LSU Sports Information
By: Michael Bonnette
BATON ROUGE – Every NFL franchise will have representation on campus Wednesday when LSU hosts its annual Pro Timing Day at the Charles McClendon Practice Facility.
LSU’s Pro Day presented by Community Coffee will be televised on the SEC Network and the NFL Network. Coverage on the SEC Network begins at 10 a.m. CT with former LSU standout and NFL Super Bowl Champion Ryan Clark on site providing analysis and interviews with coaches and players. NFL Network coverage will also begin at 10 a.m. CT and continue throughout the day.
Fans can follow along with real-time results throughout the day on the LSU Sports Mobile app (LSUsports.net/apps). A complete run down of the results from the day can also found on LSUsports.net/proday at the conclusion of the event.
LSU’s Pro Day begins at 8 a.m. with the player measurements followed by combine testing, which includes vertical jump, broad jump and the 225-pound bench press at 8:25 a.m.
On-field testing consisting of the 40-yard dash, pro agility drill, the 3-cone drill and the 60-yard shuttle for skill position players starts at 9:35 a.m.
Each Pro Day participant will then take part in individual workouts by position beginning at 10:45 a.m.
A total of nine former LSU players are scheduled to participate in Pro Day tomorrow, including projected first-round picks Ja’Marr Chase and Terrace Marshall Jr.
2021 LSU Pro Day – List of Participants
FB Tory Carter
WR Ja’Marr Chase
LB Jabril Cox
WR Terrace Marshall Jr.
WR Racey McMath
DT Tyler Shelvin
DB Jacoby Stevens
DB Kary Vincent Jr.
P Zach Von Rosenberg
2021 LSU Pro Day - Schedule of Events for Wednesday, March 31
8 a.m. Player Measurements (Indoor Practice Facility)
8:25 a.m. Combine Testing (Indoor Practice Facility)
9:35 a.m. On-Field Testing (Indoor Practice Facility)
10:45 a.m. Individual Position Workouts (Indoor Practice Facility)
10:45 a.m. Defensive Backs
11 a.m. Linebackers
11:15 a.m. Defensive Line
11:30 a.m. Fullbacks
11:45 a.m. Wide Receivers
12:15 p.m. Additional Workouts
By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports
BATON ROUGE, LA: Coach O had his weekly press conference on Tuesday. He mentioned that the players are practicing with a lot of spirit and juice out on the field.
They worked on red zone situations on offense in this past weekend's scrimmage for the first time, saying the team did a solid job.
One of his concerns is the depth of the offensive line. The team's starting five is experienced and solid,
but the next group up still has a long way to go. "They are not ready to step in and play right now." Orgeron stated. "We need to speed up their development and get them ready to play."
Below is video of the Coach O press conference from Tuesday and a short practice video....
Article courtesy of: Geaux24/7
By: Billy Embody
LSU is a day shy of two weeks into spring football practices and there are two scrimmages in the books already for the Tigers. Head coach Ed Orgeron is thrilled so far with the new energy around the team and his new hires in the offseason.
"I see our guys happy, wanting to be at LSU. Coming out early. I get to work at 6 and the parking lot is full already," Orgeron said last week. "I leave at 9 o'clock, some guys are still working. Guys are coming in early. You've got some young coordinators that want to prove themselves, that are very hungry, that are very detailed, working very hard. Yes sir, no sir. They're doing a great job of organizing the staff. Got a lot of guys that want to be here. That makes a difference."
With a large group of returning veterans along with an influx of early enrollees from the 2021 class, Orgeron sees the group making serious improvements already just in terms of their habits. Practices have been competitive, physical and reenergized with the new faces on the coaching staff as well.
"We have some older guys obviously that have been around coming back that are leading the football team," the coach explained on his Zoom call with reporters last Tuesday. "I think our coaches are doing a tremendous job with energy, things seem to be flowing very good right now."
Which players are turning heads so far? Geaux247 dives into 10 players making noise as spring ball continues on for Orgeron & Co.
WR Kayshon Boutte: While Boutte is a coming off a Freshman All-American season, he's worth noting. After a record-setting performance against Ole Miss to close out the season, rave reviews continue to come in about the former five-star prospect. As the quarterback competition remains unsettled, Boutte's reliability, big play ability and continued development is critical no matter who the trigger man ends up being for Jake Peetz' offense.
"Coming in, I didn't really know what to expect, but now that I played a whole season, I kinda know what to expect," Boutte said of his experience. "We didn't really have an offseason so this is really my first real offseason in my life. My focus on this next year because this next year is going to be a big year."
DT Maason Smith: One of the prized recruits in the 2021 recruiting class has lived up to the billing in a big way. Orgeron said last week that the former five-star prospect is already making waves and is pushing for a spot as a starter early on. Coming out of Terrebonne High, Smith enrolled early at LSU for the reason of getting ahead of the game. He's making big strides early on. As he gets more comfortable, it wouldn't surprise anyone if he was indeed a Week 1 starter for LSU, but it's clear he's already going to play a major factor right away.
