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 reaches an important member of the special teams at No. 45, kicker Colby Delahoussaye.
REASON FOR OPTIMISM
Delahoussaye has plenty of experience, entering his third year as the primary field-goal kicker for LSU in only his junior season. As a freshman in 2013, during one of the best offensive campaigns in program history, Delahoussaye accounted for 95 points, making 13-of-14 three-pointers and connecting on all but one of his 57 PAT attempts.
His follow-up effort last fall wasn’t quite as prolific – nor was LSU’s offense as a whole – but Delahoussaye still finished with a relatively good kicking percentage. The New Iberia native was true on 73.3 percent of his field goal tries, good 11 of 15 times. He also made the first 50-yarder of his career, in a critical moment late in a win at Florida, and finished 2-of-3 on attempts between 40-49 yards for the season. So leg strength became less of a question mark for Delahoussaye as a sophomore.
Finally, all of his battery mates, so to speak, are back for 2015. Reid Ferguson will still be doing the snapping and Brad Kragthorpe will still be available as a holder on kicking tries. Those may seem like minute details, but in the special-teams world of kickers, familiarity is its own advantage.
STILL LEFT TO PROVE
The biggest demon left for Delahoussaye to battle is consistency. And that’s not something any observer of LSU would’ve or justifiably could’ve said before the home stretch of last season. He had his wayward moments, though, in the final games, so much so that Les Miles and new special teams coordinator Bradley Dale Peveto benched Delahoussaye in favor of walk-on Trent Domingue during the Texas A&M game in College Station.
What was truly odd was that most of Delahoussaye’s misses were coming from short range. In 2014 he made a 50-yarder and was proficient from 40-49 yards, but the sophomore was a head-scratching 3-of-6 between 20-29 yards. That included a 27-yard miss in a shutout loss at Arkansas and a 22-yard shank early in the game at Texas A&M. Going back to his freshman season, Delahoussaye’s only field goal miss was a 31-yarder versus Furman.
That potential pattern of inconsistency from short-to-mid range is a bothersome element in the game of Delahoussaye, who does not kick off for the Tigers. If he can solve that, and turn into Mr. Dependable for LSU from 20-40 yards, he could be even more valuable than this ranking indicates. But it’s something Delahoussaye has to show with the lights on.