Thursday, May 16, 2013
Class of 2013: Where they fit
By Gary Laney
BATON ROUGE, La. -- With the 2012-2013 school year winding down, the members of the LSU signing class of 2013 should be arriving on campus soon for summer workouts. The Tigers brought in eight early enrollees in the spring and 19 more will come this summer.
Here's how we see them fitting in.
Quarterback: True freshmen, Anthony Jennings (Marietta, Ga./Marietta) and Hayden Rettig (Los Angeles/Cathedral), enrolled for spring and Jennings, in particular, impressed.
LSU has three veteran quarterbacks, including incumbent starter Zach Mettenberger, ahead of the freshmen, so both could redshirt, although Jennings might be an option to give defenses a mobile quarterback to worry about. But Jennings recently sent out a tweet saying he's "excited for LSU football these next five years," which suggests he might be content with the idea of redshirting.
Jeryl Brazil might get a look at running back if Jeremy Hill's legal troubles sideline him for a significant amount of time.
Running back: LSU didn't sign a running back, but there's a chance that true freshman Jeryl Brazil (Loranger, La./Loranger HS) gets moved here if the legal troubles surrounding Jeremy Hill are not resolved in Hill's favor.
Wide receiver: Junior college transfer Quantavius Leslie officially was cleared for graduation from Hinds Community College Wednesday, opening the door for him to join the Tigers and make an impact as an outside receiver.
With Leslie LSU can move returning starters Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham to the slot, where they are more effective.
True freshmen Avery Peterson (Pompano Beach, Fla./Ely) and John Diarse (Monroe, La./Neville) enrolled early and have the advantage of a spring under their belts. The other freshman recruit, Kevin Spears (New Orleans/Holy Cross), will have a tougher time contending for immediate playing time at a deep position.
Tight end: Junior college transfer Logan Stokes (Muscle Shoals, Ala./Northeast Mississippi CC) needed spring ball to adjust to the higher level, but should contend for immediate playing time. True freshman DeSean Smith (Lake Charles, La./Barbe) might be the Tigers' most talented pass-catching tight end prospect.
Offensive line: Freshman Ethan Pocic (Lemont, Ill./Lemont) enrolled in the spring and made a nice impression at both tackle and, surprisingly, center.
We expect Pocic to eventually wind up at tackle and either Andy Dodd (Lindale, Ga./Peperell HS) or K.J. Malone (Ruston, La./Cedar Creek) to get a look at center. Josh Boutte (New Iberia, La./Westgate) is destined to be a future star at guard.
If junior college transfer Fehoko Fanaika (San Mateo, Calif./College of San Mateo), who also enrolled in the spring, can lose weight and adjust to the SEC, he'll make an immediate impact on LSU's offensive line.
Defensive end: LSU's deep signing class fgures to be in the mix early after the Tigers lost both starters and three ends to the NFL.
Frank Herron (Memphis, Tenn./Memphis Central) and Tashawn Bower (Somerville, N.J./Immaculata) look like two players who might contribute right away. Lewis Neal (Wilson, N.C./James B. Hunt) and Michael Patterson (Winnfield, La./Winnfield) form the core of a deep class that should carry the position for years.
There's also a chance that one of the big prizes of the class, athlete Kendell Beckwith (Jackson, La./East Feliciana) winds up at end, although we lean towards Beckwith playing linebacker.
Defensive tackle: LSU lost both starters, and an opportunity for a freshman to make an early impact is there.
True freshman Christian LaCouture (Lincoln, Neb./Southwest) enrolled early and helped himself get a leg up on his classmates with a solid spring. LSU might need at least one freshman to be ready to step up and play quickly, and LaCouture and Greg Gilmore (Hope Mills, N.C./South View) seem to be the best candidates.
Many think Maquedius Bain (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./University School of Nova South) might have the most upside of the three, but Bain, who played on the offensive line in his senior season, might need more time to develop.
Linebacker: After signing six linebackers in 2012, LSU won't have a big need for immediate help, but Beckwith is a talent worth watching. Another recruit, Melvin Jones (Lake Charles, La./Washington-Marion) has the true middle linebacker build the 2012 class lacked, which might allow him to contend for quick playing time, depending on how quickly he learns.
Duke Riley (River Ridge, La./John Curtis) is a small, but fast, natural outside linebacker. LSU is deep there, so Riley, whose initial offer was as a grayshirt before it was changed to a regular offer, might have a chance to sit out the year.
Secondary: LSU brought in plenty of players who can cover receivers. Many think Tre'Davious White (Shreveport, La./Green Oaks) can compete for at least a nickel spot as a true freshman. Both Brazil and Rashard Robinson (Pompano Beach, Fla./Ely) have the ability to make a quick impact too.
At safety, Rickey Jefferson (Destrehan, La./Destrehan HS) is the only recruit at a position where the Tigers aren't extremely deep, so Jordan Jefferson's younger brother might have have a chance to play early.