LSU Football: Did LSU's Coaching Staff Cost Them 2 Prized Recruits?

Sean MerrimanCorrespondent IJanuary 24, 2013

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - NOVEMBER 23:  Head Coach Les Miles of the LSU Tigers leads his team in the fight song after a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Razorback Stadium on November 23, 2012 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  The Tigers defeated the Razorbacks 20-13.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

LSU's 2013 recruiting class had the chance to go from "good" to "great" if the Tigers' were able to land two of the nation's top defensive backs in Priest Willis and Tahaan Goodman.

In addition to being two of the top defensive backs in the country, Willis and Goodman are also great friends and had pledged to play at the same college together. Both prospects had LSU listed among their finalists, and heading into this week, it looked like the Tigers had just as good of a chance at landing these two as any other school in the nation.

However, that all changed Wednesday night when Goodman announced that he will attend UCLA, and Willis followed suit shortly there after (via ESPN).

Willis is ranked as the No. 6 safety prospect in the nation and the No. 56 player overall, according to His good friend, Goodman, is listed right behind him as the No. 9 safety in the nation and No. 80 overall in's Top 100 Rankings.

So why didn't Willis and Goodman pledge their talents to Les Miles and the LSU Tigers?

According to an article written by recruiting analyst Adam Gorney, Goodman confirmed his pledge to UCLA after there were some communication problems with the LSU coaching staff and he then decided to cancel his trip to Baton Rouge.

This is the quote from Goodman in Gorney's article:

Once (the LSU trip) didn't happen, I didn't force it, the coaches didn't call me, I was like all right, Goodman said. It was really between those two. Those were my last two main schools, LSU and UCLA. They were pretty much even. When I didn't get the call from the coach I felt like it was meant to be.

Once Goodman made his announcement that he would attend UCLA, his good friend Willis followed suit shortly there after.

Now, LSU fans have to be asking, "what was LSU thinking here?"

The Tigers had a chance to land two of the premier defensive backs in the nation, and they blew it because the coaches didn't make a simple phone call? If this is indeed true, this has to be beyond upsetting to everyone who invested any time in the recruitment of these two top prospects.

If true, what makes it even more upsetting is that Goodman says "they were pretty much even (UCLA and LSU). When I didn't get the call from the coach I felt like it was meant to be."

Why wouldn't the LSU coaches make that call and put in the additional effort if it meant possibly singing these two can't-miss prospects?

In reality, this could just be one small side of the story and perhaps LSU coaches have a completely different side that we just haven't heard yet.

Either way, the fact is that LSU missed out on these two prized recruits, and that shouldn't settle well with any LSU football fans.