Do SEC schools owe local/legacy recruits anything? Mississippi State fans seem to think so

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In case you missed it over the weekend, LSU landed a commitment from Pontotoc, Miss., offensive lineman Cole Smith. Smith did not have a 247Sports recruiting ranking before his commitment but has since seen his status upgraded to a three-star prospect.

No big deal, right? Well, apparently in Starkville it is.

Smith would be considered a legacy recruit for the Bulldogs, as his father Brent Smith was an All-SEC lineman for Mississippi State. However, while MSU did recruit Smith, the team has yet to offer him a scholarship.

The decision has some questioning whether offensive line coach John Hevesy knows what he’s doing.

By following this logic, an SEC offensive line coach that has been coaching the position in the toughest conference in the nation since 2005 — before entering the SEC, Hevesy had a decade of experience coaching college offensive lines including stops at Utah and Bowling Green, has coached two offensive lines to national championships and another to an undefeated season capped by winning the Fiesta Bowl, doesn’t know how to evaluate linemen.

This reaction begs the question, how much do SEC schools owe local and legacy prospects? Should coaches consistently bring in players that don’t fit what they want in a prospect, regardless of tight scholarship limitations? If SEC coaches starting doing that and losing on the field, those brownie points earned on signing day won’t be saving their jobs.

For what it’s worth, Smith’s only major scholarship offers currently come from LSU and Oregon.

Calling out a coach for losing a recruiting battle is one thing but to call out his judgment/evaluation of talent comes off as a desperate reach without knowing the intimate details of the situation. Is it possible LSU and Oregon, which run completely different offenses than Mississippi State, see something in Smith that the Bulldogs don’t? Certainly, but that doesn’t mean MSU should run to offer the local lineman after the fact.

Fans of MSU seem to be redirecting their anger after following two seasons of brutal offensive line play after having one of the league’s best units during the 2014 season. While it may be difficult to understand why a local prospect isn’t pursued with more gusto, especially when he commits to a rival division opponent, not all team needs are equal in college football.


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COMMENTS

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  • Losing a three star is a big deal for those western mongrels.

  • State did pick up a couple guys in the 2017 class, but the O Line has been down the last few years and people have been grumbling about Hevesy for a while. If Hevesy and Mullen didn’t think the kid was worth an offer, that’s fine. It just seemed like an easy pickup at a position State struggles to recruit.

  • Talk to Auburn fans about losing legacy recruits. They are experts in that field.

  • I’m not concerned about this one kid, but we have been HORRIBLE at recruiting OL’s. Horrible.

    Look at the other positions. We have recruited elite players, multiple elite players at every position except OL over the last six or seven years. Not all of them have worked, but better high school players general make better college players.

  • They could have offered him a scholarship and pulled the offer in embarrassing fashion on signing day like some schools.

  • Dude, have you seen any of our lines. The best lineman hevesy has had (Jackson) was recruited even before croom was gone. Considering how bad croom’s olines were, that’s a bit deflating. 2014 was luck, even included a walk-on starter. I’ve been screaming for hevesy’s job for six years. And it’s not like Oregon and LSU run the same offense. This kid is a symptom of his recruiting. Maybe somebody is redirecting anger after making a poor career choice. By the way, guys, Gabe Jackson was a 3 star recruit, so making fun of that is just idiotic.