone who is surprised that Michael Ford has become LSU’s leading rusher has good company: Ford.
The sophomore rushed for 96 yards against Arkansas to give him 721 yards for the season. That moved him past Spencer Ware, who has 687 yards after rushing for 37 yards against the Razorbacks, for the team lead.
When a reporter asked Ford what he thought about being the team’s new leading rusher, he admitted that he didn’t know that. Then Ford laughed and said, “I’m as shocked as you to find out.”
Ware averaged 75.7 rushing yards in the first seven games before being held out of the game against Auburn game on Oct. 22 for violating a team rule. In the four games since his return, Ware has averaged 44.3 rushing yards. He has declined all interview requests since the Auburn game.
Tweet is on the other foot
LSU players have become more disciplined with their tweets after a few early season tweets got the attention of opponents. Now they’re being asked about a comment by Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones comparing his defense with the Tigers’, which has been tweeted around.
“I mean, everybody praises LSU defense, but I think - I know - we’ve got a pretty good defense,” said Jones, the SEC’s leader in sacks with 13.5. “We’re not cocky at all. We’re just going to play. We do our job out on the field. We like having fun. We love playing football. We’re aggressive. We play just as well as them. A lot of people don’t give us credit (for) how we play. I think we play two different styles. I think our defense is just as good as theirs, if not better.”
When LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, who made some bold tweets earlier in the season, was asked for a reaction he laughed.
“He may have a point,” Mathieu said diplomatically. “I know those guys are going to go out there and play hard, and I’m sure he’s going to play extra hard.”
Mathieu was asked if it was difficult for him not to tweet a response.
“It was extremely tough,” Mathieu said with a smile. “But I’ve got to keep my team first.”