With LSU out of school on Monday for Martin Luther King Day, Tuesday brought the first day of spring semester classes.
Three 2011 commitments – Zach Mettenberger, Anthony Johnson and Kenny Hilliard – took their first steps as student athletes at LSU, enrolling in courses and joining the team as offseason workouts get underway.
Mettenberger, a 6-foot-5, 250-pounder out of Butler Community College in Kansas, will join Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee in the race for the quarterback spot. If he impresses, Mettenberger could find himself as the starter under center next fall. Given Mettenberger’s immobility, many feel Jefferson would still be used as the dual-threat quarterback.
New Orleans standout Anthony Johnson, a five-star and the nation’s No. 1 defensive tackle, is in a similar situation in terms of early playing time.
With two senior defensive tackles gone from the starting lineup, Mike Brockers is the one reliable name back to the rotation. Johnson will join Josh Downs, Ego Ferguson, Bennie Logan and Chris Davenport in the race for other spots in defensive line coach Brick Haley’s front group.
Patterson’s Kenny Hilliard, who earned First-Team All-State honors, joins a backfield crowded with talent. The 6-foot, 238-pounder finished the year in the Superdome and recently showcased his talent at the Army All-American Game in San Antonio. In November he broke the state record for career rushing yards, topping the 8,048-yard mark set by Ascension Catholic’s Germaine Williams.
LSU is currently at 21 commitments for the 2011 class, and 2010 commitment Cameron Fordham’s greyshirt puts him as a signee for 2011, bringing the totals to 22. The Tigers can sign as many as 26 prospects in February, but they are capped at 23 enrollees from this class next fall.