LSU Tigers: Chase Clement

BATON ROUGE, La. -- It's only going to look like an all-comer's combine.

LSU's Pro Day on Wednesday will feature a whopping 28 participants, the result of a year where the Tigers sent 13 players to the NFL combine. Among the players will will participate is former LSU player Tyrann Mathieu.

Of the 28, 21 were members of LSU's 2012 team, while seven more participants were members of past LSU teams and are trying to catch the interest of teams as free agents.

Fans can watch the event live on ESPN3 at 1 p.m. ET.

Here are the players who are participating, according to LSU:

2012 team members: DE Chauncey Aghayere, K Drew Alleman, TE Chase Clement, DT Josh Downs, OT Josh Dworaczyk, DE Lavar Edwards, OT Chris Faulk, RB Michael Ford, DT Bennie Logan, C P.J. Lonergan, DB-KR Tyrann Mathieu, DE Barkevious Mingo, LB Kevin Minter, DE Sam Montgomery, S Eric Reid, WR Russell Shepard, CB Tharold Simon, RB Spencer Ware, P Brad Wing, DT Cleveland Davis, TE Tyler Edwards

Past Players (last year at LSU): OG Will Blackwell (2011), LB-DB Karnell Hatcher (2011), OL T-Bob Hebert (2011), QB Jordan Jefferson (2011), QB Jarrett Lee (2011), DS Alex Russian (2011), RB Charles Scott (2009).

History says LSU will have pros, busts 

January, 29, 2013
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- As LSU puts the finishing touches on its 2013 recruiting class, one might ask what to expect from the incoming class.

One way to judge is through history.

Looking at the last three classes to complete their eligibility -- and the first three that existed in the RecruitingNation era (starting in 2006) -- one can see some noticeable patterns.

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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TE Stokes signs with LSU 

December, 19, 2012
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU is short on numbers at tight end, but the Tigers took a step in rectifying that situation Wednesday.

Logan Stokes, a three-star tight end from Northeast Mississippi Community College, signed with LSU on junior college signing day. He's the only junior college player expected to sign with the Tigers after wide receiver Quantavius Leslie failed to qualify.

Stokes is likely one of just three tight ends expected to return next season. Starter Chase Clement is a senior and sophomore Nic Jacobs was suspended from the team late in the year and hasn't played since early November. When talking about the future of the position, Stokes mentioned returning reserves Travis Dickson and Dillon Gordon, but not Jacobs.

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Logan Stokes won't drop ball on Tigers 

December, 19, 2012
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- Logan Stokes wanted to clear up a misconception about him on the eve of his signing with LSU.

"In my first game in junior college, I made catches but I had to learn how to block," said the sophomore at Northeast Mississippi Community College, who will sign with the Tigers on Wednesday morning before having an informal evening ceremony with teammate Nick Thomason. Stokes said Thomason will sign with Louisiana Tech.

Stokes, a converted high school defensive end, is the only player expected to sign with LSU during the junior college signing period today. Quantavius Leslie, a wide receiver committed to LSU, did not graduate from Hinds Junior College and must return to junior college for the spring semester.

Stokes' comment about his natural receiving ability might come as a revelation to many who have looked at Stokes' modest statistics -- he had just 12 catches in his sophomore season -- and his large frame (6-foot-6, 240 pounds) and assume he's in the mold of current LSU starter Chase Clement, a devastating blocker who rarely gets involved in the passing game.

Stokes said there are other reasons for his lack of production as juco receiver.

"We just could not throw the ball," Stokes said. "We had a weak offensive line that couldn't pass-block very well and our quarterbacks struggled some, too."

As for Stokes, he said he caught it just fine.

"Didn't have one drop," he said.

Indeed, that seems to be the book on Stokes from those who actually covered him. Scouts, including ESPN's own scouting report, noted that he had soft hands and looked comfortable catching the ball. He said he is athletic enough to "flex" out to a wide receiver spot.

"I actually caught a lot of my passes this year doing flexed out," he said.


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Countdown to Signing Day: Logan Stokes 

December, 14, 2012
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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: TE Logan Stokes, Muscle Shoals, Ala./Northeast Mississippi CC

Committed: May 28, 2012

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Countdown to signing day: Desean Smith 

December, 12, 2012
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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: TE Desean Smith, Lake Charles, La./Barbe, 6-4, 230

Committed: July 2, 2012

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Grading LSU offense: Passing game lags 

October, 25, 2012
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU played through two-thirds of the season before finally getting a break, but the bye week has arrived. It's safe to say the offense hasn't been the juggernaut fans were hoping to see in 2012, but it's been good enough to allow the Tigers to control their own destiny with two top-11 teams coming to Death Valley during the next two weeks.

