College : : Recruiting
LSU Signs Another Strong Class
Published: Thursday, December 10, 2009
The LSU Tigers won the College World Series on June 24 with an 11-4 victory over Texas. Exactly one week later, on the first day college coaches could contact high school juniors under NCAA rules, LSU associate head coach David Grewe called a young man who hadn't committed to anyone to gauge his interest in possibly joining the Tigers.
Grewe was flabbergasted by the young man's negative response.
"The kid told me he had no interest in LSU baseball," Grewe told Perfect Game USA. "I was amazed. I was absolutely amazed."
It was nothing personal against the school, the coaches or the program. Apparently, the young man was intimidated by the possibility of joining a national championship team and worried about playing time.
So if you think LSU can just pick and choose anyone it wants, guess again.
"Winning the national championship, it didn't have a huge positive impact in recruiting," said Grewe, who oversees the recruiting efforts for LSU head coach Paul Mainieri. "It actually made it a little more difficult in trying to convince kids there would be an opportunity here. It made it a little more challenging, because they saw the talent we had on the field."
Don't cry for the Tigers, of course. They signed a strong 15-man class this fall that includes three Aflac All-Americans and five players who are ranked in the top-51 in the Class of 2010 by Perfect Game. The Tigers are scheduled to get another talented player in the Class of 2010 when Zach Lee, also an LSU football recruit, joins the program. Lee plans to sign a national letter-of-intent in football this February and play both sports at LSU.
Grewe thinks the Tigers have signed a very talented class.
"I'm thrilled," he said. "I believe we have a great group of kids that are huge LSU fans, passionate about being here and passionate about playing baseball at LSU."
The three Aflac All-Americans in LSU's new class are Kevin Gausman, a 6-foot-4 pitcher from Centennial, Colo.; Cameron Bedrosian, a 6-foot pitcher from Senoia, Ga.; and Jacoby Jones, a 6-foot-3 infielder from Richton, Miss. Gausman and Bedrosian are blessed with 95 mph fastballs and Jones is considered one of the top high school shortstops in the country. Bedrosian's father, Steve, won the National League Cy Young Award with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1987.
All 14 of LSU's high school recruits (including Lee) are ranked in the top-350 in the United States by Perfect Game USA. The Tigers also signed a pair of junior college transfers in Lucas LeBlanc, an outfielder from Delgado Community College, and Mitchell Hopkins, a pitcher from LSU-Eunice.
LSU also signed Garin Cecchini, a shortstop from Lake Charles, La., who is ranked 32nd in the country, and Austin Southall, an outfielder from Baton Rouge, La., who is ranked 51st. They'll be joined by Lee, a first baseman/pitcher from McKinney, Texas; Ryan Eades, a pitcher from Slidell, La.; Marcus Davis, an outfielder from Cincinnati; Joe Broussard, a pitcher from Gretna, La.; Nicholas Rumbelow, a pitcher from Bullard, Texas; Kevin Koziol, a shortstop from Orland Park, Ill.; Tyler Ross, a catcher from Naples, Fla.; Kurt McCune, a pitcher from Destrehan, La.; and Joshua Burris, an outfielder/pitcher from Baton Rouge.
"These are the type of kids and families that I want to recruit every year," said Grewe, who previously was the head coach at Michigan State. "These are the types of kids that we think can help us win a national title every year."
The Tigers undoubtedly could put a quality team on the field in 2011 with just these new recruits, but now the coaches will have to wait and see who gets drafted this June and who signs a pro contract.
"Now the real recruiting period begins," said Grewe. "A lot will happen in the next eight months."
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