No. 45 - Stephen Rivers

All summer long TSD will unveil our top 50 LSU players for 2013. The list was compiled by TSD's Ben Love, Austin Cooper and Hunter Paniagua. Today we come to No. 45, backup quarterback Stephen Rivers.

Publisher's Notes: Every weekday until the LSU football team reports for Fall Camp on Sunday, Aug. 4, TSD will unveil another player in our top 50 Tigers for the 2013 season. We arrived at this list by combining individual rankings from TSD's Austin Cooper, Ben Love and Hunter Paniagua. For example, a player who received a No. 1 vote got 50 points, a No. 2 vote got 49 points, and so on. Every player who received votes had his points totaled across all three individual lists, and the result was our final TSD ranking. All players, including incoming signees, were eligible for selection.

No. 45 – QB Stephen Rivers

The younger brother of NFL standout Philip, Stephen Rivers is still trying to make a name for himself in an LSU uniform. He currently stands second on the Tigers' depth chart under center, but Rivers lands third on TSD's top 50 among the three signal callers who made the list. Listed at 6-foot-8 and 225 pounds, Rivers is finally starting to add some weight and bulk to the statuesque frame he brought with him from the high school ranks.

He has the arm and height to play the position, but where Rivers seems to struggle the most when we've seen him in action is with his mobility in the pocket and ability to sift through traffic and keep his eyes downfield. Rivers and all the other quarterbacks not named Zach Mettenberger addressed that issue this spring, going in white contact jerseys for several scrimmages and practices as the spring game neared. There's more competition in town now with Anthony Jennings in the mix, but Rivers still figures to be an important part of LSU's future at the position.

By The Numbers

Rivers' highest ranking: 38th
Rivers' lowest ranking: Not Ranked

Why this ranking is too high

Rivers isn't anywhere near as athletic as some of the names listed below him on this list, like Kendell Beckwith, Tashawn Bower or James Wright, just to name a few. He also is a player who is guaranteed to be a backup in 2013, with Zach Mettenberger firmly entrenched ahead of him as the starter. Then there's the Anthony Jennings factor. A different type of quarterback than Mettenberger and Rivers, Jennings may see P.T. this fall because of the dimensions he adds, causing Rivers' value to drop on a list like this one.

Why this ranking is too low

He does play the most important position on the field, and, as offensive coordinator Cam Cameron told me in mid-April, LSU would turn to Rivers first in the event of a Mettenberger injury. Rivers also has the type of height and frame you couldn't custom-design for a quarterback. If he can pack on 10-15 more pounds this offseason, he'll be one tough guy to drag down for defenders while seeing the field better than virtually any of his shorter counterparts.

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