February 8, 2007
Baton Rouge, LA (CSTV U-WIRE) -- The "knight" in shining armor - John Curtis' highly-touted Parade All-American running back Joe McKnight - escaped LSU on Wednesday's national letter-of-intent signing day.
McKnight announced his signing with the University of Southern California around 11 a.m. on ESPN-U.
"I'm not really going to spend a lot of time on the guys we didn't get today," LSU coach Les Miles said in a Wednesday press conference. "Those guys make decisions. Not everyone is meant to be an LSU Tiger. We wish him the very best."
But LSU's 2007 signee class still finished in the top five according to most nationwide recruiting analysts. Rivals.com has LSU's 2007 class ranked No. 4 while Scout.com has the Tigers No. 2 behind only the University of Florida.
The day started early as kicker Andrew Crutchfield of Concord, N.C., submitted his letter at 8:28 a.m. Southern Lab safety Chad Jones submitted the final letter at 2:45 p.m.
LSU coach Les Miles landed four Parade All-American recruits, including Jones, wide receiver DeAngelo Benton of Bastrop, wide receiver Terrance Toliver of Hempstead, Texas, and defensive tackle Joseph Barksdale of Detroit, Mich. The last time LSU had four Parade All-American recruits was in former LSU coach Nick Saban's 2004 signing class.
Miles said his staff "recruited long and hard" to ensure such a prominent class.
"It's a great day for LSU football," Miles said. "We were able to add to our team 25 quality men with character ... guys that have athletic ability. And those people, in my opinion, are looking very much forward to a lifetime of opportunities that LSU can afford them."
Eleven of LSU's signees are from Louisiana, and five are from Texas. Miles said the ability to consistently recruit in Louisiana will remain a key focus for future recruiting classes.
"We will always recruit our state first," Miles said.
Wednesday was also the national letter-of-intent signing day for soccer. LSU coach Brian Lee signed one player, midfielder Nazily Alcoser of Kenner.
"We're excited about the contribution she can bring," Lee said in an lsusports.net press conference. "She fits in very well to our system of play. She's technical. She's very much a pass-and-move type player who's flexible enough to play anywhere across the midfield."
(C) 2007 The Daily Reveille via CSTV U-WIRE