Below is a breakdown of the two LSU sides set to square off in Saturday’s Spring Game. The scrimmage, which serves as the 15th and final practice of the spring, will take place in Tiger Stadium at 3 p.m. CST and will be televised by ESPN.
Jordan Jefferson, Zach Mettenberger, Jarrett Lee
Quick Look: All three quarterbacks will play both ways on Saturday, giving new offensive coordinator Steve Kragthorpe full reign over who gets worked into what situations during the scrimmage.
After Les Miles and the Tigers talked up the progress of incumbent starter Jordan Jefferson all offseason, will the rising senior show off a new-look No. 9, or will Junior College transfer Zach Mettenberger, who played in a Spring Game at the University of Georgia, make the biggest impression on Kragthorpe and the offensive staff?
Jakhari Gore, Spencer Ware, Kellen Theriot, James Stampley
Quick Look: Les Miles doesn’t like to name his starters before fall ball, but it goes without saying that Spencer Ware will be the first man in at running back when the Tigers take the field against Oregon next September.
As for the first man off the bench, watch for redshirt freshman Jakhari Gore. The 5-foot-9, 175-pounder has scored a touchdown in each of the past two scrimmages, and Miles said on Thursday that he loves the change of pace Gore brings to the table. But don’t be fooled by his size. As fans will see on Saturday, the little man earns his keep running between the tackles.
Kellen Theriot and James Stampley will split duties at fullback, a battle that will ultimately determine who backs up J.C. Copeland in the fall.
Rueben Randle, Russell Shepard, Kadron Boone, Jarrett Fobbs, Mitch Joseph, Deangelo Peterson
Quick Look: The White Team boasts the top receiving threats, dressing out starting wide receivers Rueben Randle and Russell Shepard as well as starting tight end Deangelo Peterson.
All three have had strong springs and certainly have their spots locked up, meaning that Kadron Boone and Jarrett Fobbs – a pair of 2010 signees – will be looking to make their case for the No. 3 wide receiver spot, which opened up to the field when Chris Tolliver suffered a concussion last week that will sideline him for good.
T-Bob Hebert, Will Blackwell, P.J. Lonergan, Elliot Porter, Alex Hurst, Chris Faulk
Quick Look: The starting linemen – minus Josh Dworaczyk - are suiting up for the White Team. Chris Faulk will get his first audition on the big stage as he looks to lock up the left tackle spot left open by Joseph Barksdale, while Hebert, Lonergan, Blackwell, and Hurst all return to the mix after serving as starters last season.
Dworaczyk is expected to sub in for Hebert at left guard once he returns from injury in the summer.
Chancey Aghayere, Mike Brockers, Bennie Logan, Ken Adams
Quick Look: Mike Brockers and Ken Adams are the two starters assigned to duty in the trenches for the White Team, and the pair happens to be the only bodies with work experience that managed to stay healthy all off-season.
Bennie Logan will join Brockers at tackle, while Adams will fit into a rotation at end with Chancey Aghayere and Jordan Allen, who are playing for both teams. Aghayere has experience and should find his way into the two-deep next fall, and with the injury count up the junior has the chance to make his mark.
Ryan Baker, Kevin Minter, Tahj Jones
Quick Look: The White Team boasts two starting linebackers in Ryan Baker (weakside) and Kevin Minter (middle), but they will have to go without a reliable name on the strongside as returning starter Stefoin Francois and safety-turned-outside linebacker Karnell Hatcher are both sidelined with injury.
It’s the second spring game in a row that Hatcher has missed, and the senior also sat out of fall camp in 2010 as a result of a knee injury. Sophomore Tahj Jones, still looking to add weight at 6-foot-2, 205-pounds, will get to go with the first-team as a result.
Eric Reid, Craig Loston, Tyrann Mathieu, Mo Claiborne
Quick Look: After suffering a broken foot last fall, starting safety Brandon Taylor wore a green no-contact jersey all spring. While that didn’t stop the rising senior from working out with the team everyday, it will hold Taylor out of Saturday’s scrimmage.
That means that Eric Reid moves onto the field, giving the White Team Reid and Craig Loston at safety and Mo Claiborne and Tyrann Mathieu at cornerback. Loston, Claiborne and Mathieu are all penciled in as starters, while Reid will serve as a utility man at both safety positions. Reid currently subs in for Taylor when the team goes into the Dime.