"Maason Smith, he came in ahead of the game. We won't even know he was a freshman if it wasn't on paper. He teaches me, we teach each other. I learn from him," defensive lineman Neil Farrell said last week. "He's a good pass rusher so I take notes from him. He taking notes from me. Every day on the field, we help each other get better."
LSU Quarterbacks: All four quarterbacks have been praised by sources and Orgeron alike. While Max Johnson is taking the first team reps over Myles Brennan, TJ Finley and Garrett Nussmeier, it's been Nussmeier who is showing the future is bright for the quarterback room at LSU. Nussmeier has stepped in as an early enrollee — and coming off a broken non-throwing hand — to shine right away.
While most would expect a veteran to take the reins of the offense in Week 1, that's an encouraging sign. What's been made clear to us is the LSU quarterback room is off to a strong start this spring in what should be a competitive next few months leading up to the season opener against UCLA.
DE BJ Ojulari: As a freshman in 2020, Ojulari made waves as a situational pass rusher. With spring ball rolling on, the former Marietta High standout is getting strong reviews once again. From the first scrimmage to now, he's been making a push for an even bigger role as LSU looks to apply more and more pressure to the opposing quarterbacks under new defensive coordinator Daronte Jones. Ojulari notched 16 tackles, five tackles for loss and four sacks in 2020. Going into next season, most are eyeing him to break out even more.
LB Navonteque Strong: LSU needed a difference maker in the linebacker room with Jabril Cox off to the NFL and Micah Baskerville not with the team right now. LSU flipped Strong from Mississippi State late in the recruiting process, getting him to Baton Rouge as a January enrollee. Competing with Damone Clark for snaps when Baskerville returns and Clemson transfer Mike Jones Jr. arrives this summer, Strong is making his push. Orgeron highlighted the former No. 1 junior college linebacker just last week.
"You're looking at Bugg Strong," Orgeron said last week of his performance in the first scrimmage. "He was the best junior college linebacker in our opinion. He had some big hits, man. He had a tough hit. He's a hard-nosed football player."
LB Damone Clark: After a disappointing 2020 season which saw Clark get overtaken by Baskerville, he's back and looking to show that was a fluke. Oozing with potential, the Baton Rouge native is athletic and is showing more comfort in the new defense while working with new linebackers coach Blake Baker. Clark's been shining as he competes for a starting spot once again.
"Last year a lot of times I second guessed myself. I am not going to second guess myself this year," Clark said last week. "Like I said, one of my biggest things was using my hands more. That is one of the things I aimed at before spring started. Now that spring is actually here, we are going against the offensive linemen and I'm using my hands and creating separation and really just not second-guessing myself."
DB Jay Ward: After LSU's safety group had a tough showing in 2020, LSU is looking for answers at the position. One answer could potentially be Ward, who was moved from cornerback to safety in time for the scrimmage this weekend. Ward had a strong showing, multiple sources said and could very well end up starting opposite Todd Harris, who is the veteran of the bunch standing out as he's now recovered from his knee injury suffered in 2019. If Ward can be a difference maker on the back end, that'll help LSU make a big stride defensively in 2021.
WR Trey Palmer: After a standout career at Kentwood, Palmer finished as one of the best wideouts in the country. Since arriving in 2019 though, Palmer has just 11 catches for 114 yards, but has made a splash with a punt return and a kick return for a touchdown. As spring ball is underway, most sources have shared that Palmer is coming on strong as an option in the slot, battling for Koy Moore, who saw plenty of time as a true freshman in 2020. With Palmer's game breaking speed, if he continues to put it together, it might be enough for him to take the starting job.
OL Anthony Bradford: One of the strongest Tigers on the team is making a big push for snaps on James Cregg's offensive line. While Orgeron said the offensive line that returns all five starters will be tough to unseat, Bradford was the one Orgeron highlighted last week, but he still must continue to get in shape. Bradford has been dominant in Big Cat drills and has shown continued improvement in spring practice. While LSU's two guard positions seem to be settled, Bradford could make a run at the right guard spot.
DL Joe Evans: After being moved back and forth between offensive and defensive line, Evans is back on the defensive line, looking to make a push for snaps. After the latest scrimmage, the praise of the former Haynesville High standout came through from multiple sources. He's made 20 tackles, a half tackle for loss and a sack in two seasons over 15 games. With Evans focusing solely on defensive line, maybe he can break out as a contributor for Andre Carter's group. There are the likes of Neil Farrell, Glen Logan, Jaquelin Roy and others back, but Evans is making a push.
By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports
BATON ROUGE, LA: A few of the Tigers took time to answer questions from the media on Thursday afternoon. This LSU team seems more focused and very hungry to produce a different outcome in 2021. Some of the guys mentioned they returned to help improve their draft status, while they all feel there is simply unfinished business, wanting to make sure they are a big part of turning things back around in Baton Rouge.
The players also seem very excited with the newly hired coordinators, (Daronte Jones & Jake Peetz), that have stepped in to bring the "One Team, One Heartbeat" back to the team culture.
Below are video clips from the player's press conference on Thursday, March 25th.....
