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2013 College Football Recruiting Rankings No. 7: LSU Tigers

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College football's 2013 National Signing Day is in the books and Athlon Sports kicks off its 2013 team recruiting rankings countdown with an in-depth look at the best classes in the nation. The LSU Tigers have recruited as well as any team in the nation in recent years and 2013 is no different. This group is nationally elite and sets a foundation for future success on the Bayou. The only issue? Finishing seventh nationally is only good for fourth in the SEC and third in the SEC West.

No. 7: LSU Tigers

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SEC: Fourth
Athlon Consensus 100
Signees:
 5
National Signees: 14
Total Signees: 27

Where They Got 'Em:

Les Miles knows that Louisiana is one of the more underrated states for elite talent. He inked 12 of his 27 players in this class from The Pelican State, including five nationally rated recruits. The rest of the SEC helped out as well, sending three prospects each from both Florida and Georgia. Alabama and Tennessee each shipped one player to Baton Rouge as well.

Miles also went outside of his region to get talent. LSU landed two big-time players from California, including a potential star in quarterback Hayden Rettig. Illinois and North Carolina each sent an AC100 prospect while Nebraska and New Jersey watched a nationally rated prospect head South to play for the Tigers as well.

Related: Athlon Sports Top 25 Recruiting Classes for 2013

Areas of Focus:

This class' breakdown has to start with the line of scrimmage. Twelve new faces, seven on defense and five on offense, will play in the trenches from this class. The defensive line class, which technically doesn't include AC100 talent Kendell Beckwith because he is listed as a linebacker, is one of the best collections of talent in the nation. End Frank Herron and tackle Greg Gilmore lead the way as the top-rated names in the group, as both were AC100 prospects. Three more nationally rated names in tackles Christian LaCouture and Maquedius Bain and end Tashawn Bower bring massive size and versatile athleticism. Add to it smallish ends Lewis Neal and M.J. Patterson and Miles has arguably the deepest and most talented defensive line class in the nation. 

On the opposite side of the ball, elite blocker Ethan Pocic leads the way. He has bookend tackle size and athleticism. Josh Boutte is a mauler inside and was nationally ranked as well. Andy Dodd, K.J. Malone and massive junior college prospect Fehoko Fanaika (6-6, 340) round out a very talented offensive line group. This five-man class can play all three positions on the line and should only continue LSU's recent run of elite blockers.

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Beckwith, who is officially listed as a linebacker by the Tigers, could be yet another rush end if he adds weight and proves he can handle the running games in the SEC. Otherwise, he heads a three-man linebacking group that is talented but doesn't match the depth of the Tigers' 2012 LB haul.

On the back end of the defense, this class' top prospect will be the star. Tre'Davious White is an electric cornerback who will make a immediate impact on special teams. He could remind fans in Baton Rouge of the Honey Badger in that sense — well, on the field, at least — and should likely be a much better coverman. Rashard Robinson and Rickey Jefferson round out a fairly small secondary class. 

LSU didn't sign a single running back in this class and none of the four wide receivers were nationally ranked. Early enrollee and prep school prospect Avery Johnson should be the best of the group once he finally gets into the offense. Tight end DeSean Smith is one of the most game-ready players at his position in the nation and could easily be the earliest contributor of all the offensive skill players in this class. 

The quarterback position should be in good hands, however, as two of the top 25 signal callers in the nation signed with LSU. Hayden Rettig, the younger brother of Boston College starter Chase, is the higher-rated of the bunch and was an Army All-American this winter. The pro-style passer will compete with dual-threat prospect Anthony Jennings for the starting job once Zach Mettenberger moves on. They are built very similarly — both are listed at 6-2 and 200 pounds — but each brings a unique skill set to the offense, giving Miles and new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron plenty to work with in the coming years.

Related: National Signing Day 2013 Winners and Losers

Positional Breakdown:

Offense: QB: 2, RB: 0, WR: 4, TE: 2, OL: 5 
Defense: DL: 7, LB: 3, DB: 3, ATH: 1 

AC100/National Recruits:

AC100

Name

Pos.

Pos. Rk

Hometown

Ht

Wt

45.

Tre'Davious White

DB

No. 11

Shreveport, La.

5-10

170

57.

Ethan Pocic

OL

No. 5

Lemont, Ill.

6-7

285

70.

Frank Herron

DE

No. 13 (DL)

Memphis, Tenn.

6-5

245

73.

Greg Gilmore

DT

No. 14 (DL)

Hope Mills, N.C.

6-4

275

77.

Kendell Beckwith

LB

No. 8

Jackson, La.

6-3

225

125.

DeSean Smith

TE

No. 5

Lake Charles, La.

6-4

225

128.

Jeryl Brazil

ATH

No. 3

Loranger, La.

5-9

180

143.

Hayden Rettig

QB

No. 10

Los Angeles, Calif.

6-2

200

144.

Josh Boutte

OL

No. 21

New Iberia, La.

6-4

325

193.

Rashard Robinson

DB

No. 31

Pompano Beach, Fla.

6-1

165

206.

Christian LaCouture

DT

No. 36 (DL)

Lincoln, Neb.

6-5

290

210.

Maquedius Bain

DT

No. 37 (DL)

Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

6-5

285

213.

Tashawn Bower

DL

No. 38

Somerville, N.J.

6-5

240

231.

Anthony Jennings

QB

No. 25

Marietta, Ga.

6-2

205

Early Enrollees:

Name

Pos.

Hometown

Ht

Wt

AC100

John Diarse

WR

Monroe, La.

6-0

210

--

Fehoko Fanaika

OL

San Mateo, Calif.

6-6

340

JUCO

Anthony Jennings

QB

Marietta, Ga.

6-2

205

No. 231

Avery Johnson

WR

Pompano Beach, Fla.

6-1

180

--

Christian LaCouture

DE

Lincoln, Neb.

6-5

290

No. 206

Ethan Pocic

OL

Lemont, Ill.

6-6

285

No. 57

Hayden Rettig

QB

Los Angeles, Calif.

6-2

200

No. 143

Logan Stokes

TE

Booneville, Miss.

6-4

240

JUCO

Athlon Sports 2013 Recruiting Classes:

1. Alabama Crimson Tide
2. Ohio State Buckeyes
3. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
4. Florida Gators
5. Michigan Wolverines
6. Ole Miss Rebels