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Lafayette Christian's Sage Ryan (15), pictured here against Notre Dame, finished the season with over 1,000 all-purpose yards despite missing his final two playoff games with a hamstring injury.

Breaking down LSU’s recruiting efforts in the 2020 early signing period:

How many players did LSU sign?

The Tigers received 19 national letters of intent Wednesday, the first day of college football’s early signing period. LSU is expected to eventually sign the maximum of 25 players overall, but the rest won’t arrive until the traditional recruiting period which begins Feb. 3, 2021. Now begins a sprint to fill any holes remaining in the class.

How does LSU’s class rank?

LSU’s recruiting class is ranked No. 4 overall in the 247Sports.com composite listings, behind Alabama, Ohio State and Georgia and ahead of Clemson. The Tigers are also ranked No. 3 according to Rivals.com behind Bama and Ohio State and ahead of Georgia. According to ESPN, the Tigers are No. 4, behind Alabama, Ohio State and Georgia and ahead of Clemson.

Trending now

A volatile day for the Tigers, good and bad. They flipped two Mississippi State commitments: Navonteque Strong, the nation’s No. 1-ranked junior college linebacker and four-star wide receiver Malik Nabers from Youngsville Southside, and flipped four-star running back Armoni Goodwin from Auburn. But they lost two four stars to Alabama: wide receiver JoJo Earle and defensive end Keanu Koht.

Top player

LSU’s top recruit is arguably the nation’s top recruit: Terrebonne High School defensive Maason Smith. He is ranked No. 1 nationally overall by Rivals.com and No. 18 on the 247Sports.com composite (he is No. 56 on the ESPN.com 300). The Tigers also kept the state’s other five-star prospect at home in Lafayette Christian safety Sage Ryan.

The sleeper

Matthew Langlois, the 6-foot, 185-pound safety from Catholic-Pointe Coupee. A three-star prospect, Langlois is the lowest-ranked of the four safeties LSU has signed/committed for 2020-21. But LSU went after him in September anyway, flipping his pledge after committing in August to Kansas State. Growing up an LSU fan, Langlois is one of those “rah-rah” guys every class needs.

Early enrollees

According to 247Sports.com, the Tigers will have six January enrollees who will be on campus to take part in spring practice. They include Smith, safety Derrick Davis Jr., wide receiver Deion Smith, quarterback Garrett Nussmeier, offensive tackle Garrett Dellenger and defensive end Landon Jackson.

Work left to do

The most glaring issue for LSU is the lack of offensive linemen. The Tigers signed just one Wednesday: Dellenger (6-5, 280), a four-star tackle from Clarkston, Michigan. LSU looked like it cleared space in its recruiting class with recent “decommitments” to sign more O-linemen, either from high school, junior college or as graduate transfers.

Did LSU get better?

Other than the aforementioned lack of offensive linemen, the overall answer is yes. The Tigers spread their scholarships around in every position group, with the biggest emphasis at wide receiver and secondary (four each) and on the defensive line (three), plus two linebackers. LSU kept the assembly line going at quarterback, too, with Nussmeier.

Email Scott Rabalais at srabalais@theadvocate.com