Two weeks from today Les Miles and the Tigers will begin spring practice at the Charles McClendon Practice Facility.
But, before LSU steps out onto the gridiron for the first time as a team in 2013, TSD will provide an early look at the projected spring two-deep on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.
A few notes: The depth charts below only include players who will be enrolled and participating this spring. Non-early enrollees from the Class of 2013 will not be found ... Commas between players are meant to designate a jump from first string to second string. "OR" between players means there's competition expected by the Tigers on both sides of the word, be it for first-team or second-team status. Finally, the year in parentheses behind each player denotes his class for the 2013 season.
QB: Zach Mettenberger (Sr.), Stephen Rivers (So.)
RB: Jeremy Hill (So.), Kenny Hilliard (Jr.) OR Terrence Magee (Jr.)
FB: J.C. Copeland (Sr.), Connor Neighbors (Sr.)
WR (X): Kadron Boone (Sr.), James Wright (Sr.)
WR (Z): Odell Beckham (Jr.), Jarvis Landry (Jr.)
TE: Travis Dickson (Jr., receiving) OR Logan Stokes (Jr., blocking), Dillon Gordon (So.)
LT: Jerald Hawkins (Fr.), Ethan Pocic (Fr.)
LG: La'el Collins (Jr.), Josh Williford (Sr.)
C: Elliott Porter (Jr.), Fehoko Fanaika (Jr.)
RG: Trai Turner (So.), Derek Edinburgh (Fr.) OR Evan Washington (Jr.)
RT: Vadal Alexander (So.), Jonah Austin (So.)
- With depth at running back dwindling, and Alfred Blue likely still out rehabbing for the fall, look for this spring to be the time that LSU works Terrence Magee back into the fold. Magee helped fill a vacancy at receiver in 2012. This spring, expect him to push Kenny Hilliard in the backfield and be a valuable pass-catching option for Cam Cameron.
- There are rumblings out there that redshirt freshman receiver Travin Dural had to have a second surgery on the knee he originally hurt in Fall Camp 2012, where he was beginning to make a splash. Doesn't appear he'll be a go this spring. With that said, James Wright gets one final chance to impress at X receiver. Also, please note that in three-receiver sets, Jarvis Landry is a starter.
- The offensive line may be the most interesting unit to monitor this spring. More and more signs are pointing toward redshirt freshman Jerald Hawkins being the starter at left tackle in 2013. The Tigers may not kick off spring ball that way, but look for him to get a lot of reps on the blindside at any rate. Also, Josh Williford is a four-position backup, so if it were a game situation, he'd likely come in to any of the guard or tackle spots as the next man up. But, for the sake of giving a second group of five, the next guys in line are listed where they'll probably be this spring. It's a heck of an opportunity for early enrollee Ethan Pocic to shine.
DE: Jermauria Rasco (Jr.), Justin Maclin (Jr.)*
DT: Anthony Johnson (Jr.), Christian Lacouture (Fr.)
DT: Ego Ferguson (Jr.) OR Quentin Thomas (So.), Mickey Johnson (So.)
DE: Danielle Hunter (So.), Jordan Allen (Jr.)
WLB: Kwon Alexander (So.), Lamar Louis (So.)
MLB: Lamin Barrow (Sr.), D.J. Welter (Jr.)
SLB: Tahj Jones (Sr.), Deion Jones (So.)
CB: Jalen Mills (So.), Dwayne Thomas (Fr.)
FS: Ronald Martin (Jr.), Corey Thompson (So.)
SS: Craig Loston (Sr.), Jerqwinick Sandolph (So.)**
CB: Jalen Collins (So.), Derrick Raymond (Fr.)
* If Justin Maclin has recovered from his leg injury and is available to go.
** Also included in mix at safety is Micah Eugene (So.), who strictly plays in the box in nickel, dime and Mustang packages.
- This will be an intriguing spring for the defensive line. There aren't a ton of experienced or completely healthy scholarship guys around to comprise a true second team. In fact LSU fans should expect several newcomers in the fall to have better opportunities than players like Quentin Thomas or Justin Maclin, for example. But the likes of Greg Gilmore, Frank Herron and Tashawn Bower aren't in Baton Rouge just yet. Still, it will be an exciting time to watch as Jermauria Rasco and Danielle Hunter rise to the first team. Also, expect Quentin Thomas to begin pushing Ego Ferguson, a player who has underperformed at times.
- The whispers are growing that John Chavis may try his hand with Kwon Alexander at Mike linebacker in 2013, leaving Lamin Barrow at his customary Will spot. If so, flip those two from where they're listed above. Either way this will be a spring to experiment for Chief, who has loads of talent in the corps for the first time in several years.
- One final technical note: LSU is listing Dwayne Thomas as a redshirt freshman, but it really felt as though he saw enough plays and late enough in the season to burn that. Check back with TSD for a clarification later, but we'll leave it as is for now.
Schedule for pre-spring preview stories
Tuesday, February 26: Spring Preview - New names to monitor
Thursday, February 28: Spring Preview – Two-deep depth chart
Monday, March 4: Spring Question 1 – Who's going to play left tackle?
Tuesday, March 5: Spring Question 2 – How will the new-look defensive line fare?
Wednesday, March 6: Spring Question 3 – What alignment will Chavis go with at linebacker?
Thursday, March 7: Spring Question 4 – Who will step up as leaders on this 2013 team?
Friday, March 8: Spring Question 5 – How will Cam Cameron's presence affect the offense?
Monday, March 11: Video – Offense Preview
Tuesday, March 12: Video – Defense Preview
Wednesday, March 13: Video – Early Enrollees; What to Watch: Staff Picks
Spring Preview: Projected Depth Chart
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