LSU Tigers: Chris Faulk

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).

Spring preview: Stars to ease your mind 

March, 12, 2013
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Jeremy HillNelson Chenault/US PresswireLSU's Jeremy Hill emerged as a top running back in the second half of his freshman season.
As LSU prepares to begin spring practice March 14, GeauxTigerNation will take daily looks at aspects of the spring camp. This is the seventh in the series:

BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU fans, do all the early defections to the NFL have you down?

Does Chris Faulk's early exit have you baffled? Does Brad Wing's departure make you depressed?

Never fear. LSU still has star power and reason to believe it will remain a serious SEC contender. Here are eight stars returning you can feel good about as spring practice begins:

Spring preview: Positions of need

March, 6, 2013
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As LSU prepares to begin spring practice March 14, GeauxTigerNation will take daily looks at aspects of the spring camp. This is the third in the series:

BATON ROUGE, La. -- If you watched the NFL combine, you saw former LSU defensive linemen and defensive backs lining up to take their turns in drills.

So you want to know the areas of need as we head to the spring?

The combine gave you most of the answers.

Defensive end

Players lost: Barkevious Mingo, Sam Montgomery, Lavar Edwards, Chauncey Aghayere

Experience returning: Jermauria Rasco

Other candidates: Danielle Hunter, Jordan Allen, Justin Maclin.

Outlook: LSU won't have all of its candidates until August, when a trio of true freshmen arrive. But it'll be interesting to see who emerges out of the four veterans. Rasco worked his way into the top four last season and Hunter was a nice special teams player. Allen is coming off a knee injury. Any strong play from these four would be great news in the spring.

Defensive tackle

Players lost: Bennie Logan, Josh Downs

Experience returning: Anthony Johnson, Ego Ferguson

Others: Quentin Thomas, Mickey Johnson, Christian LaCouture.

Outlook: LSU is a little more solid here than at end because Johnson and Ferguson have seen plenty of snaps. Ferguson needs to step his game up though. There's a lot of talk that Thomas is a guy who might step up and earn significant playing time, possibly even challenging Ferguson for a starting spot. True freshman Maquedius Bain and Greg Gilmore will arrive in August. Another freshman, LaCouture, is already on campus.

Lamin Barrow
Derick E. Hingle/US PresswireLamin Barrow is one of several options that LSU has to replace Kevin Minter at middle linebacker.

Middle linebacker

Player lost: Kevin Minter

Experience returning: Lots of players, but are there any natural MLBs?

Outlook: This position is more a matter of finding the right guy than finding a guy. Does LSU move weak linebacker Lamin Barrow there? Does D.J. Welter, who was second team in the Chick-fil-A bowl after missing the season for academic reasons, get a shot? How about young Ronnie Feist? There are no shortage of candidates. It's just a matter of finding the right fit.

Left tackle

Player lost: Chris Faulk, Josh Dworaczyk

Experience returning: La'el Collins (could be moved from left guard), Vadal Alexander (could be moved from right tackle).

Others: Jerald Hawkins, Evan Washington, Jonah Austin, Ethan Pocic.

Outlook: Like middle linebacker, there are candidates here, but which one is the best fit? Collins was a highly-regarded prospect coming out of high school, but he got comfortable at left guard as a sophomore and there could be a reluctance to move him. Hawkins is a talented redshirt freshman, but do you really want a redshirt freshman blocking quarterback Zach Mettenberger's blind side? Alexander, last year's starter at right tackle, could be an option as well, but that would leave the Tigers having to find a new starter for two positions.


Mailbag: Quarterbacks, anyone? 

March, 1, 2013
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- Gary Laney took your questions:

From Will (Houston): If Zach Mettenberger is going to be the starting quarterback, the big question is, who will be the No. 2 coming out of spring?


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OLs from SEC can thrive at combine

February, 20, 2013
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Several of RecruitingNation's SEC sites will look this week at the players headed to the NFL combine, which begins Friday in Indianapolis, and other predraft camps. Today: Offensive linemen.


LSU Tigers



The biggest question mark among the 13 players LSU has headed to the combine is left tackle Chris Faulk who, despite missing all but the season opener with a torn ACL, opted to forgo his senior season at LSU and try for the NFL. He's one of two offensive linemen the Tigers have attending the NFL combine, along with center P.J. Lonergan.

(Read full post)

LSU has 13 invited to combine

February, 7, 2013
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- If there's any doubt why LSU will continue to land top-notch talent in recruiting, Thursday gave an answer.

LSU had 13 players invited to the NFL draft combine Feb. 20-26 in Indianapolis, Ind., the most of any school in the nation. Among the 13, which includes ex-Tiger Tyrann Mathieu, only two were seniors. The other 11 left college with eligibility remaining.

It's one more than the total mustered by Florida State.

LSU set a record when 11 players opted to leave school a year early to enter the draft. That all 11 were invited to the combine affirms that the departures were legitimate. The combine only takes the players it deems most likely to have a chance to get drafted or make a team.

The 11 underclassmen invited were: defensive ends Barkevious Mingo, safety Eric Reid, linebacker Kevin Minter, defensive end Sam Montgomery, defensive tackle Bennie Logan, cornerbacks Mathieu and Tharold Simon, offensive tackle Chris Faulk, running backs Michael Ford and Spencer Ware and punter Brad Wing.

