Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde discuss Brian Kelly’s first offseason as head coach at LSU, and debate if fans should be concerned about the lack of Louisiana recruits he has brought in so far.
DAN WETZEL: Big news, Brian Kelly likes Louisiana food, like everyone else on Earth.
PAT FORDE: Shocking.
DAN WETZEL: Crawfish, grilled oysters-- although grilled oysters maybe not the most popular one. I will give him this on the Boston, Midwestern, Louisiana accent. I do not believe that's why he said that family in tortured way.
PAT FORDE: Why did he?
DAN WETZEL: But when you switch places in the country, it's very-- it messes with you.
PAT FORDE: [LAUGHS]
DAN WETZEL: I had a disastrously strong Boston accent when I was a kid. And I moved to the Midwest. And I can't pronounce anything. So the struggle is real. The struggle is real.
PAT FORDE: I think he was trying to put a little affectation on it. I'm not sure it was completely an involuntary (SOUTHERN ACCENT) family.
DAN WETZEL: No. He's a-- he was fraudulent on that. But it is confusing.
PAT FORDE: I'm sure.
DAN WETZEL: It's confusing. I don't know how bad his accent was as a kid. But he was on the North Shore. I don't know. But he made it through his first thing. You know, the interesting thing-- and he actually talked about this. He addressed the recruiting of LSU, which has been good.
He's got a top-10 class. And he's got plenty of chances to close that ranks, to move up. It's not out of the question LSU doesn't end up, at least around five or six or something like that in the rankings, which is not unbelievable, but good.
But they're not killing it with Louisiana players the way they usually did. Obviously, Archie Manning was the biggest go. But I don't think Arch was-- I don't care who you brought in as your coach. I don't think Arch was going to LSU.
PAT FORDE: Right.
DAN WETZEL: I guess they could have found somebody. But Kelly has gone out and got really good players from Indianapolis, and Minneapolis, and Baltimore and done a-- put a little twist of Long Beach, he went, like a little bit of the Notre Dame twist on the national thing. And I think he said, look, one of the things we talked about was, you know, maybe expanding out a little bit to get to picking-- get some guys.
And so he's got this national recruiting base. He's recruited everywhere and then obviously worked the South. But that's kind of where he's at. I mean, there isn't a whole lot to discuss with Brian Kelly. But that is the one big concern is, you know, why hasn't-- why haven't they cleaned up?
I think there are nine top-100 recruits from the state of Louisiana or about, depending on what recruiting system you want. And right now, Louisiana State has, I think, just one of them. So-- or there's 10, and [INAUDIBLE] has one. And a really good linebacker from Louisiana-- from Baton Rouge, Jayden Ausberry, might go to Notre Dame, which is kind of funny.
But, yeah. So I don't know. Do you take anything from the lack of Louisiana stars and just stars from elsewhere?
PAT FORDE: Nope. Next year at this time if it's the same situation, then yes. But first year, you've got to get things up and running. He is an outsider. Ed Orgeron played every, you know, Louisiana Cajun "eat mama's gumbo" card he possibly had. And Brian Kelly comes in with a completely different persona and approach.
And I think, yeah, he looked at [INAUDIBLE]. He's like, OK, we have relationships with these guys from Notre Dame. Let's go see if we can get them. And we'll build the relationships in Louisiana. And we'll see where they are in the 2024 class, probably more importantly than 2023.
I mean, yes, sure, you would like to get some of them. But I wouldn't press the panic button now that Brian Kelly can't recruit Louisiana. It just may take him a while to get going on it.