Fab 5 Plus a Wildcard for '09

Fall Camp is quickly approaching for the LSU Tigers and with football right around the corner, TigerSportsDigest.com wants to take a look at five players who will be critical to LSU success on offense, along with one wildcard.

LSU finished fourth in the SEC in scoring at 30.9 points a game in 2008, and also ended the season fourth in rushing yards, averaging 166.8 yards per game. The Tigers offense already has pieces in place that suggest LSU is on the cusp of competing for a conference crown in 2009, and here are five guys that will play a key role in determining if the Tigers are contenders or pretenders in the conference race, along with one wildcard.



QB  Jordan Jefferson  6-4, 209, So.

Jordan Jefferson will be the key component to the LSU offense. The sophomore signal caller begins 2009 with only two college starts to his credit. The Tigers lost to Arkansas in his first college start, but roared back to demolish the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in his second. The 6-foot-4, 209 pound Destrehan product finished the 2008 campaign by completing 36 of 73 passes for 419 yards with four touchdowns and one interception. The young gun slinger also rushed 49 times for 134 yards and one score.

The numbers are rather pedestrian, but he was a true freshman playing in the SEC and received very limited playing time before the final three games. When watching Jefferson on film, he seems extremely poised and confident for a young guy and doesn’t force the ball into coverage. He also doesn’t tuck and run at the first sign of pressure in the backfield. There is something about Jefferson that transcends statistics. The young man has that “it” quality people talk about. Whatever “it” is, the team around him responded favorably to his leadership. Jefferson is surrounded by a nucleus of seniors ready to guide the young quarterback as he prepares to take the field in 2009. A steady game manager is all the Tigers need and Jefferson’s upside could be so much more.


OT  Ciron Black  6-5, 325, Sr.

Ciron Black will serve as Jordan Jefferson’s bodyguard in the upcoming campaign. The mammoth 6-foot-5 tackle is a fifth year senior that tips the scales at 325 pounds. Black brings leadership and experience – 40 consecutive starts – to the offensive line and he is currently rated as the third best tackle in the country according to Scout.com’s NFL draft experts.

Last year must have left a sour taste in the big guy’s mouth because he certainly could have taken his talent to the next level. He could have collected a paycheck and test his skills at the highest level, but getting his degree and becoming a better player helped push Black back to LSU. It’s great news for the Tigers, but not so good for the rest of the country. Expect to see the big left tackle dominating the line of scrimmage in 2009 as he protects the blind side of LSU's quarterbacks.


RB  Charles Scott  5-11, 233, Sr.  

Charles Scott was the bell cow in his first year as a starter. He finished the 2008 season ranked third amongst all SEC rushers, behind only Georgia’s Knowshon Moreno and Alabama’s Glenn Coffee. The senior carried the football 217 times for 1,174 yards and averaged 5.4 yards a carry in 2008. He also showed a nose for the endzone with a jaw-dropping 18 scores. That’s huge production from the tailback position.


The 5-foot-11, 233-pounder is a one-cut runner that likes to square his shoulders and run over the nearest tackler. Scott’s running style is taxing on defenders, but also Scott himself. He seemed to wear down towards the end of the season. In the last three contests he rushed for only 112 yards on 37 carries for an average of only three yards a tote. He did, however, score four times in those last three contests. Look for Scott to provide the same sort of production with possibly a little help from his backfield mates in the upcoming campaign.   


WR  Brandon LaFell  6-3, 209, Sr.

Ciron Black and Charles Scott were not the only Tigers who decided to return for their senior season as Brandon LaFell is yet another skill player that returned. LaFell (63-929-8) finished the 2008 campaign second in the SEC behind only Georgia’s A.J. Green in receiving yards a game with 71.5 compared to Green’s 74.5.


At 6-foot-3, 209-pounds, he may remind many LSU fans of Dwayne Bowe as LaFell is another large, physical receiver that seems to have a knack for making big plays. In Jefferson’s first college start, he and LaFell hooked up for a 32-yard touchdown against Arkansas. The two seemed to develop an instant chemistry. Look for opponents to roll coverage and double LaFell, and test Jefferson’s ability to find other receivers in 2009. Keeping that in mind, you’d expect to see LaFell in motion and lined up in the slot occasionally. Either way, LaFell should have another stellar year and add yet another option to a Tiger offense that is loaded with NFL-caliber players.


TE  Richard Dickson  6-3, 246, Sr.

Richard Dickson could be the X-factor for the LSU offense this season. You don’t see a lot of college teams build an offense around the tight end. You won’t see that at LSU either, but Dickson’s numbers are more than respectable for a college tight end. The 6-foot-3, 246-pound senior caught 31 passes for 324 yards in 2008. He also found paydirt five times, finishing second on the team for receiving touchdowns.


With opponents focusing on stopping the run and attempting to take LaFell away, Dickson will have every opportunity to be that third option for Jefferson. Not only that, but in almost every game Dickson will have the matchup advantage against an outside linebacker that has to play the run and account for Dickson pre-snap. More importantly, Dickson led the team in receptions and yards against the Yellow Jackets with four catches for 50 yards and one touchdown. He also caught a touchdown in Jefferson’s first start against Arkansas on a timing route to the corner of the endzone. Jefferson seems to already understand what many quarterbacks in the NFL know – the tight end is a quarterback’s best friend. Dickson could be the guy keeping defensive coordinators up late at night in 2009.



TSD’s Wildcard

RB  Keiland Williams  5-11, 229, Sr.

You may hear a collective groan from the Tiger nation when I mention Keiland Williams as my wildcard for the 2009 season. The senior from Lafayette, La. was highly recruited coming out of Hargrave Military Academy, ranked the third best back in the land according to Scout.com. Williams, however, has not lived up to those lofty expectations during his stay at LSU. He’s gotten the reputation as a fumbler, and some have questioned his work ethic. There are other critics that say that Williams doesn’t have good vision, that he doesn’t hit the hole hard enough.


It’s all nonsense. Like any player, Williams needs reps to flourish. Scott certainly hasn’t given the coaching staff any reason to seek production elsewhere, but Scott needs help from someone and Williams is the natural choice. Every critic who’s watched Williams play can recall Williams making a big-time play at LSU that leaves them in awe. There’s the “hurdle” play against Virginia Tech, or a pass in the flat against Auburn in 2007 where Williams grabbed a throw with one hand and raced down the sideline for a score.

The talent is there. Is the desire? Now is the time for Williams to show the country why he was so highly sought after coming out of prep school. He is the traditional dual threat coming out of the backfield. In 2008, he rushed 83 times for 417 yards and two scores for a five yard per carry average. He also caught 11 passes for 124 yards for one touchdown, proving he can be an option out of the backfield as well. Someone in the LSU backfield needs to help Scott with the workload. At this point, Williams seems like the best option. The question now is how does Williams want to be remembered at LSU?

Tiger Blitz Top Stories