Summer Session: Numbers Game

TSD is cranking out 30 stories on the 2014 Tigers in the coming weeks. Today's Summer Session: Which players switched jersey numbers heading into this fall and how to identify the true freshmen.

30 days, 30 topics inside the world of LSU football.

TSD is previewing and analyzing the 2014 edition of the Tigers from every angle, bringing you a daily dose of "Summer Session" each weekday through July 11, three days before the unofficial kickoff to football season at SEC Media Days.

Be sure to check the bottom of this post for links to our previous 15 stories.

TODAY'S SESSION: NUMBERS GAME

Part of the fun of following LSU football, or really any football team for that matter, is knowing who the hell is running around out there on the field and doing what.

Helmets make it virtually impossible to identify players facially, so it's important to know jersey numbers before the Tigers take the field in Houston at the end of August. While most veterans have gone unchanged from a season ago, I've counted five purple-and-gold returning players that have made a switch.

That plus 23 incoming freshmen make for decent overhaul in the jersey game. TSD helps you stay on top of the numerical madness below.

(Later this week we'll also run a feature sizing up candidates to don the celebrated No. 18 jersey in 2014.)

Old Faces, New Numbers

LB Kwon Alexander – 4 (from 25)

- The Tigers' starting weakside linebacker made the jump to Alfred Blue's old jersey, paying homage to one of LSU's true grinders over the past few seasons.

OG Vadal Alexander – 74 (from 78, from 70)

- The big fella does this every offseason. Originally number 70 as a freshman, Alexander wore 78 this past season. Now Alexander has come full-circle to a number he's familiar with from pre-LSU days. Said Alexander this spring: "That's my high school number. It's the one I always wore. I asked [Josh] Williford when I was a freshman if I could wear it (once he left), and he said yeah. So I just went ahead and took it when he left."

WR John Diarse – 9 (from 88)

- Still not quite to his lucky 13 from Neville days, Diarse is a lot closer now at nine than he was at 88. And, with his built frame, he bears somewhat of a resemblance to a former LSU No. 9 at his position – Early Doucet.

WR Quantavius Leslie – 19 (from 15)

- Thinking this might not have been a preference or first choice for Q. Thinking he was graciously clearing the way for a young buck to take over that 15 jersey (see below).

DT Maquedius Bain – 90 (from 47)

- LSU is huge on passing down numbers by position. Bain went and scooped him up some Anthony Johnson.

New Faces, New Numbers

LB Clifton Garrett – 3

- Between Garrett and Kwon Alexander, those are two big and bad dudes sporting single-digit unis at linebacker for LSU.

QB Brandon Harris – 6

RB Leonard Fournette – 7

- So, how often will we see a 6-7 backfield battery for the Tigers this fall? Fournette would've looked good in any number, but it seems fitting he grabs the jersey of former New Orleans standout turned LSU legend Tyrann Mathieu.

WR Trey Quinn – 8

WR Malachi Dupre – 15

- LSU fans figure to see a ton of Quinn and Dupre over the next few seasons. Quinn grabbed Zach Mettenberger's old number while Dupre will bring back his familiar digits from John Curtis.

CB Edward Paris ("Ed") – 24

S John Battle – 30

-Holy Toledo, Batman. There's a non-kicker in a No. 30 jersey for the first time since, what, LaRon Landry? Les Miles will allow it, but he's not happy about it.

S Jamal Adams – 33

RB Darrel Williams – 34

- Williams (5-11, 209) is kinda Stevan Ridley-esque. It fits.

S Devin Voorhies – 35

K Cameron Gamble – 36

CB Russell Gage – 39

LB Donnie Alexander – 48

DT Trey Lealaimatafao – 56

- Another former Anthony Johnson number. Think he made an impression on the recruits coming through during his time on campus?

DT Davon Godchaux – 57

DE Sione Teuhema – 58

OG William Clapp – 64

OG Garrett Brumfield – 78

- The former U-High Cub will wear a number occupied in recent years by Vadal Alexander, La'el Collins and Joseph Barksdale. Think big things are expected from him or what?

DT Travonte Valentine – 79

- Strange one here, at least for me. Feels like an offensive lineman's number. Even still, keep it in mind as Valentine will challenge for playing time on the LSU defensive line in year one.

WR Tony Upchurch – 81

- For a guy that reminds me a decent bit of Aaron Hernandez (on the field only, people), this is a good choice.

WR D.J. Chark – 82

TE Jacory Washington – 88

DE Deondre Clark – 98

FINAL NOTE: Numbers have not yet been assigned for OT Jevonte Domond and TE Colin Jeter, both added to the 2014 roster in recent weeks.

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PREVIOUS SUMMER SESSIONS

6/2 – QB Depth

6/3 – Next O-Line Up

6/4 – Position Battles

6/5 – Switching Positions

6/6 – Top 10 Impact Freshmen

6/9 – Ranking LSU's Opponents

6/10 – Making the Leap

6/11 – Secondary Shake-up?

6/12 – Offensive Unit Ranks

6/13 – Defensive Unit Ranks

6/16 – Offensive Overhaul?

6/17 – Return Men

6/18 – Defensive Improvement

6/19 – Assistant to Watch

6/20 – Team Leaders



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