OG - Ed Ingram
DE - Neil Farrell
QB - Max Johnson
LB - Damone Clark
K - Avery Atkins
DE - Ali Gaye
By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports
BATON ROUGE, LA: Coach Orgeron met with the media on Tuesday afternoon after the 4th practice of Fall camp to discuss the team and answer questions.
This week is expected to be a more physical week for the team, as Tuesday the coaches put both
offensive and defensive lines to the test. Challenging the D-Line to get a good four man rush, while challenging the O-Line to give solid pass protection and winning the one on one battles. Coach O said the offensive line is a strong veteran unit and is doing a fantastic job.
The quarterbacks are continuing to compete well each day in camp. The three experienced guys are making nice throws and Garrett Nussmeier is looking good, showing no fear in the pocket.
Right now the team is beat up at running back, as the position has been hit with the injury bug.
No serious injuries, just nagging ones, enough to keep the guys temporarily out of action. The wide receivers pitched in to help out, volunteering to step in and run a few plays in the backfield to give our only healthy running back a breather after 39 carries.
Below is a video of Tuesday's press conference, along with a non-audio practice video...
By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports
BATON ROUGE, LA: LSU Head Coach Ed Orgeron and his Fighting Tigers football team head into the 2021 Spring Football Session coming off of one of the most disappointing seasons in the history of the program.
”I understand LSU’s expectations,” said Orgeron. “I said it when I was hired. Nobody has to tell me what LSU’s expectations are. I know what they are and I invite them. And I expect that of me and my staff. And two years ago, we had the best team in the world. But it seems like some people have forgotten that. And I understand that but 5-5 doesn’t cut it. There’s no excuse. We’ve got to get better.”
The big story reported on Tuesday was quarterback Max Johnson taking snaps with the first unit. It's obviously a decision that Coach O had made was based on Johnson leading the team to two huge wins to end last season. LSU has something this season that I don't think they have ever had, which is an abundance of very talented quarterbacks on the roster. Each who are capable of starting. The position is oozing with potential and talent.
I personally believe that Myles Brennan will be the quarterback for LSU this season, leading the team to a special season while putting up Heisman winning numbers. He's the senior. The team leader. My opinion, the best man for the job.
Spring football practice is here and the Tigers have a lot of work to do over this session, as they look to turn things around and compete for another national championship.
LSU will have two more practices this week on Thursday, then on Saturday before taking a couple of days off..
Below is Coach O's post practice press conference, practice photos, and a practice video courtesy of LSU....
Photos below provided by LSU
Article Courtesy of: SB Nation
By: Zach Junda
I could live for all of eternity and never fully understand how LSU’s secondary performed so poorly last season.
This is LS-freaking-U. The program breeds elite defensive backs like few others can and has plenty of future pros on the roster, and yet despite that the group was the worst in school history and the country in passing defense.
Mississippi State threw for a conference record 623 yards in the opener. Connor Bazelak looked like an All-Conference quarterback in his second career start thanks to 406 yards and four touchdowns. And do we really need to revisit the Alabama game? Or the fact that, had they wanted to, the Tide could have easily scored 100 points?
The good news is, the bar is so low heading into 2021 that even being semi-decent will feel like the Tigers are a cross between the Steel Curtain and the ‘85 Bears. Even better is the fact that LSU has more than enough elite defensive backs to right the wrongs of last season.
It’s truly incredible that you can have a pair of studs at corner like Derek Stingley and Elias Ricks and still be the worst passing defense in college football. Stingley’s only the best, most gifted corner in LSU history and Ricks’s play was good enough for All-American honors.
And yet. And yet! LSU still gave up 323 passing yards a game. Derek Stingley will be a top-three pick in about 13 months, and Ricks will almost certainly be a first rounder in the 2023 draft but you wouldn’t know that based off Bo Pelini’s ill-fated second stop in Baton Rouge.
There were rumblings about Ricks possibly looking to transfer to Ohio State, but that appears to have been put to rest. As for Stingley, his sophomore campaign was derailed in the flukiest ways. He became ill and was hospitalized the night before the Mississippi State game, rolled his ankle on the yard marker chain against Missouri, took a knee to the head against Arkansas on a punt return and missed both the Florida and Ole Miss games due to a leg injury. But he’s still that dude and reminded everyone of that against A&M when he allowed only one catch against seven targets.
Stingley and Ricks are great, possibly the best corner tandem LSU has had since Patrick Peterson and Mo Claiborne. There’s absolutely nothing to worry about as far as boundary corners go.
The slot is where things get interesting. Cordale Flott, Jay Ward and Dwight McGlothern all had struggles early in the year, but the trio seemed to have found their footing as the year progressed. Flott had his best game as a Tiger in College Station; Ward intercepted three passes in the wins over Florida and Ole Miss, even returning one for a score; and McGlothern, while the numbers are gaudy, showed he can hang in the SEC.
Can we really take anything away from their efforts in 2020 as a whole? I’m not sure but I know this: LSU won a national championship 14 months ago with Flott and Ward contributing significantly. I’m willing to give them and McGlothern the benefit of the doubt and chalk the struggles up to poor coaching.
