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Monday, March 4, 2013
Spring preview: Breakout names

By Gary Laney

As LSU prepares to begin spring practice March 14, GeauxTigerNation will take daily looks at aspects of the spring camp. This is the first in the series:0

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Like most teams in college football, LSU has holes to fill on its roster this spring.

But unlike most teams in college football, the Tigers consistently recruit top-10 signing classes, enabling the Tigers to have to replace players such as Patrick Peterson with players such as Tyrann Mathieu, or Michael Brockers with Anthony Johnson.

Ronald Martin
Rising junior Ronald Martin, who made two interceptions in his first start in 2011, could make waves as a starter at free safety and.
There's always a little-used player with ability waiting for his chance to break out. Here are some to look for this spring:

S Ronald Martin: A candidate to start at free safety next to senior Craig Loston, the junior is poised for a notable season.

A year ago, he started just one game and was neither the nickel back (Jalen Collins) nor dime back (Micah Eugene). Yet, Martin led all non-starters with 35 tackles and two interceptions, with one returned for a touchdown. Replacing Eric Reid is no easy task, but Martin seems to be a star in the making.

DE Jermauria Rasco: LSU needs a play-making defensive end, and Rasco seems to fit the bill.

Last season as a sophomore, he slowly worked his way up to the second team and finished with 10 tackles (two for loss), while backing up Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo. With both starters and top reserve Lavar Edwards headed to the NFL, LSU needs somebody to step up and be a playmaker at defensive end, and Rasco could be it.

C Elliott Porter: It has been a long time coming for the junior, who is set to replace the graduated P.J. Lonergan as the Tigers' starting center.

If you recall, Porter is the player who left LSU's signing class for Kentucky after being asked to take a grayshirt. He then transferred back to LSU and became Lonergan's primary backup last season.

Now, he'll be one of two new starters on the LSU offensive line and he'll assume the leadership duties that all centers have.

LB Kwon Alexander: He looked impressive as a true freshman before a broken ankle ended his season after seven games.

He's back and ready to try to reclaim a starting linebacker role, which he had won before his injury. Blessed with blazing speed for a linebacker, a healthy Alexander can emerge into a star.