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Ask Farrell: Can LSU remain elite after recent departures?

LSU won the national championship Monday night with a convincing 42-25 victory over Clemson and now there are thoughts that the Bayou Bengals could become one of the next dynasties in college football.

Ed Orgeron is not going anywhere. LSU is his dream job. Recruiting is going very well as the Tigers have the fourth-best class nationally led by five-stars Arik Gilbert and Elias Ricks along with numerous high-level four-star signees.

But just hours after LSU’s dominance over Clemson came the reality that next year’s squad is going to look a whole lot different.

Superstar quarterback Joe Burrow is gone, probably to be the first pick in the NFL Draft. Top running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire and top receiver Justin Jefferson are leaving early.

So are outstanding defensive players Jacob Phillips, Grant Delpit and Patrick Queen. Offensive linemen Lloyd Cushenberry and Saahdiq Charles are testing the NFL waters as well.

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CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

Another massive loss came shortly after the national title win when co-offensive coordinator b announced that he was leaving LSU to join Matt Rhule’s staff with the Carolina Panthers. That’s not just a major loss from a play-calling standpoint but it could be a major negative for recruiting on the offensive side of the ball. The new hire will be crucial.

That was followed by the loss of longtime defensive coordinator Dave Arranda who is taking the head coaching job at Baylor. This is another huge blow to the staff.

It was not all bad news after LSU won, though, as star defensive back JaCoby Stevens and massive defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin are coming back next season. The cupboards are hardly bare across the board and there is elite talent coming in with this recruiting class.

But high-level players are also now breathing down LSU’s neck. Clemson will look for revenge next season and the Tigers are loaded. Ohio State should be spectacular. Alabama is determined to not slide from the nation’s elite. Others will be in the running as well.

We ask Rivals National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell if he sees LSU staying among the nation’s elite and making a repeat at the national championship again next season or whether the Tigers slide after losing so many phenomenal players?


“LSU will stay among the elite in college football but these losses are tough to overcome. I felt like the Tigers might be able to repeat, but they could struggle more than expected depending on who replaces Brady, Aranda and especially Burrow. The player losses were expected but I don’t think we foresaw LSU losing both Brady and Aranda following the title run. Recruiting is going very well and Ed Orgeron has proven to be a great coach, but right now I have them behind Clemson, Ohio State, Alabama and others when it comes to favorites to win it all in 2020.”