CLASS OF 2007: How will it pan out?

With the 2007 class of recruits assembled, it is now time to begin examining the nuts and bolts of this class.

There are many reasons why a player chooses one particular football program over another. But with most every prospect out there, a player chooses a specific school with the intent of contributing as soon as possible.

 

Here, we break down who is going to see the field first, who will redshirt, gray shirt and who might be a casualty due to academics. We will also pass along some additional analysis pertaining to specific recruits.

 

 

IMPACT PLAYERS

 

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize who in this class will be immediate contributors. You can check out the number of stars next to a particular players name and figure out who is going to play as a true freshman.

 

In the 2007 class, Les Miles picked up four, five-star prospects as rated by Scout.com. Baton Rouge safety Chad Jones and Hempstead, Texas wide receiver were rated No. 1 at their respective positions by Scout.com.

 

Joseph Barksdale, of Detroit, Mich., was ranked fourth nationally at defensive tackle. However, this five-star recruit was the top player in football-rich state of Michigan.

Demetrius Byrd is a five-star wide receiver from Poplarville, Miss. Coming from the junior college ranks, expect Byrd on the field in 2007.

 

You can bet Toliver, Jones and Barksdale will all get a shot at playing time as true freshmen as well. Considering the loss of such top flight players at these respective positions, most notably Dwayne Bowe at wide receiver and LaRon Landry at safety, these players could be plugged into the lineup from the time they arrive on campus.

 

Other players from this class who should be expected to play are Reserve-East St. John safety Stefoin Francois, Mobile, Ala. cornerback Phelon Jones and Breaux Bridge cornerback John Williams.

 

Francois could step in at strong safety in the vacancy left by Jesse Daniels. Jones and Williams are tremendous athletes that will help add serious depth to an already deep Tiger secondary.

 

We will cover those players will academic issues later in this article, but if Bastrop wide receiver DeAngelo Benton manages to get eligible in the classroom, this four-star will definitely see the field.

 

 

REDSHIRTS/GRAYSHIRTS

 

The bulk of most recruiting classes are filled with players who will likely spend a year in the system maturing while learning the ways of the college game.

 

There should be plenty of redshirts passed out in this class – as many as 10 at last count.

On the offensive side of the ball, expect wide receiver Ron Brooks, center T-Bob Hebert, offensive tackle Josh Dworaczyk, tight end Alex Russian, fullback Stevan Ridley and tight end Mitch Joseph all to be suited in red come the fall of 2007.

 

On defense, tackles Will Blackwell, Drake Nevis, Kentravis Aubrey and linebacker Shomari Clemons should all redshirt. Cornerback Delvin Breaux is expected to be a grayshirt and enroll at LSU in January.

 

One thing to keep an eye on is Aubrey. An all-state standout at Bastrop, the 6-3, 285-pound defensive tackle might get asked to move to the offensive side of the ball and play offensive guard. If that is the case, you might get a look at Aubrey sooner than later.

 

 

ACADEMICS

 

There are some academic issues to resolve within this class before these new Tigers take the field in August.

 

The most prominent academic issues surround the Tigers talented class of wide receivers. Bastrop's DeAngelo Benton is expected to be an academic casualty. Classified as a junior, Benton tried to accelerate the process and squeeze everything into the spring and summer of 2007. But it looks like he will most likely come up short. Expect him to go the juco route or maybe even a grayshirt.

 

The biggest focus for LSU fans will be Terrance Toliver. The five-star receiver isn't where he needs to be yet in terms of being eligible, but every indication is that he should get there.

 

Others with academic issues include offensive linemen Jarvis Jones and Ernest McCoy. LSU fans will just have to wait and see.

 

Rayville offensive lineman D'Montreal Wilson and Point Coupee wideout Toddrick Bajoie already decided junior college will be their destination. Wilson signed a letter of intent to attend Itawamba (Miss.) Junior College while Bajoie is headed to Pearl River (Miss.) Community College.

 

 

OTHERS WHO COULD PLAY

 

We touched on those guys who we think will play as true freshman. Now let's take a look at those who could have a chance to jump into the mix upon arrival.

 

Defensive end is a position that will have a couple of question marks. Everyone knows the Tigers are loaded along the defensive front, but end is one where there is some room to maneuver.

 

Chase Pittman is gone from a year ago and a couple of others have issues surrounding their status with the team. Kirston Pittman will be back, but he hasn't seen the field in over two years after sitting out with a number of injuries.

 

Rickey Jean-Francois was a star for the Tigers last year, but there were some academic issues that crept up at the end of the regular season and he might be out for the 2007 campaign. Tyson Jackson returns and will be a star, but the other end is up for grabs. Tim Washington, Rahim Alem, Trumaine Johnson and Pep Levingston are all in the mix. True freshman Sidell Corley might find himself in the rotation for the other end spot on the D-Line.

 

It was a mission of the LSU staff to pick up a third quarterback and they did so in acquiring Brenham, Texas signal caller Jarrett Lee. True freshmen quarterbacks can always use polish, but don't be surprised if you see Lee get some snaps. There has been plenty of drama surrounding projected backup quarterback Ryan Perrilloux. If something were to happen, Lee might be second in line behind Matt Flynn.

 

The Tigers have been to known to use lots of different specialists under coach Les Miles. With Chris Jackson's eligibility complete, the Tigers will be looking for a new kickoff specialist as well as a punter. Veteran Patrick Fisher should get the starting nod at punter, but newcomer Andrew Crutchfield can do both. Josh Jasper might get into the mix as a kickoff specialist.

 

Be sure to keep an eye out next week as we begin our breakdown of the Tigers by position heading into spring practice.


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