As for safety? Well the unit struggled last year and to rectify that, LSU made safety an area of focus for the 2021 recruiting class. LSU signed three safeties, including the No. 1 (Sage Ryan) and 2 (Derrick Davis) players at the position.
The safety room is thin at the moment with Mo Hampton Jr. transferring from LSU. Todd Harris and Cam Lewis are back for their senior campaigns, and Jordan Toles is entering year two.
The trio all struggled but some of those issues can be explained away. Harris was working his way back from an ACL tear; Toles was a true freshman; and Lewis, frankly, has never been high up on the depth chart. He’s veteran depth, but he’s not going to be LSU’s top choice to man a starting spot.
It’s very possible that Derrick Davis uses these 15 practices to push for playing time while also getting a leg up on Ryan and Matthew Langlois, who will enroll this summer. Is it unrealistic to pencil in LSU starting a pair of true freshmen at safety against UCLA? Probably, but if Ryan and/or Davis are as good as advertised, they’ll certainly be on the field early and often.
Article Courtesy of: SB Nation
By: Zach Junda
Heading into the 2020 season LSU faced a steep task: replacing its entire starting linebacker corps while also switching to a new defense.
Gone was Dave Aranda’s 3-4, in came Bo Pelini’s 4-3 approach. The problem? LSU had spent the past few seasons loading up on smaller, quicker linebackers that could cover sideline to sideline instead of the “see ball, hit ball” attacking type.
The skillsets of Jabril Cox and Damone Clark didn’t mesh with Pelini’s philosophy. Now LSU, who has been producing phenomenal linebackers as of late, is hoping that the new defense Daronte Jones and position coach Blake Baker can get this group of linebackers playing like Devin White, Debo Jones, and Patrick Queen.
Micah Baskerville won’t partake in spring practices as he’ll need to focus on his schoolwork to remain
eligible for next season. That’s a blow because Baskerville’s late season emergence was a bright spot for the LSU defense
But it could be an even bigger blow to Baskerville and his professional aspirations because Damone Clark is getting high praise from Blake Baker.
“Right now, you know I think Damone has the most experience. He’s a coach’s dream. A phenomenal, phenomenal kid,” Baker said during Wednesday’s coaches caravan. “Wants to do everything to perfection. He’s probably one of the hardest working players I’ve seen out there on the field on a day-to-day basis. I’ve challenged him to bring the other guys along.”
That kind of praise is encouraging for a guy who had an underwhelming 2020. It remains to be seen how much of Clark’s struggles are owed to Bo Pelini’s defensive philosophy, but I’d expect a bounce back year from Clark.
If Clark and/or Baskerville aren’t up to task, however, Orgeron and staff hopefully have readymade
solutions in the form of JUCO product Navonteque Strong and Mike Jones (WHO?).
Strong comes to LSU via Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College as the top inside linebacker at the junior college level. Strong was long thought to be headed to Starkville, but earned a late LSU offer and signed with the Tigers one day after decommitting from Mississippi State. LSU lacked an enforcer at the second level and Strong looks to fill that void.
Jones on the other hand looks to inherit the safety/linebacker tweener role Jabril Cox played last season. Jones is athletic enough that he could be asked to both come off the edge as blitzer or run with an opponent’s tight end. He also brings a winning mindset to LSU, playing in three CFPs while at Clemson and winning a national championship in 2018.
The competition for playing time will be fierce and we haven’t even gotten to second year players like Josh White, Antoine Sampah and Phillip Webb. Considering how badly the Tiger linebackers struggled last season I’m surprised White, Sampah, and Webb didn’t get a chance to show what they could do. I mean really, could the worst defense in school history have looked that much worse with a freshman playing linebacker? But the trio of White, Sampah and Webb are now entering their second year with the program and combined 15 snaps between them. Can they use these 15 practices to show Carter and Baker they deserve more playing time?
Article courtesy of SB Nation
By: Zach Junda
The LSU defense was not good in 2020. You know it, I know it, there’s no need to revisit it.
However there were some positive takeaways. Namely LSU building a rather impressive front four that’s not only bringing back all its contributors, it’s adding depth with a couple of stud recruits some of whom are already on campus.
Not only is the group exciting, the man coaching the players is providing some buzz. Andre Carter, a former first round pick who played 13 years in the NFL has joined the staff after spending the past four years coaching the Jets and Dolphins defensive lines. It’s Carter’s first college coaching job and has a whole host of toys to play with.
Like the LSU offensive line, the Tigers are bringing back the entirety of its defensive front. But while there’s unproven depth with the LSU offensive line, the defense has a two-deep that can be counted upon.
Call me overly optimistic but I love the Ali Gaye and Andre Anthony pass rushing tandem, I feel they could be one of the conference’s best. Anthony, in his first year as a starter, came along strong to close the 2020 season and would eventually lead LSU in sacks with 5.5. Anthony’s emerged as a leader for LSU both on and off the field,
Gaye, on the other hand, may have been the single most impactful player Orgeron and staff recruited to come back for one more season in Baton Rouge. Gaye oozes potential at the next level and more often than not LSU loses its draft-eligible players rather than keeping them for an extra year. Gaye burst onto the scene with great games in the season opener and finale, but the production plateaued in weeks two through nine.
