“Any little edge.”
That’s what one assistant once told me about recruiting. Their staff, another staff, everybody’s staff. It’s how the game is played nowadays.
That’s why news that NFL teams might pursue LSU head coach Les Miles after this season will – in some form or fashion – affect the Tigers’ recruiting. LSU currently has 19 players committed for the class of 2012, most of whom are solid and will end up putting on the purple and gold. But for some, like wide four-star Pompano Beach (Fla.) receiver Avery Johnson – younger brother of former Baton Rouge star Patrick Peterson – the article about Miles will likely be printed out or emailed to him by the end of the day by other SEC programs.
Any little edge. Create some doubt about the head coach being there to coach a recruit all three or four years he’s at a school is one of the most common tactics other coaches use to negative recruit. It was used against Pete Carroll and Kirk Ferentz for years and the same was said of Nick Saban during his time at LSU before he ultimately left for the NFL. Coaches hate it and will do as much as they can to dispel it but still, this type of negative recruiting goes on all the time.
On the NFL side, it’s easy to see why Miles fits the mold of a college coach who could make a successful jump up. According to CBSSports’ Michael Freeman:
League executives also seem to be impressed with Miles’ ability to build and maintain a top-level program. While the challenges and differences between professional and college are obvious — the salary cap being the biggest — Miles has made LSU into a staying power in the toughest conference in the country.
The Hat on the NFL sidelines? For LSU and college football fans, we hope not. But either way, it will probably come up to a few players in the Tigers’ 11th-ranked recruiting class.