Now that exams are final, the spring semester has come to a close for LSU.
With that in mind, and before attrition inevitably strikes, here's a look at where the Tiger football team currently stands with respect to total position numbers and eligibility on offense for 2013.
Notes: "RS" after a player's name denotes redshirt while "JC" denotes junior college transfer.
Quarterbacks (5 total)
Seniors: 1 (Zach Mettenberger)
Juniors: 1 (Rob Bolden – RS)
Sophomores: 1 (Stephen Rivers – RS)
Freshmen: 2 (Anthony Jennings, Hayden Rettig)
- The Tiger signal callers are staggered nicely heading into the future. Even after Mettenberger moves on following the 2013 season, Rivers will have two years left and the Jennings-Rettig duo will be coming into only their second year on campus. Five is a rather large number of scholarship quarterbacks to carry, though, especially with one or two planned as takes for the 2014 class, so it wouldn't be all that surprising if one (Bolden) left the program.
Running Backs (4 total)
Seniors: 1 (Alfred Blue)
Juniors: 2 (Kenny Hilliard, Terrence Magee)
Sophomores: 1 (Jeremy Hill)
- It's been a long time since there were more scholarship quarterbacks than running backs on LSU's roster. And, depending on what happens with Hill's legal situation, this number could drop even lower. If that were to happen, expect the Tigers to move another player into the running back ranks, possibly incoming freshman Jeryl Brazil. Either way, this eligibility chart screams loudly what we already know: LSU will be stocking the backfield pantry in 2014 and 2015. It has to.
Fullbacks (2 total)
Seniors: 2 (J.C. Copeland, Connor Neighbors)
- If this were any other position, the lack of underclassman options and preparation would be alarming, but it is after all fullback. This position quite often gets by with converted players, like Copeland, and LSU has several candidates on campus who could step into that role for 2014 and beyond. The primary suspect, from what I've been told, is redshirt freshman linebacker Trey Granier. Still, looking at how things stack up, it wouldn't shock me if LSU stashed away a recruit in 2014 who they have earmarked for the position.
Wide Receivers (11 total)
Seniors: 2 (Kadron Boone, James Wright)
Juniors: 5 (Odell Beckham, Jarrett Fobbs – RS, Jarvis Landry, Quantavius Leslie – JC, Armand Williams – RS)
Freshmen: 4 (John Diarse, Travin Dural – RS, Avery Peterson, Kevin Spears)
- First things first: 11 is a fairly ridiculous number of receivers to carry on a college roster. It's even more nonsensical when you consider LSU is prepared to take four, and maybe even five wide-outs in the upcoming 2014 class. To bring in four, it would stand to reason that the Tigers need to drop at least four (probably more) from this group. Boone and Wright will graduate while Fobbs and Williams would appear on the surface to be suitable attrition guys. It will be interesting to monitor the status of those latter two this summer. And it is always possible one of the juniors decides to go pro early, but I'm not sure the Tigers can count on that at this point. As you can see, some trimming and maintenance will be required at this position in the next 12-16 months.
Tight Ends (4 total)
Juniors: 2 (Travis Dickson – RS, Logan Stokes – JC)
Sophomores: 1 (Dillon Gordon)
Freshmen: 1 (Desean Smith)
- Other than quarterback, I'm not sure LSU is set up better for the future anywhere else on offense than tight end. Dickson and Stokes have two seasons remaining as the team's experienced pass catcher and run blocker, respectively. Gordon, who emerged as a potential starter in 2013 this spring, is only a true sophomore while incoming freshman Smith represents the team's hybrid receiving tight end of the future. This set-up gives the staff a lot of flexibility in recruiting the position in 2014 and 2015. They don't have to take bodies just to fill spaces; they can wait on blue-chip prospects (like a Jacory Washington in 2014).
Offensive Tackles (5 total)
Juniors: 2 (La'el Collins, Evan Washington – RS)
Sophomores: 1 (Vadal Alexander)
Freshmen: 2 (Derek Edinburgh – RS, Jerald Hawkins – RS)
- Moving over to the offensive line, it gets a little stickier tabulating position numbers because so much cross-training goes on. Washington is listed above as a tackle because that's where he lined up for the majority of spring practice, but he certainly has seen his fair share of time inside at LSU. Still, the Tigers appear in pretty good hands at tackle as Alexander has three years of eligibility left and Hawkins four. They will be the cornerstones at the position until the next great tackle recruit (paging Cameron Robinson) comes into the mix via recruiting. More depth needs to be acquired, but the frontline guys are in place heading into 2014.
Offensive Guards (6 total)
Seniors: 1 (Josh Williford)
Juniors: 1 (Fehoko Fanaika – JC)
Sophomores: 2 (Jonah Austin – RS, Trai Turner – RS)
Freshmen: 2 (Josh Boutte, K.J. Malone)
- The guards are in an even better spot than the tackles, with Austin and Turner having three years left and two 2013 recruits entering the fold in Boutte and Malone. Plus, depending on where Andy Dodd ends up, it could be three 2013 recruits available at the position. Either way, LSU will be just fine even after Williford moves on following this fall. Greg Studrawa & Co. have done their homework at guard.
Centers (3 total)
Juniors: 1 (Elliott Porter – RS)
Freshmen: 2 (Andy Dodd, Ethan Pocic)
- Center seemed like an overlooked area before the revelation this spring that Pocic would move inside from tackle, where he played in high school. Assuming that he's the longterm guy at the position, LSU is suddenly in much better shape. Pocic was an elite prospect coming from Illinois, and he showed this spring that he'll be a force once snapping the ball becomes more routine. Dodd and Malone have both been rumored as players who could cross-train at center, but, for the purpose of this exercise, I just went with one (and the one I think is more likely) in Dodd. With Pocic in place, LSU doesn't have to feel obligated to recruit this position in 2014.
Eligibility Snapshot: Offense
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