Against Mississippi State Gaye announced his presence with two tackles for loss, a sack and knocked down three passes and against Ole Miss he had three tackles, a forced fumble and an interception. Gaye didn’t have a game as singularly dominant as those between games two through nine, but if he can have a great 2021 season from start to finish he could play himself into a top-50 pick at worst or even a first rounder in the 2022 draft.
Behind Anthony and Gaye is rising sophomore BJ Ojulari who showed he can be the kind of game-changing pass rusher LSU hasn’t had since Arden Key. Ojulari was used primarily as a pass rushing specialist and was second on the team in sacks with four. His coming out party was a three-sack effort against South Carolina but seemed to hit the freshman wall after the win over the Gamecocks.
Ojulari only had one tackle over LSU’s final four games, though he did recover a crucial Kyle Trask fumble which LSU used to kick a field goal before halftime. The biggest leap a player takes is between his first and second year, and if Andre Carter can fully unlock Ojulari’s potential, he may indeed live up to Coach O’s prediction of being a future All-American.
Behind LSU’s big three are reserves like Soni Fonua and Jarell Cherry who, while may not be future pros, have been with the program for a few seasons now and give the program veteran depth. There’s also early enrollee Landon Jackson a four-star out of Texas. Fellow early enrollee Zavier Carter is listed as a defensive end on LSU’s website but if he is indeed 195 pounds I’d assume his home will be at outside linebacker.
Along the interior is where LSU could have four or five guys battling for two starting spots. Glen Logan and Neil Farrell Jr. are back for what should be their final seasons in Baton Rouge, and while they’re veterans it’s going to be close to impossible to keep Jaquelin Roy off the field.
Roy was a bull of a defensive tackle last year, Pro Football Focused credited him with 17 quarterback hurries. That was more than Andre Anthony had and the same amount of as BJ Ojulari and Roy did that with significantly less playing time (267 snaps compared to 465 for Andre Anthony and 314 for BJ Ojulari). Nobody will ever be Glenn Dorsey, but Roy showed he can be special.
And speaking of special, incoming freshman Maason Smith is on campus and already looks the part
listed at 6’6” and 312 pounds. Maybe it’s unrealistic to expect Smith as a day one starter, but there’s no chance the five-star from Houma is not on the field against UCLA early and often come September.
Spring ball will also be a chance for guys like Eric Taylor, Jacobian Guillory and Joseph Evans to show they belong in the rotation. Taylor didn’t see the field at all in 2020, while Guillory’s freshman campaign was weighed down by a nagging ankle injury. PFF has Guillory with only a single snap taken last year, which was in the Alabama game. If memory serves, Guillory was in on a goal line play on Alabama’s second drive of the game and his ankle got rolled.
Joseph Evans was a pleasant surprise defensively, registering 12 tackles and a sack. If you recall, Evans was moved to offensive line last offseason to try and provide some depth before switching back to defense, his natural position. Now with a full offseason devoted entirely to playing defensive tackle, Evans could give LSU five legitimate options on the interior.
Article courtesy of: SB Nation
By: Zach Junda
This time last year LSU was stacked at the wide receiver and tight end position. The Tigers were blessed with Ja’Marr Chase, the reigning Bilentikoff award winner and arguably best receiver in program history, Terrace Marshall, who may very well be a first round pick, and mega-recruit Arik Gilbert, the highest rated tight end in the history of 247 sports.
None of those three finished the 2020 season in purple and gold. Chase opted out prior to the season; Gilbert opted out after the Alabama game and has since transferred (twice now after leaving Florida); and Terrace Marshall called it a career after the Texas A&M game, though fittingly the last ball he caught as a Tiger was a touchdown.
While LSU has finally caught up to the rest of the world in terms of quarterback play, the program has never had issues getting receivers to come to Death Valley. As one group of excellent receivers departed for the NFL, the next wave made instant impacts and looks to take strides in their second year.
LSU’s number one option out wide is, well, No. 1. Kayshon Boutte shouldered the load after Marshall opted out catching 27 passes for 527 yards and four touchdowns against Alabama, Florida and Ole Miss. His coming out party came in the season finale against Ole Miss, where he caught an SEC-record 308 yards and three scores against the Rebels.
Boutte was Louisiana’s highest rated recruit in the 2020 circuit and a consensus five-star prospect. He very much looked the part and seems poised to be the next great receiver to don the purple and gold.
After Boutte the jockeying for spots on the depth chart begins. Jaray Jenkins was a pleasant surprise in 2020 and is LSU’s second-leading returning receiver. Jontre Kirklin, long the special teams ace, finally got to get involved in the offense and took advantage of the NCAA’s blanket waiver granting all fall athletes an extra year of eligibility. It feels like it’s now or never for rising junior receiver Trey Palmer. Palmer has shown he can be dynamic with the ball in his hands, returning a punt for a touchdown in 2019 and a kickoff for a score last season, but hasn’t gotten involved enough in the offense for my liking. Palmer’s only caught 11 balls through two years, can he earn a bigger workload?
