After it was all over, Frank Wilson returned to the LSU coaches’ meeting room, dubbed the “war room” on signing day.
In the center is a 20-seat table. On the wall is a giant projection screen on which LSU recruiting targets had announced their decisions live on television earlier in the day. There is also a dry-erase board on which 2014 prospects’ names are scribbled.
Wilson entered the war room, looked up at that board and frowned.
“Our last (recruit’s letter of intent) just came in, and I went into the war room to get his tag and the board is cleaned off,” said Wilson, LSU’s recruiting coordinator. “(20)15 is up, ’16 behind them. I’m like, ‘Wait, y’all didn’t even give me a chance?’
But that’s the reality of it. It’s forever moving at a fast pace.”
LSU’s staff didn’t wait until the end of signing day — or for Wilson to celebrate his team’s haul, ranked No. 2 nationally — before wiping clean those 2014 names and moving on to the next group of horses they’re courting.
Still 361 days shy of next year’s National Signing Day, the 2015 list is full of star-studded talent.
LSU is the only team in the nation to have two five-star prospects committed, according to 24/7 Sports. The list of six 2015 commits includes three players in the Rivals100, Rivals.com’s ranking of the top 100 recruits in the nation.
“That’s an impressive early group of commitments,” said Mike Scarborough, publisher and recruiting analyst at TigerBait.com, a Rivals affiliate.
Overall, the group of six is ranked fifth in the nation.
Even committed members of the class are impressed with the early haul. Four of the six commits are ranked in the top five nationally at their positions.
“We already have an unbelievable group coming together right now,” said University High running back Nick Brossette, the No. 5 running back in the nation for 2015.
“We’re going to have a real good solid class on top of the 2014 class,” said Florida cornerback Kevin Toliver, the headliner of LSU’s early commitments for 2015. “LSU should at least win the national championship one year.”
Yes, expectations are high. Even coach Les Miles in his signing day address suggested that the 2014 class would help the Tigers reel in a national title.
The 2015 newcomers shouldn’t be far behind.
Toliver, the cousin of former LSU receiver Terrence Toliver, is ranked the No. 1 recruit in the nation, according to 24/7 Sports’ composite rankings.
He tops a list that includes five other commits: Brossette, Texas offensive tackle Maea Teuhema, Central safety Kevin Henry, Texas tight end Hanner Shipley and Georgia long snapper Blake Ferguson.
Teuhema is the third-best tackle in the nation, according to 24/7, and Ferguson is the top snapper.
“When you’re talking about guys like that you already have, that’s a good start,” said Sonny Shipp, recruiting analyst for Geaux247. “It’s just a matter of piecing together the rest of the puzzle.”
That comes somewhat soon. The Boys from the Boot, LSU’s annual junior day, is next weekend. Last year, two players invited to the camp committed to the Tigers. It has become a yearly unofficial visit for a host of highly rated in-state recruits.
So the class could get more of a boost than it already has. But can Wilson and LSU hold on to their group of talented commits?
This past year, the Tigers closed late, picking up key commitments in January and on signing day to fill out a class that had nearly 10 open spots when the football season ended.
For 2015, they’ve started hot. The 6-2, 185-pound Toliver is from Florida, but most of his family lives in New Orleans or Baton Rouge. He grew up wanting to be a member of LSU’s defense. He said his verbal commitment to the Tigers — given more than a year ago — is still solid.
“I’m 110 percent committed to LSU,” he said this week.
Brossette is a solid commit but, like Toliver, plans to take all of his official visits. Toliver plans to visit UCLA, Ohio State, Auburn, Virginia Tech and LSU.
Brossette and Toliver talk often.
“It’s still early, but I think I’m just going to let it continue to play out,” Brossette said. “I’m going to take all of my officials, I do know that.”
Teuhema is as solid as they come. His brother, Sione, signed with LSU on Wednesday, and the pair wants to play at the same school.
Maea Teuhema is an important commit. In 2015, LSU is after offensive linemen. It’s a position of need, said Shea Dixon, recruiting analyst with Geaux247.
“They missed on Cam Robinson, and next year they’ve got to have that elite offensive tackle,” Dixon said, referring to the No. 1 tackle in the nation out of West Monroe who signed with Alabama this year.
LSU signed two guards Wednesday but no tackles. Miles suggested this week that the Tigers hope to bring in a host of offensive linemen in 2015.
“We’re going to have to have a great class next year in the offensive line,” he said.
Already, new offensive line coach Jeff Grimes is distributing offers to some highly ranked linemen in the 2015 class. He has offered at least three ranked in the top five at their position, Dixon said.
While other coaches watched letters of intent roll off the fax machine Wednesday, Grimes was busy looking to 2015.
After all, recruiting never stops.
“Even though it’s signing day,” Grimes said, according to a story by USA Today, which had a reporter embedded Wednesday in the football offices, “we’re already thinking about 2015.”
Matthew Harris contributed to this report.