2002 Football Preview: Running Backs

We continue our early look at the Tigers with the names on the roster at running back and fullback.

RB Ryan Gilbert

6 Ryan Gilbert

5-10     195

Fresh.   RS

Dallas   Hillcrest HS


Gilbert has been given a look at defensive back and running back, but it appears as though he will find a home on offense for 2002. He heads into fall camp as the Tigers' No. 4 tailback and may be given a chance on return teams.

In the spring game, Gilbert had four carries for 21 yards.

Playing quarterback at Hillcrest High, Gilbert was named to the PrepStar All-America team after passing for 1,267 yards and nine touchdowns and rushing for another 1,108 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior.



10 Joseph Addai

6-0       199

Fresh.   RS

Houston           Sharpstown


Addai is in prime position to take over as the No. 3 tailback for the Tigers if Devery Henderson makes a full-time move to wide receiver. Coaches were pleased with his performance in spring practice, which culminated with his game-high 11 carries for 65 yards.

The emergence of Addai is worth noting since he had to come back from knee surgery in his senior year at Sharpstown High School. He tried to play in 2001 but applied for a medical redshirt after seeing time in two games.

An ESPN and Fox Sports Prep All-American, Addai played quarterback in high school and rushed for 1,429 yards and 26 touchdowns on 159 carries for an average of 8.9 yards per carry.



22 LaBrandon Toefield

6-0       225

Jr.        2VL

Independence   Independence HS


If a second ACL tear wasn't enough to knock Toefield out of the game of football, then opposing defenses shouldn't stand a chance against the All-SEC running back. The thundering back from Independence was cleared for football in June – just seven months after injuring his knee in the SEC Championship game.

Toefield enters his junior season with 1,674 yards and can crack the top ten list of all-time LSU career rushers with less than 200 more. His 992 yards in 2001 were tenth best for an LSU rusher in a single season, and he tied the SEC mark with 19 rushing touchdowns.

How important is Toefield to the Tigers? LSU was 8-0 in games that he started in 2001.






30 Solomon Lee

6-1       229

Sr.        1VL

Bastrop            Bastrop HS


Lee is the only scholarship fullback for the Tigers and played in all eleven regular season games last year. He recorded three catches for 14 yards in 2001, including his first career reception for seven yards against Tennessee on Sept. 29.

With the running game expected to be more of an emphasis for LSU this season, Lee could see his playing time – and therefore his impact – increased.




31 Domanick Davis

5-10     211

Sr.        3VL

Breaux Bridge  Breaux Bridge HS


There are all-around players, then there is Domanick Davis. One of the most versatile athletes to ever play for LSU, Davis has seen time on defense, provides solid back-up at running back and has regularly established the momentum of games as a special teams returner.

The Tigers learned the value of Davis when LaBrandon Toefield went down with a torn ACL in the SEC Championship game. He responded with 78 yards and LSU's final touchdown, a 1-yard plunge on fourth-and-1 with less than 3 minutes to play in the game.

Against Illinois in the Sugar Bowl, Davis totaled 122 yards rushing and a Sugar Bowl record 4 rushing touchdowns.

Heading into his senior season, Davis has 3,623 career all-purpose yards. He is second on the LSU career list in kickoff return yardage and fifth in punt returns.




Dominique Owens

5-11     185

Fresh.   HS

Sugar Land, Texas        Kempner HS


The numbers ahead of him indicate Owens may receive a redshirt in his first year at LSU. One of the sleepers of the Texas recruiting crop in 2001-02, he's been described as a slasher with lightning speed.

Find more details on Owens in the Class of 2002 breakdown on page 72.


23 Chris Vincent

6-2       218

Fresh.   Prep

Philadelphia      Valley Forge MA        


Vincent enrolled at LSU in January and was given a look at both running back at safety in spring practice. He finished April on offense and totaled 19 yards on three carries in the spring game. A big, punishing runner, most observers feel Vincent has a home on offense if he wants to stay there.

For more on Vincent, see our Class of 2002 breakdown on page 72.


Justin Vincent

5-11     205

Fresh.   HS

Lake Charles    Barbe HS


The top back in Louisiana ended speculation early with a commitment to LSU over Notre Dame, Texas A&M and Wisconsin. After rewriting the record books, Vincent comes to LSU with his sights set on competing for playing time. He gives the Tigers a back who is very capable of catching the ball out of the backfield and thundering for yards after the catch.




49 Ryan O'Neal

6-1       225

Sr.        3VL

New Orleans    Jesuit HS


O'Neal has yet to record an offensive statistic but has been around the ball with regularity on special teams. He has played in 28 games in his LSU career and recorded 27 tackles, including 13 solo stops. Coaches chose him as the Special Teams Player of the Week for the Mississippi State game in 2001 after he made four tackles against the Bulldogs.


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