Then there’s LSU’s underclassmen. Koy Moore had a respectable freshman campaign, catching 22 balls. If Moore can stretch the field he didn’t show it in consistently in 2020. On the one hand Moore’s longest reception last season was 26 yards, but on the other he’s the only returning receiver to average less than 10 yards a reception. I’m not sure if there’s any conclusions you can draw from Alex Adams’s first year in Baton Rouge when he only had one ball thrown his way.
LSU signed a really strong group of receivers in its 2021 class and Deion Smith, the highest rated of the bunch, is already on campus and ought to have a leg up on the likes of Chris Hilton and Brian Thomas Jr. Smith was Mississippi’s No. 1 prospect and a top-10 consensus receiver, checking in at No. 69 overall (nice) and No. 9 at his position.
As far as the tight ends are concerned there’s not a whole lot of production here and the group doesn’t have a ton of depth. Kole Taylor will forever be an LSU legend after having his shoe thrown in the Florida game and caught five passes the last two weeks of the season, but what can he do heading into year two? Is he a true No. 1 tight end option or is he a complimentary piece?
Behind Taylor are even more question marks. Former Tiger pitcher Nick Storz is back as is Devonta Lee who is still trying to find a home. Lee came to LSU as a receiver, tried his hand at linebacker in 2020 but has now settled in at tight end. Neither Jack Bech nor Jalen Shead enrolled early so it will be on these three to try and establish roles within Jake Peetz’s offense
Article courtesy of: SB Nation
By: Zach Junda
All last summer, Ed Orgeron was adamant in his belief that he had three starting-caliber running backs and tried to divvy up the carries to reflect that.
It didn’t work. The only thing equally shared amongst the trio of Ty Davis-Price, John Emery, and Chris Curry was frustration. Injuries and poor offensive line play slowed down the LSU running game and the trio was held under a combined 1,000 yards rushing, which is unheard of for a program that has as many famed running backs.
All season long the thought was the running back room was too crowded and come the offseason someone was going to have to transfer. That’s exactly what played out when Chris Curry transferred to Utah.
The 2021 running back room will be a little crowded too with the additions of four-star freshmen Armoni Goodwin and Corey Kiner, but with Davis-Price and Emery both draft eligible at season’s end attrition could be a blessing, especially if LSU takes another pair of backs as Corey eluded to Monday.
But what happens in 2022 and beyond can wait. In the here and now I only have one question in regards to the running backs: who the heck is going to emerge as the bell cow this year?
Somebody, I don’t care who, has to assert themselves and be the guy in the LSU backfield. Neither Goodwin nor Kiner enrolled early so the vets will be battling for the lion’s share of carries.
I’ve long been driving the “John Emery is special give him more touches” bandwagon. Orgeron has said he feels like Emery and Davis-Price could be LSU’s equivalent to Reggie Bush and Lendale White. If he still believes that, then it is well past time he starts giving Emery a workload similar to Bush.
Ty Davis-Price is a very good running back and will almost definitely be playing in the NFL in either
2022 or 2023. He was the second leading rusher for the greatest offense in college football history and he’s entering his third year with the program. But he ain’t John Emery.
I’m of the belief that Davis-Price should be the complimentary back, not the other way around and the numbers back that up. Davis-Price got 29 more carries but Emery had the higher yards per carry. Emery also caught more passes than Davis-Price. The one drawback is Davis-Price is the better pass blocker than Emery, but I’m sorry if one guy gives me more yards per carry and is better catching the ball coming out of the backfield I’ll take that over a superior pass blocking back. Again, I like Ty Davis-Price but in my opinion the roles need to reversed.
LSU also has a pair of sophomore running backs who had smaller roles in the Tiger offense. LSU tried using Tre Bradford primarily as a receiving back, and he caught a fourth quarter touchdown against Florida. I’m curious to see how Bradford’s role in the offense changes heading into 2021, it felt like every time he checked into a game it was always a pass thrown his way. Can he be counted on to be a more well-rounded back? Or will his presence continue to be a dead giveaway as to what the offense is trying to accomplish?
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Bradford’s small bit of legal troubles. Bradford was arrested and booked at the West Baton Rouge Detention Center around Christmas for an alleged shoplifting incident at a Walmart. Bradford reportedly called it a misunderstanding and it doesn’t appear any kind of discipline has been handed down by the program. Not yet at least.
I also want to take some time to shoutout Josh Williams, the former walk on back who was awarded a scholarship. Williams got 22 carries and looked pretty good when he got his number called! Remember when he ripped off that 30-yard run against Ole Miss? That was cool as hell and I wish he would’ve scored a touchdown.
Article courtesy of: The Advocate
By: Brooks Kubena
Last week, LSU announced that its NFL pro day is scheduled for March 31, and, on Tuesday, the university announced the eight players who will participate.
The pro day, when NFL scouts test and time LSU's draft-eligible players, is all the more important this year because the annual NFL scouting combine did not happen because of coronavirus concerns.
The list includes four players who opted out for the full 2020 season or at least part of the year.
