LSU Tigers: Jerrard Randall

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.

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.

2014 position preview: Quarterbacks 

November, 8, 2012
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There's one tricky factor that makes it tough to evaluate where LSU might be in terms of recruiting a quarterback for 2014:

What, exactly, will the Tigers' need be at the position?

With 2013 commits Hayden Rettig and Anthony Jennings on board for this class, LSU looks to have five scholarship quarterbacks come 2014. Penn State transfer Rob Bolden, who appears headed for a redshirt season, is on schedule to be a fifth-year senior while current second-stringer Stephen Rivers and Jerrard Randall should both be juniors that year.

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Fall practice report, Day 4 (Sunday) 

August, 5, 2012
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For the first time in fall camp, there was a unified LSU team at practice Sunday morning.

[+] EnlargeAlexander Kwon
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comLB Kwon Alexander appears to be making a nice transition from high school to LSU.
After three days of split practices -- one with veterans in the morning and the other with newcomers and selected veterans in the afternoon -- the entire team came together Sunday morning. For the first time, we saw reserves gathered together as "scout" teams. And we got to see some impressive youngsters like defensive end Danielle Hunter and linebacker Kwon Alexander work with their more established teammates.

We also saw the first look at the "Big Cat" drill, the one-on-one trench battle that is a staple of LSU camps. Seeing wide receiver James Wright lose his helmet in a collision and wide receiver Jarvis Landry and cornerback Corey Thompson get tangled right into the crowd of gathered players and cameras were nice reminders that the physicality of August camp is here.

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Fall Practice Report: Day 1 afternoon 

August, 2, 2012
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Rob BoldenAP Photo/Gerald HerbertFormer Penn State quarterback Rob Bolden is attempting to pick up LSU's system quickly.

In a lot of ways, the afternoon session of LSU's first day of practice was more intriguing than the morning.

None of the Tigers' playmakers were on display in the indoor practice session Thursday afternoon. All of the All-America candidates and key cogs for 2012 wrapped up their day during the morning. But the players who took the field for the later practice were the great unknown.

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Fall practice report: Day 1 

August, 2, 2012
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Alfred Blue, Zach MettenbergerGary Laney/ESPN.comZach Metternberger and Alfred Blue get loose on the first day of practice.
LSU kicked off what promises to be a grueling month Thursday with a 9 a.m. practice -- the first official practice of the 2012 season.

As will be the case for the first three practices of August, Thursday morning was a varsity practice, so there was no sign of any incoming freshmen or transfers. Thus, much to the dismay of media everywhere, Penn State transfer Rob Bolden was not on hand.

Instead, reporters caught 25 minutes of initial veteran workouts, with a few notes worth mentioning.

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QBs in focus as Tigers report for camp 

August, 1, 2012
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This was supposed to be the LSU August camp where the quarterback spot was finally going to be a settled issue.

[+] EnlargeRob Bolden
Rob Christy/US PresswireFormer Penn State QB Rob Bolden was planning to transfer before scandal hit Happy Valley.
There is no more Jordan Jefferson vs. Jarrett Lee controversy. It's Zach Mettenberger's team and that was supposed to be the extent of the story.

It has not worked out that way.

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Countdown to camp: Is Rivers ready? 

July, 10, 2012
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GeauxTigerNation writers David Helman and Gary Laney break down the competitions, issues and talking points of LSU's August camp. Players report to campus Aug. 1 and we'll have a preview segment every weekday in July leading up to the day the players report:

The nightmare scenario for most LSU fans this fall involves quarterback Zach Mettenberger not living up to his much-hyped expectations.

What if he's just ordinary? What if Mettenberger, despite his looks-the-part 6-foot-5 frame and rifle arm, isn't the trigger man that will turn the Tigers' offense from something that just tries to stay out of the way of the defense and special teams into an explosive force?

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Five things to know: Quarterbacks 

June, 26, 2012
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BATON ROUGE, La. – The Jordan Jefferson/Jarrett Lee era is over at LSU, and though the pair oversaw four years of consecutive bowl appearances, 41 wins, an SEC championship and a BCS national championship game appearance, many Tiger fans are ready to turn the page, given the Tigers' sometimes anemic passing numbers in their four years.

Anthony Jennings
Tom Hauck/ESPNHSQB Anthony Jennings has committed to LSU and should help with depth.
Here are five things to know about a position that has been a lightning rod at LSU since the dismissal of Ryan Perrilloux following LSU's 2007 national championship season.

1. Big arm, big results?: Junior Zach Mettenberger is one of the most anticipated new starters, heck, maybe the most anticipated new starter, in college football.

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LSU still looking for its future QB 

May, 13, 2012
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When Connor Mitch committed to South Carolina last week he became the second high-profile quarterback prospect with an LSU offer in the 2013 class to commit to another school after J.T. Barrett of Wichita Falls, Texas, committed to Ohio State April 18.

Riley Ferguson
Tom Hauck/ESPNHS Riley Ferguson remains a top QB target for LSU.
If this sounds like a familiar theme for LSU, perhaps it is.

While LSU has been among the elite programs in football recruiting in recent years, it has gone through a roller coaster ride trying to find quarterback prospects.

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Rivers making strides in LSU offense 

March, 28, 2012
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When he takes snaps during quarterback drills, Stephen Rivers looks impossibly tall, like a basketball forward in football pads.

At 6-foot-7, 212 pounds and noticeably long-limbed, he doesn't drop back after receiving a center snap, he unfolds.

"And handing off, for most people, it's right there," he said, holding out a lanky right arm waist-high to mimic the motion of a quarterback handing the ball to a running back. "For me, I have to bend down more."

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