When LSU landed a commitment from junior college tight end Logan Stokes, many expected him to become the Tigers' starter in 2013.
But Stokes knows nothing is guaranteed, and he's prepared to compete for his spot once he arrives in Baton Rouge in January.
"I'm going to work my butt off and hopefully get that top spot by the time the season comes around," Stokes said. "I got some guys in front of me, but the coaching staff is expecting me to come in and play early, so I'm going to do what it takes to make sure I do and give 100 percent effort to get on the field as quickly as possible."
Stokes said he's fully cleared to enroll for the spring semester and will sign his National Letter of Intent on Dec. 12.
Stokes said he plans to improve in his blocking and his ability to release into the passing game. He hopes to take the spot vacated by current senior Chase Clement.
He should benefit from playing at Northeast Mississippi Community College, which Stokes said runs an offense almost identical to LSU's. But an inexperienced offensive line led to struggles in the passing game, preventing him from putting up the kind of numbers many expected of him.
"I had 12 catches this year, and our best wide receiver had only 16," Stokes said. "We didn't throw the ball very well this year, so I know a lot of people were questioning my catching ability. But I know what I can do. The coaches know what I can do."
Stokes has visited Baton Rouge for each of LSU's past two home games, taking an official visit for Alabama and an unofficial for Mississippi State.
"They're night games at Death Valley, that's an incredible atmosphere. It's nothing like I'd ever seen before. The fans are so dedicated down there. They're so passionate about it."
Zach Mettenberger's emergence in the passing game in those two games also has Stokes excited.
"These past two games, the offense is just clicking now. I've noticed they've been trying to get the tight ends the ball. It's awesome…He's a good quarterback. I'm excited about playing with him. He's a good leader too. All the guys respect him."
Though Stokes will have a redshirt season available, he's still operating under the expectation that he can possibly play a significant role next season.
"The staff has mentioned one time about me redshirting, but the expectation is for me to come in and play, and that's on my shoulders to do that," he said.
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Stokes Prepared to Compete for Playing Time
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