LSU wide receivers Ja'Marr Chase and Terrace Marshall, both considered first-round talents, headline the offensive side while linebacker Jabril Cox, a Butkus Award semifinalist in 2020, is one LSU's top names on defense along with defensive back Kary Vincent, who started at nickel safety in three seasons in Baton Rouge.
Safety JaCoby Stevens, fullback/tight end Tory Carter and wide receiver Racey McMath will also participate in the scouting event.
Chase and Vincent opted out before the 2020 season began, as did defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin, who will participate in LSU's pro day. Marshall played in seven games — recording 48 catches, 731 yards and 10 touchdowns — before opting out the remainder of LSU's 10-game regular season.
Chase won the 2019 Biletnikoff Award for nations' top receiver, and the 6-foot-1, 200-pound Rummel High graduate set a then-Southeastern Conference season record for yards receiving (1,780) and receiving touchdowns (20).
"It's a tremendous honor to be invited to the NFL combine and I'm proud of each of these guys for putting themselves in position to take the next step of their football career," LSU coach Ed Orgeron said in a statement. "It's disappointing that this group won't be able to have the full NFL combine experience, but I know they are training hard and will put on a great performance at our pro day later this month."
Photos Below By: LSU
Article courtesy of: SB Nation
By: Zach Junda
At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, the LSU quarterback position is as healthy as it has ever been in the program’s 127 years of existence.
LSU started three different quarterbacks in 2020 and all three won games. The trio of Myles Brennan, TJ Finley, and Max Johnson wasn’t perfect but considering the struggles of the offensive line, questionable offensive schemes, and the Tigers fielding literally the worst defense in school history, I can’t direct too much ire at a pair of true freshmen and a first-year starter.
The 2020 season was a season from hell for LSU but it ended with some positive momentum. LSU won its last two games to end the year at .500, it signed another top-five recruiting class, returns basically every contributor from the previous year, and made some much needed coaching changes. But the best bit of news is that Myles Brennan appears to have worked his way back from his torn abdominal injury that took him out three games into the season.
“We’re only going through walkthrough right now, but he’s in the weight room,” Orgeron said in a mid-February interview with WWL.” He’s doing everything that the team does. He’s throwing with the team after when the coaches are not on the field. He looks like he’s full speed right now.”
Brennan wasn’t Joe Burrow, but in the three games he played in he was good enough for LSU to be 3-0. Instead the Tiger defense failed the offense, allowing 44 and 45 points in the losses to Mississippi State and Missouri and an average of 515 passing yards in those two games.
Health permitting, Brennan should still be the starting quarterback for LSU and taking most if not all of the reps with the first-team offense when spring practice begins in two weeks. The starting quarterback position shouldn’t be up for debate. The real battle will be for QB2.
For maybe the first time ever, LSU has proven depth along the quarterback position. The only other example that comes to mind is 2006 when LSU had JaMarcus Russell, Matt Flynn and Ryan Perrilloux in its quarterback room.
TJ Finley got five starts and had his fair share of highs and lows. In his first career start against South Carolina, Finley looked nearly flawless completing 17 of 21 passes and scoring three touchdowns; he also led a game winning drive on the road in less than ideal weather conditions at Arkansas.
But his bad moments looked really bad. Finley had a nightmare of a game against Auburn getting sacked twice and throwing a pair of interceptions in the most lopsided defeat in the history of the Auburn-LSU game. Against a Texas A&M team that was begging to be upset at Kyle Field, Finley looked hapless, completing 9 of 25 passes and throwing two backbreaking picks.
Finley was benched in the Auburn and A&M games in favor of Max Johnson and Johnson showed why
the coaching staff was so high on him. Johnson threw a 43-yard bomb to Kayshon Boutte during garbage time of the Auburn game, and engineered a 14-play touchdown drive on LSU’s final possession against Texas A&M to avoid the shutout.
Johnson took the starting reigns from Finley for LSU’s last two games and shined, throwing for 674 yards and six touchdowns compared to just one interception. He won both games and made clutch plays in the fourth quarter in both the upset over Florida and the rally against Ole Miss.
All of this is to say LSU has legitimate options at quarterback if something were to happen to Myles Brennan again. Johnson is the better athlete and seems to have a little bit of that “it” factor, while Finley has the better arm and can make all the throws. And then there’s true freshman Garrett Nussmeier, the four-star, top-100 prospect who is already on campus.
So who’s first off the bench for LSU if Brennan goes down? That’s what these upcoming 15 practices and April’s spring game will decide, though if I were to pick I’d say Johnson is QB2. Orgeron won’t, and shouldn’t, name his starting and backup quarterback six months before the season starts, but instead will let the competition play itself out.
“It’s going to be a great quarterback race. I can’t wait to see it,” Orgeron said in an interview last week with 104.5. “We got great quarterbacks back there, better than we ever had (as far as a group), and we’ve got more returning starters than we’ve ever had, and we got a great recruiting class, so this is going to be a good year for us.”
Article courtesy of: All Fans/SB Nation
By: Zach Junda
If a football team had a weak unit one year and then brought back the entire group the following year, is that unit suddenly better?