The two seniors were defensive end Lavar Edwards and center P.J. Lonergan.

There were 333 players on the list, 79 from the SEC. LSU was one of four SEC schools to have double-digits invited to the combine. Georgia had 11 players invited and Alabama and Georgia each had 10 invited.

LSU Class of 2009 review 

January, 24, 2013
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- Lamin Barrow, Josh Williford, Tahj Jones and Craig Loston will be looked at as old, old men next year when they enter their fifth-year senior seasons at LSU.

In a program that has made an art of the three-year recruiting cycle, they are only players left from LSU's 2009 signing class that was ranked No. 1 in the country by RecruitingNation.

[+] EnlargeMorris Claiborne
Rob Tringali/Getty ImagesMorris Claiborne was picked No. 6 overall in the 2012 NFL draft, one of several former LSU standouts from the 2009 recruiting class that was ranked No. 1.
That they are gone doesn't reflect poorly on a class that already has three players in the NFL and at least five who are likely to be high picks in the upcoming NFL draft. For those who stayed four years, they enjoyed three consecutive seasons of 10 victories or more, an SEC championship and a trip to the BCS championship game.

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LSU's best recruiting sleepers 

January, 22, 2013
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- Whatever you do, don't try to out-evaluate LSU coaches.

LSU has been one of college football's premier producers of pro talent in the Les Miles era, and more often than not, the eventual high draft picks are players who were unheralded recruits. For every Patrick Peterson, who was everybody's blue chipper coming out of high school, there's a Morris Claiborne who was anything but that coming out of high school.

So when you look at LSU's recruiting results, don't focus on how many 5-star studs they beat everybody else for. Look for the guys like the ones below who went from unheralded to unstoppable:


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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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Early exits: Who's next for LSU? 

January, 9, 2013
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU has lost nine juniors who have declared for the NFL draft, a total that is likely finished for this year, though there have been reports that left tackle Chris Faulk, who missed all but one game with a knee injury, is considering an early departure.

Assuming Faulk comes back to Baton Rouge, LSU won't lose underclassmen again until next year. Who are they likely to lose? Here are the leading candidates:


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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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Tiger Tale: Josh Dworaczyk 

December, 30, 2012
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- Leading up to the Chick-fil-A Bowl, we'll take a daily look at a key LSU player. We'll examine how he has done and what his challenges are for the Clemson game.

Josh Dworaczyk, LT, Senior

Josh Dworaczyk
Steve Franz/Louisiana State University/Getty ImagesSenior Josh Dworaczyk was a two-year starter at guard for LSU before bouncing around this season and ending up at left tackle.
Accomplishments: A sixth-year senior, Dworaczyk relinquished his old job, starting left guard, to become a utility reserve after missing last season with a knee injury. Eventually, that role turned into the starting left tackle job after Chris Faulk was lost for the season after one game with a knee injury. Dworaczyk was particularly solid in the second half of the season after missing games because of lingering effects of his injury. His leadership on the offensive line was a key reason why the Tigers' offensive line thrived down the stretch despite starting two freshmen and a sophomore.

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True freshmen make impact at LSU 

December, 27, 2012
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BATON ROUGE -- With a number of top prospects still considering the possibility of signing with LSU Feb. 6, they should remember one thing before they sign with the Tigers:

If you sign, you better come ready to play.

LSU brought in 21 true freshmen in the 2012 signing class, and 15 have played -- which is second in the country.

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Countdown to signing day: Ethan Pocic 

December, 26, 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: Offensive tackle Ethan Pocic, Lemont, Ill./Lemont, 6-foot-6, 285 pounds

[+] EnlargeEthan Pocic
Zach Perry/Intersport Ethan Pocic might have an immediate impact for LSU.
ESPN Grade: 84 (4-star prospect)

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Tiger Tale: Vadal Alexander

December, 26, 2012
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- Leading up to the Chick-fil-A Bowl, we'll take a daily look at a key LSU player and examine how he has done and what his challenges are for the Clemson game.

Vadal Alexander, RT, Freshman

Accomplishments: Few players have had to mature as quickly as Alexander, who took over at right tackle for the season's final eight games as LSU shuffled playes around following a season-ending injury to left tackle Chris Faulk. Alexander, who played in all 12 games, proved a quick study and by season's end had 47.5 knockdown blocks and was on the SEC's All-Freshman team. In the season's last six games, he formed an All-Freshman right side of the offensive line with redshirt freshman Trai Turner and the pair excelled as the Tigers offense improved down the stretch.

Shortcomings: The Tigers had to go through growing pains with Alexander, who will still give you the occasional false start or blown assignment, reminders that while he's a quick study, he's also still a true freshman. He was part of LSU's struggle in the 14-6 loss to Florida. As the season progressed, the issues with youth become less severe.

Against Clemson: The Georgia native will return home and it will be interesting to see what a mini offseason will do for his game. LSU coach Les Miles noted that bowl preparations are almost as long as spring practice, so one might expect Alexander and other young players to enjoy dramatic improvement since the end of the regular season way back in Thanksgiving weekend. Given that it's a homecoming, one might expect an improved, and motivated, Alexander.

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