Les Miles wants to do away with national signing day – just have the prospects sign national letters of intent as they commit.
“The inability to sign an athlete who would well have signed (at that time) creates the de-commitment syndrome,” Miles said.
LSU lost four star linebacker Erick Fowler to Texas on Wednesday in an impactful flip for the Tigers at a thin position group. Fowler committed to LSU in June, but he grabbed a Texas baseball cap – not the LSU one next to it – at a signing ceremony at his high school in Texas.
In November, highly touted quarterback Feleipe Franks dropped his 18-month-long commitment to LSU a month before he was scheduled to enroll in school. He enrolled at Florida, tossing the Tigers into a QB hunt over the final 10 weeks of the recruiting calendar.
“Should we have a quarterback on our campus right now from this class already signed … wow! Might well have changed some things,” Miles said.
The most recent defection, though, was Fowler, the seventh-best outside linebacker in the 2016 class. LSU signed just one linebacker in this class – John Ehret’s Michael Divinity – but coaches plan to move defensive end Rahssan Thornton to linebacker. The Tigers did not sign a linebacker in the 2015 class and just one linebacker, Donnie Alexander, remains with the team who signed in 2014.
Fowler flipped, mostly, he said, because of his family. His hometown of Manor, Texas, is 15 miles from Austin.
“I did it last-minute to be honest,” he told KEYE-TV in Austin about the decision. “I prayed about it and had a long talk to my family. They didn’t know I was going to switch.”
Said Miles: “What we are, certainly, are men of our words, and we have a scholarship for you … We’re going to do what we say. And at times, many times, the prospect is not necessarily held to that same level.”
LSU and Texas play a home-and-home series in 2019-2020.
Davis: ‘Miles a hugger’
Wide receiver Drake Davis, a Baton Rouge native who wrapped up his high school career at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, wrote on the website ThePlayersTribune.com Wednesday that he won a bet with a friend on an LSU recruiting visit that he’d get a hug out of Miles.
As a picture with the story proved, Miles did hug Davis when he came off the field.
“Les Miles is a hugger, bro,” Davis told his friend.
“Home is where your family is,” Davis added. “And families don’t shake hands.”
“I like the parallel that he drew between family and team,” said Miles, who read the story “I think that was a good piece.”
If he knew what was going on between Davis and his friend, Miles joked he would have wanted a piece of the action. “If I had known that there was a $10 bet on this deal, I would have somehow made $5, somehow,” Miles said.
Cameron contract still in works
Miles said he’s “certain” that LSU is working on a new contract for offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.
A radio host on ESPN 104.5 FM Wednesday suggested that Cameron would be leaving the Tigers. Cameron denied that report and said he’s “not going anywhere.”
Miles and athletic director Joe Alleva said in January that the school and Cameron were working on a new contract. Cameron’s three-year deal ends at the end of March. It pays him a salary of $1.5 million.
Miles will begin soon searching for a replacement for running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Frank Wilson, who left last month to take the head job at Texas-San Antonio.
Miles hasn’t given the recruiting coordinator title to anyone on the current staff, he said. He’s not sure if he’ll hire one person to do both – tutor running backs and coordinator recruiting – or split the titles.
Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter @RossDellenger.