Jordan Jefferson, Zach Mettenberger, Jarrett Lee
Quick Look: (see above)
Jakhari Gore, Alfred Blue, Connor Neighbors
Quick Look: With Gore on both squads, sophomore Alfred Blue will face off against Spencer Ware as the chief ball carrier for the Purple Team. Blue, a 6-foot-2, 207-pounder who has looked strong all spring, rushed for 101 yards and one touchdown on 20 carries during his collegiate debut last fall.
Connor Neighbors, a 5-foot-10, 237-pound walk-on out of Huntsville, Ala., will handle the fullback duties.
Armand Williams, James Wright, Kadron Boone, Nic Jacobs, Travis Dickson
Quick Look: The battle for the third wide receiver spot could be determined by the Purple Team, which brings over Boone from the White Team to join fellow 2010 signees James Wright and Armand Williams. Wright has won the battle so far, grabbing three touchdown passes in a scrimmage two weekends ago.
At tight end, 2010 signees Nic Jacobs and Travis Dickson will get all of the looks. Jacobs, a 6-foot-5, 265-pounder with tons of athleticism, looked physically strong all spring and could be a big contributor for the Tigers in the near future. Dickson, the younger brother of former LSU tight end Richard Dickson, sits at 6-foot-3, 243-pounds and can also be used as an H-back.
Cam Fordham, Evan Washington, Chris Davenport, Josh Williford, Greg Shaw, Matt Branch
Quick Look: With the five starters piled up on the White Team, offensive line coach Greg Studrawa’s second stringers will suit up on the opposite side as they look to make room for Blue and Gore.
Fordham will get the nod at center, flanked on each side by Josh Williford and Matt Branch. Evan Washington and Greg Shaw should occupy the tackle spots, though Les Miles said on Thursday that he wants to see more of former defensive tackle Chris Davenport at the left tackle position. Davenport was switched to the spot after Washington went down with an injury two weeks ago.
Chancey Aghayere, Anthony Johnson, Justin Maclin, Ego Ferguson, Jordan Allen, Dennis Johnson
Quick Look: Chancey Aghayere will come into the mix as a two-way player, leaving the mainstays for the Purple Team as Anthony Johnson, Justin Maclin, Ego Ferguson, Jordan Allen, and Dennis Johnson.
Look for Anthony Johnson and Ferguson to team up together at defensive tackle, with Maclin moving into a rotation at end with Allen and Aghayere. Dennis Johnson, a 6-foot-2, 287-pound walk-on who saw action in games last fall, will continue to serve as a backup tackle.
D.J. Welter, Josh Johns, Luke Muncie, Lamin Barrow
Quick Look: If you are in search of the group of linebackers looking to make a big impression on the staff this offseason, look no further.
The Purple Team features a slew of younger bodies that will begin seeing significant action not this season but the next, giving Tiger fans a sneak peak at what to expect when defensive coordinator John Chavis calls their numbers down the road.
D.J. Welter has given Kevin Minter a run for his money at middle linebacker, while the 6-foot-2, 221-pound Lamin Barrow has proven that he can be utilized at both inside and outside backer. For Luke Muncie it’s about taking the next step after seeing playing time as a true freshman, and for sophomore Josh Johns it’s finding a role after playing injured through the back half of spring.
Ron Brooks, Tharold Simon, Ron Vinson, Ryan St. Julien, Sam Gibson, Derrick Bryant, Rocky Duplessis
Quick Look: While the starters are dressed in white jerseys, the Purple Team boasts a promising group of defensive backs that should see plenty of action against the first-team offense.
Ron Brooks and Tharold Simon will occupy the two cornerback spots, joined at safety by Sam Gibson and Derrick Bryant. Ron Vinson and Rocky Duplessis will shuffle in at safety, while Ryan St. Julien, now a sophomore, will offer up a third option at cornerback.
Gibson, a high school quarterback turned wide receiver last fall, has had the strongest spring, grabbing three interceptions in three scrimmages after joining the defensive backs just before camp. He should see time as a backup safety next fall, while names like Simon and Brooks will be regulars when the team adds defensive backs for bigger bodies.
Here are the names that won’t participate in Saturday’s scrimmage:
RB: Kenny Hilliard, Mike Ford
FB: J.C. Copeland
TE: Chase Clement, Tyler Edwards
WR: Chris Tolliver
OL: Josh Dworaczyk
DL: Josh Downs, Sam Montgomery, Lavar Edwards
LB: Stefoin Francois, Karnell Hatcher
DB: Brandon Taylor