Defensive grades come Friday. For now, this is how the LSU offense grades out heading during the off week.

QUARTERBACK

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LSU Awards Tracker: Week 7

October, 16, 2012
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- How LSU players on awards watch lists have fared through seven games:

DE Sam Montgomery (Bednarik, Nagurski, Rotary Lombardi): Leads one of the nation's best defenses in both sacks (4) and tackles for loss (8.5), making him a viable candidate with big games coming up where he can make a national splash.

DE Barkevious Mingo (Bednarik, Nagurski, Rotary Lombardi): Has just two sacks, but is always applying pressure with eight quarterback hurries. With a couple of big performances in upcoming big games, he could get back into the picture.

FS Eric Reid (Bednarik, Nagurski): A crucial interception against South Carolina adds to his big-play resume. Has two interceptions and is third on the team with 39 tackles.

C P.J. Lonergan (Rimington): LSU rushed for 258 yards against South Carolina, a departure from recent O-line troubles. If the line continues to excel in the second half, Lonergan could climb into the picture.

TE Chase Clement (Mackey): A great blocker, his lack of production in the passing game (four receptions) will likely keep him on the outside looking in.

K Drew Alleman (Lou Groza): He's 11-for-15 on field goal but has four misses from less than 40 yards, too many for a national award.

P Brad Wing (Ray Guy): His 43.8-yard average is good, but he's coming off the worst game of his career and is looking like more of a longshot.

T Alex Hurst (Outland, Rotary Lombardi): Missed the South Carolina game for personal reasons and his status going forward is unclear.

DT Bennie Logan (Outland): Continues to be good without racking up statistics. He has one sack and 3.5 tackles for loss and is more of a candidate to be drafted high than to get national awards.

LB Kevin Minter (Butkus): LSU's leader in tackles (63) and tackles for loss (8.5) has become a dark-horse candidate for awards.

LSU Awards Tracker: Week 6

October, 9, 2012
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- How LSU players on awards lists have fared through six games:

DE Sam Montgomery (Bednarik, Nagurski, Rotary Lombardi): Has two sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss, but he needs to increase his production in the second half to get back into contention.

DE Barkevious Mingo (Bednarik, Nagurski, Lombardi): He's been better than his modest statistics (16 tackles, 1 sack, 7 hurries), but he's light years from the production he'll likely need to be an award-winner.

FS Eric Reid (Bednarik, Nagurski): Third on the team with 32 tackles, Reid has had an effective, if quiet, season. It's hard to imagine he'll stay in national awards contention without some eye-catching performances in the second half.

C P.J. Lonergan (Rimington): Any LSU offensive lineman's chances are hurt by the sacks allowed (15) and the Tigers' recent offensive struggles in general.

TE Chase Clement (Mackey): LSU doesn't use its tight ends much in the passing game, so while he's been an effective blocker, it's hard to to see Clement, with four catches for 44 yards, staying in contention.

K Drew Alleman (Groza): His numbers -- 8-for-11 on field goals -- are good, but the percentage is just seventh in the SEC. It's a strong season for SEC kickers.

Brad Wing
Nelson Chenault/US PresswirePunter Brad Wing is fourth in the SEC with a 45.3-yard average and is best at pinning opponents inside the 20.
P Brad Wing (Ray Guy): He's 15th in the nation and fourth in the SEC with a 45.3-yard average and remains the best in the SEC at pinning opponents inside the 20 (12 in 27 punts). A good second half would keep him in strong contention.

T Alex Hurst (Outland, Rotary Lombardi): Took one for the team by moving from the right side to the left side, but on a troubled offensive line, he likely won't remain in awards contention.

DT Bennie Logan (Outland): Another solid player who doesn't accumulate big stats, Logan had 3.5 tackles for loss and one sack, not likely enough to stay in contention for major awards.

LB Kevin Minter (Butkus): Had a Butkus Award performance with 20 tackles, including a school-record 17 solo, against Florida. With 54 tackles and 8.5 for loss, he's a contender.

LSU awards tracker: Week 5

October, 2, 2012
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- How LSU players on awards watch lists have fared through five games:

DE Barkevious Mingo (Bednarik, Nagurski, Rotary Lombardi): Slowed by an early ankle injury, Mingo has a nuisance for offenses but doesn't have a lot of statistics to show for it. He has just one quarterback sack and two tackles for loss, but leads the team with seven quarterback hurries.

DE Sam Montgomery (Bednarik, Nagurski, Rotary Lombardi): Leads LSU with 6.5 tackles for loss to with two sacks, three quarterback hurries. One of his tackles for loss was for a safety. Has been a consistently disruptive force.

