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Insider

Countdown to camp: 3 freshman to watch

7/25/2012

GeauxTigerNation writers David Helman and Gary Laney break down the competitions, issues and talking points of LSU's August camp. Players report to campus Aug. 1 and we'll have a preview segment every weekday in July leading up to the day the players report:

The consensus about LSU coach Les Miles for a long time was that he'd always favor experience over youth. For years the argument about the Tigers' head man was that he wouldn't give newcomers a fair shake against established players.

That doesn't hold much water these days -- not after the past two seasons. LSU is 24-3 in the past two seasons, and green players have played a role of their own in setting that mark. In 2010 it was defensive backs Tyrann Mathieu, Tharold Simon and Eric Reid reaching the field early to make an impact.

Last season, freshman playmakers like Odell Beckham Jr. and Kenny Hilliard proved their value. Beckham was second on the team in receiving with 475 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Hilliard came on strong in the last two months of the season to rush for 336 yards and eight touchdowns.

So we know youth can make a difference on a team this talented -- but who's it going to be?