LSU Tigers: Avery Johnson

Spring preview: Instant impact? 

March, 7, 2013
3/07/13
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John DiarseMiller Safrit/ESPN.comLSU freshman receiver John Diarse might see some early playing time.
As LSU prepares to begin spring practice March 14, we'll take daily looks at aspects of the spring camp. This is the fourth in the series:

BATON ROUGE, La. -- At LSU, things happen quickly.

Players leave early for the NFL in Baton Rouge at a greater rate than just about any program in the country, so young players better come ready to play. In LSU's 2013 signing class, eight of the signees enrolled for the spring semester. Here they are and how they might fit in:

GeauxTigerNation signing day recap

February, 6, 2013
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LSU landed the No. 7 class in the nation on signing day. Here's a look at each signing as the LOIs rolled into Baton Rouge.

11:50 a.m. CT -- DE Tashawn Bower ESPN 150
Somerville, N.J./Immaculata
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A highly regarded defensive end who could fit right in with LSU. Made a signing-day decision after considering Auburn, Florida and Florida State, among others.

10:42 a.m. CT -- DT Maquedius Bain ESPN 150
Fort Lauderdale, Fla./University New School of Nova South
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Part of a deep defensive tackle class, Bain has raw athleticism and size. During his prep career, he also showed a willingness as a team player, taking on the offensive line to fill a team need as a senior.

(Read full post)

LSU passing game buoyed with 2013 class 

January, 30, 2013
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- The last time LSU had anything close to a high-powered passing offense was back in its last national championship season, 2007, with Matt Flynn at quarterback.

Since then, the Tigers have consistently had, at best, mediocre passing numbers, a trend they hope to snap next season in Zach Mettenberger's senior year at quarterback. Whether that happens remains to be seen. One thing that's clear, however, is that the Tigers have invested heavily to try to improve the passing game in the future.

The 2013 class will finish with four receivers, two tight ends and two quarterbacks, nearly a third of the class devoted to an improved ability to pitch and catch.

"It's exciting," said tight end DeSean Smith (Lake Charles, La./Barbe)," the highest-rated of the eight players by ESPN. "When we look at our class, we think we can do a lot with three wide receiver sets and maybe four and we can even get one or two tight ends in as part of that."


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LSU gets commitment No. 26 

January, 20, 2013
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU picked up a commitment from a player most probably weren't thinking about at the start of the 2012 season.


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LSU roster adds eight, loses four

January, 16, 2013
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU has eight new scholarship football players on its spring roster, with two players who are expected to be on the Tigers' spring roster facing a delay.

Quarterback Hayden Rettig and wide receiver Avery Johnson both got a late green light from the NCAA clearinghouse Wednesday, allowing them to join six other new players who enrolled for the spring semester.

"It's just a formality they had to go through," LSU sports information director Michael Bonnette said.

There were some nervous moments for LSU fans who recalled last January when highly-regarded quarterback recruit Gunner Kiel backed out of an LSU commitment in January and wound up signing with Notre Dame. Also, Johnson signed with LSU in 2012, but wound up not meeting academic requirements and he subsequently enrolled at Hargrave Military Academy for the fall semester. There were fears of more academic trouble for him.

Those fears now put to rest, LSU can look at an early enrollee class of eight.

They joined six other Tigers already on the roster: Tight end Logan Stokes and offensive guard Fehoko Fanaika (both junior college transfers) and high school recruits Anthony Jennings (quarterback), Ethan Pocic (offensive tackle), John Diarse (wide receiver) and Christian LaCouture (defensive tackle). All four graduated from their high schools early and were able to start a semester early.

Fanaika, like Johnson, initially signed with LSU last year, but had to return to junior college to complete his eligibility requirements.

While LSU brought in eight players, there were a handful of departures, most notably linebacker Luke Muncie, who started four games in 2012 before an illness forced him out of the lineup. He had 11 tackles and an interception.

Also no longer on the Tigers' roster are quarterback Jerrard Randall, wide receiver Paul Turner and offensive lineman Chris Davenport. Randall and Muncie will apparently transfer. Turner has reportedly transferred to Louisiana Tech and Davenport to Tulane.

Their departures leave LSU with unofficially 65 scholarship players on their roster, plenty enough to accommodate the 17 remaining committed players in the signing class plus three more. The NCAA limits teams to 85 scholarship players. If LSU were to add more than three players to its signing class, it would simply have whittle the scholarship counters to 85 by August.

Countdown to Signing Day: Avery Johnson 

January, 16, 2013
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To gear up for 2013 national signing day, GeauxTigerNation's Gary Laney will break down every commitment in the Tigers' 2013 recruiting class.

Vitals: WR Avery Johnson, Pompano Beach, Fla./Ely (Hargrave Military Academy), 6-foot-2, 180 pounds

Committed to LSU: In 2010 and signed with the Tigers in 2012, but attended prep school after failing to meet NCAA initial eligibility requirements

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Early entries getting jump start 

January, 10, 2013
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- Anthony Jennings, the ESPN 300 quarterback who begins his college career Friday at LSU, plans on hitting the ground running at his new school.


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Where LSU will need help: Offense 

January, 4, 2013
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- There are some unknown variables when trying to figure out where true freshmen might play a big role on a team.

Avery Johnson
Davide De Pas/ESPN.comClass of 2012 wide receiver Avery Johnson looks to re-enroll after going to prep school for a year. He could contribute to LSU as soon as next season.
Take LSU right tackle Vadal Alexander. The 2012 signee became a true freshman starter at right tackle halfway through the season, something nobody saw coming. But when left tackle Chris Faulk suffered a season-ending knee injury, it opened the door for Alexander to move into the lineup, and he took the job and ran with it after another veteran starting tackle, Alex Hurst, left the team.

