Many are seasoned veterans and a select few are new to the roster, but all 50 Tigers figure to make an impact on the gridiron in 2015.
So we hope you enjoy this list, updated once each weekday and compiled by the TSD staff of Ben Love and Hunter Paniagua (who, naturally, had disagreements of their own along the way).
The countdown continues with No. 48, long snapper Reid Ferguson.
REASON FOR OPTIMISM
Much is made, and for good reason, about the fact Jalen Mills has played in and started every game since he’s been on campus at LSU in the defensive backfield. Well, long snappers aren’t quite as intimately involved in the fray as corners or safeties, but Ferguson has enjoyed the same iron-man type streak as Mills during the same three-year period.
A starter since he arrived on campus as a (rare) scholarship snapper, Ferguson has to my knowledge authored only one bad snap, in his very first game as a collegiate in 2012 on a punt against North Texas in Tiger Stadium. The Georgia native has been lights out from that point on, serving as the snapper on both punts and all placekicks.
So good is Ferguson at his craft that Les Miles and LSU are now bringing on his younger brother, Blake Ferguson, to be the long snapper of the future in Baton Rouge. That’s not your usual family pipeline, but it speaks to the unique and refined skill set the brothers possess. Blake will soon have his turn to jumpstart critical special teams moments, but that honor goes to big brother for one more season. Enjoy seeing his name now in this article, though, because the better he’s doing his job, the less you’re reading about him.
STILL LEFT TO PROVE
He is a long snapper. So more than anything else it feels like there’s a tangible ceiling on how high he can be ranked in lists like these. For example, when discussing usage: Through his first two seasons at LSU, Ferguson totaled 259 snaps – 145 field goals/PATs and 114 punts. For an every-down offensive or defensive player 259 snaps is roughly the equivalent of four games.
Ferguson’s moments in between the lines are often more pressure-packed, but they are undeniably few and far between compared to most other Tigers. There’s not really much left to prove for the senior. He just has to continue to do what he’s done, namely serve as Mr. Reliable when others – like punter Jamie Keehn or kicker Colby Delahoussaye – receive the plaudits.