LSU Tigers: Chris Davenport

Louisiana represented well on signing day 

February, 25, 2013
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- How deep is the football talent in Louisiana?

Consider this: Every football bowl subdivision (FBS) conference in the nation has had a least two Louisiana players sign letters of intent with its member schools for the 2013 recruiting cycle, according to the ESPN database of recruits.

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.


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Top LSU recruit misses 

January, 22, 2013
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- Under Les Miles, LSU has been great about finding an obscure prospect and turning him into a solid college player, an award-winner and often a high NFL draft pick.

That doesn't mean the Tigers aren't immune to players who turn out to not be as good as promised.

Here are five that didn't pan out as advertised since ESPN started rating players in 2006. In all five cases the player was guilty of nothing more than not being as good as many thought he would be. All but one finished their four-year LSU career and won at least one SEC title and played for, or won, a national championship:

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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.

Minus Faulk, LSU might reshuffle OL 

January, 10, 2013
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- Before Chris Faulk's surprising announcement Wednesday that he'll leave LSU this spring, the starting lineup for Tigers' 2013 offensive line seemed easy enough to figure out.

The only departing starters from LSU's line would be center P.J. Lonergan -- who has an heir apparent in Elliott Porter -- and left tackle Josh Dworaczyk, who became the starter only after Faulk got hurt.

Move Porter into the lineup, bring a healthy Faulk back at left tackle, and just like that you have an experienced and talented offensive line set to go.

But now that Faulk will depart despite suffering a season-ending knee injury that cost him the season's final 12 games, the outlook is less clear.


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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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Hurst taken off LSU depth chart 

October, 17, 2012
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- If LSU offensive tackle Alex Hurst is to return to LSU any time soon, you wouldn't know it from the depth chart.

Hurst no longer appears on the depth chart released Tuesday by LSU. Freshman Vadal Alexander is listed at the starter at right tackle, and sophomore Elliott Porter, also the backup center, is listed as the second-team right tackle.

Sixth-year senior Josh Dworaczyk, who started at left tackle last week after Hurst left the team for undisclosed personal reasons, is listed as the starter at left tackle, backed up by junior Chris Davenport.

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Fall practice report: Day 2 (morning) 

August, 3, 2012
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Media access lasted a mere 12 minutes on the morning of LSU's second fall practice -- which isn't necessarily a bad thing, given the 90-degree heat.

A few things changed, but things for the most part stayed the same as the Tigers underwent position drills and warmups ahead of the in-depth practice.

Notables: Defensive end Barkevious Mingo was still the only player in a no-contact jersey, although the junior assured me Thursday he'll be available to go full speed once the team breaks out the pads.

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