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).
Today the countdown comes to a player with a tremendous amount of talent and confidence at No. 3, sophomore safety Jamal Adams.
Adams snuck up on nobody during the recruiting process, earmarked fairly early on as Scout's top safety in the country in 2014 and a top-8 overall player as a five-star prospect. He is the godson of Joker Phillips, which for a spell gave Florida the leg up for Adams' services. Ultimately, though, the Dallas native spurned the Gators and home-state Texas to carry on - and in some ways revitalize - the DBU tradition at LSU.
2014: 66 tackles, 5 TFL, 1 sack, 5 PBU
- In one short season Adams, a 6-foot, 206-pound football magnet, showed exactly why he had all that hype coming from the prep level. He played in all 13 games as a true freshman last fall, starting twice at strong safety and garnering Freshman All-America honors while also being named to the All-SEC Freshman Team.
He got better with time, too. In LSU's final two games, at Texas A&M and versus Notre Dame in the bowl game, Adams compiled an eight-tackle performance, with one for a loss, and a 10-tackle effort, with two for loss, respectively. As for how his bravado played over with teammates and the LSU coaching staff? Consider that when Adams walked out as a team captain for the ULM game, he became the first ever freshman to do so in Les Miles' 10 years as head coach.
One of the biggest barriers to entry for Adams when it came to playing time in 2014 was senior Ronald Martin, who enjoyed a solid season in the back of the secondary. Martin has now moved on, freeing up a starting spot for Adams next to senior free safety Jalen Mills. That duo has been working together all offseason to form a chemistry in what should be a dynamite defensive backfield for LSU.
Adams at Media Day in August 2014
In a recent interview TSD conducted with Mills, here's what the senior from DeSoto, Tex., had to say about his safety mate, Adams. "Jamal is one of a kind. He's a great guy. He's a ballhawk, he comes down and tackles, he covers. He can do it all. He's just a great player."
That sums it up pretty well. No. 33 for LSU is a versatile player, and a dangerous one for ball-carriers when he gets you in his sights. Also helping the Tigers in 2015 is the depth at safety. With trusted players like Rickey Jefferson and Corey Thompson in tow, secondary coach Corey Raymond and new defensive coordinator Kevin Steele can move Adams freely throughout the defense, exploiting his physical talents in the box from time to time.
On a roster that includes Leonard Fournette, Adams may end up the best professional from this LSU team. It's no given, but I think few would be surprised if Adams blossomed into a perennial Pro Bowler in the League. He has two more years in Baton Rouge before making that leap, and 2015 figures to be the campaign where he becomes a household name across the country.
LSU is in the midst of recapturing its DBU mystique, fueled by three native Texans in the starting secondary (Adams, Mills and corner Ed Paris). Adams is the most spectacularly gifted of the bunch and is set to embark on a huge campaign.