Similarly, with a veteran stable of running backs returning, few saw true freshman Jeremy Hill emerging as a primary running back for LSU this year. Yet, it took only one injury -- to original starter Alfred Blue -- to get Hill the break he needed to start getting carries and eventually become the starter and the Tigers' leading rusher.

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Late bloomers looking for right fit 

December, 12, 2012
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- By now, the typical follower of recruiting knows all the 4- and 5-star recruits. Ricky Seals-Jones is a household name, as is Robert Nkemdiche.

When Seals-Jones chose Texas A&M Monday, it dominated the recruiting news cycle. When Nkemdiche makes his decision, the news will rule the day, with the image of Nkemdiche at a table wearing the cap of the winning school on his head while surrounded by family and coaches sure to be placed all over the web.

But decisions like those are only a small part of December and January recruiting. More often, the story is about the kid who comes in from off the radar, the relative unknown who is either a late bloomer or simply late in getting interest.

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What's next for LSU after RSJ decision? 

December, 11, 2012
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- With Ricky Seals-Jones making his pledge to Texas A&M Monday morning, LSU missed on a much-desired 2013 recruiting target and was perhaps left with a hole in its recruiting class after the Tigers parted ways with former commit Chuck Baker last week.

Where is LSU left at wide receiver without Seals-Jones? Let's take a look.

What's left after 2012: Almost everything.

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There's room for more at LSU 

November, 27, 2012
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- Looking at LSU's list of committed players for the 2013 recruiting class, you'll find 25 names.

[+] EnlargeRicky Seals-Jones
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comDespite what the current scholarship numbers are, there will be room for uncommitted players such as Ricky Seals-Jones in the 2013 recruiting class.
If you follow recruiting, you know the SEC limits schools to 25 letters of intent per signing class.

Does that mean the Tigers are done for this year?

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WR Avery Johnson cleared by NCAA 

November, 13, 2012
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In addition to its recruiting class, it looks like LSU finally will get some long-anticipated help at the wide receiver position from a familiar name.

Avery Johnson (Pompano Beach, Fla./Blanche Ely), a wide receiver signee with the Tigers' 2012 class, confirmed Tuesday that he has been cleared to enroll at LSU by the NCAA Clearinghouse after failing to qualify in August. Johnson, the younger brother of former LSU star Patrick Peterson, had been committed to LSU since 2010 -- when he was a junior in high school. But he didn't meet the test scores needed to enroll for the 2012 season.

Johnson instead has spent his season at Hargrave Military Academy -- an option not unfamiliar to LSU players, including defensive tackle Ego Ferguson and former running back Keiland Williams.

Johnson said he'll be enrolled in January at LSU, in time for the start of the Tigers' offseason program.

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Skill positions nearly set for 2013 

October, 9, 2012
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Anthony JenningsTom Hauck for ESPN.comThe combination of Anthony Jennings (pictured) and Hayden Rettig gives LSU a good quarterback base in the Class of 2013.
There's still just enough up in the air to keep this thing interesting, but the skill components of LSU's 2013 recruiting class seem to have taken shape some time ago. There are always bound to be some twists and turns, but the Tigers seem set to bring in a healthy crop of talent in their offensive playmaking positions.

Quarterback
LSU got in and got out on the quarterback front this season. The Tigers nabbed two of the better prospects in the country before mid-summer and haven't looked back. Hanging on to at least one, if not both, has to be a priority -- because there aren't many other directions to go in should the Tigers suffer a bad surprise.

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GeauxTigerNation mailbag: Sept. 7 

September, 7, 2012
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GeauxTigerNation recruiting writer David Helman is back with another GeauxTigerNation mailbag, taking questions about the Tigers' recruiting efforts this year.

From Alex in New Orleans: First it was Alex Hurst to get nicked up along the offensive line, and now Chris Faulk has a severe injury. Has LSU recruited the depth there to withstand all the injuries?

[+] EnlargeRicky Seals-Jones
Max Olson/ESPN.comDespite a recent injury, Ricky Seals-Jones is still a top 2013 recruit.
It certainly looks good that offensive tackle Vadal Alexander was LSU's highest-rated recruit for 2012, doesn't it? On top of that, Alexander was an early enrollee in January, which showcases how important it can be to get your most talented recruits onto campus as soon as possible. The 6-foot-5, 315-pound freshman has been working out and learning the playbook since the week after the national championship game. If Hurst can't stay healthy, or if the big senior moves to left tackle to replace Faulk, Alexander seems like a likely candidate to step onto the starting line.

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GeauxTigerNation mailbag: Aug. 31 

August, 31, 2012
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GeauxTigerNation recruiting writer David Helman is back with another GeauxTigerNation mailbag, taking questions about the Tigers' recruiting efforts this year.

From @JustinMcCain: How do you see LSU finishing out this 2013 recruiting class? Any surprises? There's usually at least one.

The one thing I can guarantee is that we'll all be surprised by the way this class finishes out -- for better or for worse. We've seen it go both ways before, such as in 2009 when the Tigers landed stud prospect Sam Montgomery all the way from South Carolina on national signing day. Obviously, we all know how successful Montgomery has been since then. And of course, just last year, LSU lost Louisiana's top two prospects, safety Landon Collins and linebacker Torshiro Davis, to out-of-state suitors.

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