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Friday, March 15, 2013
Mailbag: Tigers rebuilding or reloading?

By Gary Laney

Anthony Johnson
DT Anthony Johnson is one of many highly reagarded prospects stepping into key roles for LSU.
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Geaux Tiger Nation writer Gary Laney took your questions via email (glaneyespn@gmail.com) and Twitter (@glaneyespn).

From Joseph (Seattle): Is it that I'm too LSU focused, or is there a surplus of hidden talent in Baton Rouge? And, coupled with the motivation created by "everyone counting them out," the Tigers are positioned to have a big season?

Gary Laney: When you look at the players stepping up at the areas where LSU lost starters, they were all highly-regarded prospects.

Look at the depleted defensive line, as an example. Defensive ends Jermauria Rasco, Danielle Hunter and Jordan Allen were all four-star prospects. Defensive tackle Anthony Johnson was a five-star recruit, and the other projected starter, Ego Ferguson, was a four-star pick.

The one question is, does the talent translate to performance. We've all seen players who look great coming off the bus but don't get it done on the field. It's time for the young talent to show why it was so highly regarded. And, understandably, there will be skepticism until these guys start proving what they can do.

But indeed, LSU does recruit consistently well enough where it should have guys talented enough to get the job done.

From: Rick Merritt (@Merritt_Rick): How do you think the tigers look at corner this year? Do you think [Tre'Davious] White pushes either Jalen [Mills or Collins] for their job?

GL: It's a little early for this discussion, considering White is not one of the early enrollees and isn't participating in spring practice, but I do think there's a chance.

Collins was the nickel back last season, and there's a chance he might be deemed a better fit for that role compared to White or other corners. I know LSU loves White's talent, and it might just be a matter of where his talents are best utilized, which may or may not be outside as a "starter."

I'll say this. Collins was a nickel back last year, but at 6-foot-2, he might be deemed as a better option outside, against taller receivers, where the shorter, perhaps quicker White could be a better fit as a nickel, where he is more likely to be matched up with quicker slot receivers.

But we're getting a little ahead of ourselves talking about this.

From Erick (Lake Charles, La.): Any noticeable differences with Cam Cameron running the offense?

GL: It didn't take long to notice a difference. LSU's first practice with Cameron as offensive coordinator was up-tempo, and several players, including quarterback Zach Mettenberger and running backs Jeremy Hill and Terrence Magee, noted that they took more repetitions in the first practice than they did in previous first-day practices.