Momentum builds in right direction as LSU spring football begins

Kristian Garic
March 06, 2019 - 7:58 pm
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Coming off a really strong year and a Fiesta Bowl win, momentum is building in the right direction for Coach Ed Orgeron and the LSU Tigers as they begin spring football practice.  The Tigers had a solid recruiting class, and now Coach O and the staff begin molding the 2019 LSU squad, that has a couple of question marks.

Here are some of the top storylines and players to watch this spring:

*Derek Stingley Jr:   The early enrollee already impressed the LSU coaching staff during the Tigers’ bowl work outs in December.  Stingley is the top rated cornerback in the country in this year’s recruiting class.  He’s expected to compete for a starting spot right away and double as the team’s return man.

*Tight End group:  The Tigers have two tight ends listed on their roster.  Junior college addition T.K McClendon and freshman Charles Turner, who came into the class as a center, so he’ll be a bit of a project.

*Nose tackle Siaki “Apu” Ika:  He’s another player to keep tabs on.  Ika is an early enrollee and Coach O has pretty lofty expectations that Siaki will compete as a freshman for time in the defensive line rotation.

*Offensive line:  The Tigers struggled to protect QB Joe Burrow last year and that stymied some drives during the course of the season.  Offensive tackle Saahdiq Charles regressed a bit and battled injuries.  O-linemen Austin Deculus, and Adrian Magee struggled in pass protection.  Keep an eye on two redshirt freshman at tackle - Drew Rosenthal and Cameron Wire. 

*K’Lavon Chaisson:   This outside linebacker was expected to be the Tigers’ best pass rusher last season, before he tore his ACL in the opener against Miami.  Chaisson’s health will be a huge factor for LSU this spring and fall.

*Cornerback Kristian Fulton:  Suffered a foot injury in December and didn’t play in the Fiesta Bowl win over UCF.  His status for the spring is still up in the air.

*Joe Brady:  Coach Ed Orgeron hired Joe Brady from the Saints to be the team’s passing game coordinator.  We won’t see the impact of Brady in the spring, but it’s interesting to follow.  Brady has experience with the rave of college football: the Run/Pass Option Offense.  He has a West Coast offensive background to boot.

*Big holes to fill at key spots:  Linebacker Devin White is gone to the NFL; he’ll be a very rich man soon.  Jacob Philips looks like he’s going to be a good one at linebacker.  Others competing at LB will be Patrick Queen.  He filled in for White, while Devin was suspended for half of a game and studied under him for two years.  Queen even played a little outside linebacker at times last year.  Micah Baskerville and Damone Clark are also in the mix to replace Devin White.  Good luck!  White is arguably the best backer in LSU history.

*Big holes fill at key spots II:  Five Star running back John Emery will be a star and have a big role for the Tigers as a true freshman. Tyrion Davis-Price will also command a lot of attention.  Emery and Davis-Price are still not on campus, waiting to graduate from high school in May.  Clyde Edwards-Helaire is the incumbent running back, and looking to build off a solid campaign, rushing for 698 yards last season.

*Kicker is another spot to watch:  Cole Tracy was money for the Tigers last year out of Junior college.  He’s gone now, and Cade York figures to be the guy to replace him, but he won’t be around for spring practice.  Connor Culp and Jack Gonsoulin will be available in the spring.  

 

 

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