That’s the question the LSU offensive line will have to answer as spring practice looms. The Tiger offensive line was the most bemoaned unit last season after the defense. LSU could only manage 3.3 yards a carry and the pass blocking wasn’t much better, allowing Myles Brennan, TJ Finley and Max Johnson to be sacked a combined 17 times, hit 34 times and pressured 86 times.
And yet there’s reason for optimism. The offensive line played better in LSU’s final two games of 2020, though admittedly Florida and Ole Miss aren’t the most fearsome defenses, and all five starters are coming back. With (hopefully) a normal-ish spring to gel the offensive line there’s reason to believe the growth from 2020 to 2021 looks something similar to what 2018 to 2019 had.
The starting five for 2021 figures to be the exact same as 2020: Rosenthal, Ingram, Shanahan, Hines and Deculus. The question will be can they improve under James Cregg. The Cregg tenure has been interesting to say the least. The unit of course won the Joe Moore Award in 2019, but that was sandwiched between two subpar at best seasons in 2018 and 2020. The performance of the offensive line in 2021 may determine Cregg’s future with the program.
But if 2021 is a make or break year for Cregg, it has to be comforting having literally the entire gang back. Not only are the five starters back, but the second unit is back as well and for most of these guys it’s now or never.
I’m referring specifically to Kardell Thomas and Anthony Bradford. Thomas was a top-five player at his position coming out of Southern Lab and Orgeron said last offseason Bradford was perhaps LSU’s most talented offensive lineman. Those two guys played a combined 11 snaps last season and they’re heading into their third year with the program. If they can’t stake their claims now it’s most likely never going to happen, at least not at LSU.
Developing the two-deep will be the name of the game for the offensive line this spring. LSU famously only signed two offensive linemen in 2021 and that drew ire from LSU fans. But it’s not that LSU doesn’t have the bodies, the players just aren’t developing and that’s a bigger cause for concern.
LSU signed four offensive linemen in 2018, (Damien Lewis, Badara Traore, Cole Smith, Cameron Wire), five in 2019 (Thomas, Bradford, Charles Turner, Ray Parker, Thomas Perry) and three in 2020 (Marcus Dumervil, Marlon Martinez, Xavier Hill). It’s probably too early to make a judgment one way or another on the 2020 signees. So of those nine linemen LSU signed in 2018 and ‘19 can you say LSU hit on any of them besides Damien Lewis? Maybe Cameron Wire, but even then Wire’s not a full-time starter.
Either LSU isn’t recruiting well enough along the offensive line or when the players get here they aren’t being developed properly. It’s probably a blend of both and that will make competing for the College Football Playoff on a consistent basis a problem if LSU can’t improve up front.
But improving up front could come in the form of freshman tackle Garrett Dellinger, a top-100 player in the 2021 recruiting cycle and a prized signee of LSU’s class. Dellinger is the kind of elite offensive linemen LSU typically doesn’t sign, but his ranking makes him one of the best offensive linemen signed by LSU dating back to 2000. Dellinger is already on campus and while he may not be a day-one starter—especially with both Deculus and Rosenthal back—being an early enrollee ought to be instrumental in tapping into his immense potential and setting himself up for success in 2022 and beyond.
It can’t be understated how massive it is LSU got guys like Austin Deculus, Ed Ingram, and
Dare Rosenthal to come back for another season. How many years have we lamented LSU players leaving for the NFL despite not being an obvious top-100 pick while Alabama seems to get all their draft-eligible guys back for an extra year? Spring is the season of growth, hopefully that includes the Tiger offensive line.
Article By: All Fans/SB Nation
By: Zach Junda
The LSU football and baseball team received bad news Thursday when it was reported that sophomore outfielder/safety Mo Hampton Jr. would be entering the transfer portal.
On the football field Hampton played in eight games this past season, recording 27 tackles. As a freshman, Hampton played in 13 games and recorded 10 tackles. Hampton also started against Arkansas in place of an injured Grant Delpit and his efforts in that game were rewarded by the SEC as the conference’s freshman of the week. Hampton’s emergence helped stabilize the the 2019 LSU secondary as Delpit worked his way back from his injured ankle.
Hampton hasn’t enjoyed as much success inside Alex Box as he has in Tiger Stadium. His freshman season was ended prematurely both by and injured back and the COVID-19 pandemic. Hampton played in 10 games and started seven, with four in center field and three in left. He batted .231 (6-26) with a double, three RBIs, and stole a pair of bases as a freshman.
But Hampton hasn’t seen nearly as much playing time this season as he did in the shortened 2020
season. Hampton’s only appeared in five games and logged four at bats thanks to a crowded but talented LSU outfield. Hampton’s name is no longer listed on the 2021 baseball roster. He leaves LSU with a mere 30 at bats and 15 games played in.
“I was caught off guard by his decision today,” Mainieri said. “But I can’t say I was totally surprised.”
Hampton came to LSU by way of Memphis as an elite football and baseball player. He was a
top-100 football prospect in the 2019 class and the 29th ranked player in the 2019 MLB Draft. He’s the first athlete in Tennessee history to be named Mr. Football and Mr. Baseball in the same season. Hampton turned down a $1.8 million signing bonus to attend LSU.