Four LSU Football Players Trending Upward

A quartet of Tigers is on the rise late in Fall Camp as the 2015 season approaches. TSD's Ben Love runs down the four players, each carving out more time for himself.

Two weeks and one scrimmage into Fall Camp, LSU is in a solid position with most of its starting positions already nailed down.

But there are several spots - be it starting or rotational roles - still up for grabs, and four Tigers are making a move for more playing time.

TSD explains why Tashawn Bower, Derrius Guice, Rickey Jefferson and Kevin Toliver are trending upward and where each will fit within LSU's depth chart.


The junior from New Jersey began Fall Camp as a starter at end. Bower makes this list, though, because he's had to re-climb the mountain, so to speak, after missing almost a week due to heat exhaustion and fatigue. During that period of time, buzz-worthy freshman Arden Key took his starting spot, leading to plenty of public questioning about whether position coach Ed Orgeron will go with a youth movement at defensive end. Now back and a full go, Bower staked claim to his position in the first scrimmage Saturday, reportedly having a huge showing. Key and fellow frosh Isaiah Washington will factor in as platoon players, but Bower has served notice - he's not giving anything to anybody.


Speaking of not conceding an inch, Guice, a freshman tailback from Baton Rouge, seems unfazed by the presence of Leonard Fournette (and Darrel Williams) in LSU's backfield. The elusive runner reportedly had a receiving touchdown in Saturday's scrimmage during a redzone drill, breaking numerous tackles after hauling in a short pass. He's also getting a serious look at returning kickoffs for the Tigers. Fournette and Williams figure to be up first, and both will provide power, but LSU and position coach Frank Wilson will get Guice to the field early. He's too talented. Guice may also prove to be the perfect change-of-pace option, a potential home-run hitter every time he touches the ball.


Jefferson's rise is directly tied to another player's injury, but at a place like LSU, where DBU is starting to flex its muscles again, you take playing time any way you can get it. With Jalen Mills said to be out for several weeks with an ankle injury, Jefferson projects as the Tigers' starter at free safety to begin the season. He performed every time he was given a chance in 2014, even securing the Florida win in the Swamp with a crucial late interception. Now Jefferson, a junior, has an opportunity to show he's an every-down safety. His mettle will be tested, particularly in lining the rest of the secondary up, in a Week Two showdown with Mississippi State in Starkville.


The second true freshman of this quartet, Toliver is also a beneficiary of the injury to Mills. Of course he's helped make his break, too, via a solid first scrimmage and, coincidentally, a reported subpar showing by sophomore corner Edward Paris in the same scrimmage. Paris left Spring Camp as the second staring cornerback, opposite new No. 18 Tre'Davious White. But it appears that job is not solidified, with position coach Corey Raymond rumored to be considering not only Toliver but experienced defensive back Dwayne Thomas. Whether Toliver wins that job soon or not, he could well be first in line now as LSU's dime back as a trickle-down effect from Mills being out. Opportunity is definitely knocking, loudly, for the former five-star prospect from Florida.

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