FS Eric Reid (Bednarik, Nagurski): Quietly solid with 26 tackles, one for loss, to go with an interception and three passes broken up.

C P.J. Lonergan (Rimington): He missed one game because of injury, but LSU's solid rushing numbers (second in the SEC at 229.6 yards per game) help his cause.

TE Chase Clement (Mackey): Caught a season-long 27-yard pass against Towson, but it was just the third of the year for a tight end who remains more effective in LSU's running game than as a receiver.

K Drew Alleman (Groza): Missed a 51-yard field goal against Towson, giving him more misses (three) than he had all of 2011. Not that 6-for-9 on field goals is terrible, just not the same level as 2011.

P Brad Wing (Ray Guy): Averaging 45.2 yards per punt on 20 attempts, including nine inside the 20-yard line, second most in the SEC. But he also has more touchbacks (4) than any SEC punter.

OT Alex Hurst (Outland, Rotary Lombardi): Showed his versatile value to his team by shifting from right tackle to left tackle in the Towson game. LSU's trouble protecting the quarterback (11 sacks) will hurt even if many of the sacks aren't his fault.

DT Bennie Logan (Outland): The junior has 16 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss. He lacks a quarterback sack, which hurts with voters.

LB Kevin Minter (Butkus): Leads LSU with 34 tackles, including 5.5 for loss and has three passes broken up. He's putting together a solid season.

Another of note: DT Anthony Johnson could enter the Outland Trophy picture if he continues to produce. On a star-studded LSU defensive line, the sophomore has the most tackles (19) despite only starting the last three games. He is also second in tackles for loss (5.5, tied with Minter) and has 1.5 sacks.

LSU awards tracker: Week 4

September, 25, 2012
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MontgomeryKevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesDefensive end Sam Montgomery had two sacks against Auburn on Saturday to highlight an excellent performance.
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Here's how LSU players on awards watch lists are doing through four games:

DE Barkevious Mingo (Bednarik, Nagurski, Rotary Lombardi): Slowed by an ankle injury, Mingo is still sackless for the season and has just one tackle for loss. He does lead the team in quarterback hurries with five.

DE Sam Montgomery (Bednarik, Nagurski, Rotary Lombardi): Earned SEC Defensive Player of the Week against Auburn after getting his second sack of the season and 3.5 tackles for loss, giving him six on the season. Has played best against better opponents.

S Eric Reid (Bednarik, Nagurski): Third on team with 20 tackles and has an interception and three passes broken up in a solid start.

C P.J. Lonergan (Rimington): An injury has caused him to miss a start and miss time last week against Auburn. LSU's success rushing (247.5 yards per game) helps.

TE Chase Clement (Mackey): His two receptions for 10 yards won't likely keep him as a candidate, although his run blocking remains valuable in the Tigers' power attack.

K Drew Alleman (Lou Groza): He's 20-for-20 on extra points and 5-for-7 on field goals. A rushed miss on a 34-yard attempt in the closing minute of the Auburn game hurts.

P Brad Wing (Ray Guy): Still booming them at a 45.4-yard average. He's booting more touchbacks than a year ago (three in three games), but he's still got seven inside the 20.

OT Alex Hurst (Outland, Rotary Lombardi): LSU's rushing success helps, but he's hurt by the Tigers' pass protection issues with seven sacks allowed in four games.

DT Bennie Logan (Outland): Never a big stat guy, Logan's numbers (12 tackles, two for loss) might not inspire voters, although his play has been consistently solid.

LB Kevin Minter (Butkus): After a quiet game against Auburn, he still leads Tigers with 25 tackles and three passes broken up to go with four tackles for loss.

Others: Defensive tackle Anthony Johnson has 4.5 tackles for loss and has been increasingly productive since becoming a starter two games ago, giving him a chance to join the Outland Trophy picture if he keeps producing

LSU Awards Tracker: Week 3

September, 18, 2012
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- Here's how LSU players on post-season awards watch lists are doing through three games:

DE Barkevious Mingo (Bednarik, Nagurski, Rotary Lombardi): Did not start vs. Idaho because of an ankle injury, but did play limited snaps. He has yet to record a sack this season.

DE Sam Montgomery (Bednarik, Nagurski, Rotary Lombardi): Has just one sack, but has been disruptive behind the line with 2.5 tackles for loss and three quarterback hurries to go with seven tackles.

S Eric Reid (Bednarik, Nagurski): Quietly solid start with 13 tackles, an interception and three passes broken up.

C P.J. Lonergan (Rimington): Did not start against Idaho as LSU looked to limit his snaps to rest a nagging injury (he did play in a reserve role). He should return to his starting role Saturday against Auburn.

TE Chase Clement (Mackey): Hasn't had a catch since the first game, but he's helped the Tigers maintain a physical identity in the running game.

K Drew Alleman (Lou Groza): He remained 4-for-5 on field goals for the season after a penalty killed his only attempt against Idaho because it knocked him out of range. He made all nine of his extra points and is 19-for-19 on the season.

P Brad Wing (Ray Guy): A front-runner for the award, Wing is averaging 48.6 yards per punt, with three 50-plus yarders and four inside the 20 in eight attempts.

OT Alex Hurst (Outland, Rotary Lombardi): LSU leads the SEC in rushing and yards per carry, and that helps the Tigers' right tackle.

DT Bennie Logan (Outland): Has 11 tackles, 1.5 for loss, with a pass broken up and a quarterback hurry in what's been a typically solid performance so far.

LB Kevin Minter (Butkus Award): An emerging star, Minter leads LSU in tackles (21), tackles for loss (3) and is tied with Reid for the lead in passes broken up (3).

Others who impressed: RBs Kenny Hilliard and Alfred Blue both have a pair of 100-yard rushing games and could make themselves Doak Walker Award candidates with sustained success.
BATON ROUGE, La. -- The loss of five players to injuries and, presumably, academics won't have a major impact on LSU's football season.

Not yet, at least.

[+] EnlargeTahj Jones
Joe Murphy/Getty ImagesLB Tahj Jones (58) has been declared academically ineligible for the year.
LSU coach Les Miles said Wednesday in the SEC teleconference that four players -- linebackers Tahj Jones and D.J. Welter, tight end Tyler Edwards and offensive lineman Evan Washington -- won't play this season. Miles would not say why, but has earlier noted that Jones was going through an academic appeal.

He also announced that defensive end Jordan Allen was lost for the season because of ACL surgery.

While that may seem like a lot of attrition to be announced at once, the reality is, it's either been dealt with already or is only an issue for players deep on the depth chart.

Jones is the one player among the five who was a starter. But like Welter, Edwards and Washington, Jones has not dressed for a game this season and most have started working under the assumption that Luke Munice had taken his place as the starting strong-side linebacker for the season. Wednesday's announcement just confirmed that. The loss of Jones, a junior, and Welter, a sophomore, means all of LSU's backup linebackers now are true freshmen.

That would be more of the problem had the 2012 linebacker recruiting class, six players strong, not been considered by Miles to be the strongest linebacker class recruited by LSU in his tenure. So far, true freshmen Kwon Alexander and Deion Jones have played well in reserve roles. Where it could be a problem is if injuries hit the veteran starting trio of Kevin Minter, Lamin Barrow and Muncie, forcing the true freshmen to play bigger roles than they might be ready for.

It's a similar situation at tight end and defensive end. Edwards' role as a primarily blocking tight end behind starter Chase Clement has been replaced by sophomores Nic Jacobs and Travis Dickson and freshman Dillon Gordon. But Edwards is a senior, so his experience will be missed, especially if Clement, also a senior, goes down. Allen was far down the depth chart at defensive end, but his loss would be felt at the position only if the Tigers suffer attrition ahead of him at what is a deep position.

Allen was injured covering a kickoff, an area where the Tigers will have to find a replacement.

Washington, a reserve sophomore who has yet to play in a game, is the second offensive lineman lost for the season after Chris Faulk's knee injury sidelined him last week. With Josh Dworaczyk starting at left tackle, LSU is perhaps eight deep with game-ready offensive linemen. True freshman tackle Vadal Alexander was mentioned as a possible starter after Faulk's loss and coaches have been pleased with the progress of second-team center Elliott Porter.

In last week's win over Washington, Trai Turner got snaps at guard when starter La'el Collins went down with a minor injury.

The losses announced Wednesday pushed the total number of veterans from LSU's spring roster that have been lost for the season to 11. Previous to Wednesday's five, Faulk suffered his injury, Heisman Trophy finalist Tyrann Mathieu was dismissed from the team, offensive lineman Corey White did not return to the team for August camp and defensive backs Ronnie Vinson, Sam Gibson and David Jenkins all transferred to other schools after the spring.

 

LSU Awards Tracker: Week 2 

September, 11, 2012
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- Each week, we track how LSU Tigers on awards watch lists are doing (and add some suggestions). Here's where Tigers candidates stand after a 2-0 start:

DE Barkevious Mingo (Bednarik Award, Rotary Nagurski Award, Lombardi Award)

His statistics (8 tackles, 1 for loss) are modest, but his influence on games -- he draws double teams and has QBs looking for him -- is not. Needs to start producing stats to have a chance though.

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