LSU Tigers: Tyler Edwards

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).

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.
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.

 

Who emerged as starters in camp? 

August, 24, 2012
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BATON ROUGE, La. - Depending how you look at it, LSU's August camp ended on Aug. 16 with the last scrimmage before the start of the fall semester, or on Aug. 21, with the last scrimmage before the Tigers shifted their focus to preparations for the Sept. 1 season opener against North Texas.

[+] EnlargeZach Mettenberger
AP Photo/Gerald HerbertZach Mettenberger will lead LSU on offense, and the Tigers might air it out more in 2012.
Either way, camp is over and the question now is who emerged from camp as the Tigers to look for in 2012.

With the caveat that the media -- and the public in general -- did not see much of the work, here's our best guess at how the Tigers will line up, position by position:

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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:

Chase Clement moved from defensive end to tight end for LSU after his freshman season in 2009 and, in short order, made an impact as a blocker.

As a sophomore in 2008, he started eight of LSU's 13 games but only caught two passes. A season ago, he upped that total to seven passes, including his first career touchdown.

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BATON ROUGE -- The lack of production from tight ends in LSU's offense has created constant consternation for Tigers fans for quite some time.

Even the addition of Zach Mettenberger into a more pass-happy attack doesn't seem to have changed that reality.

Yes, it was a glorified spring scrimmage. And yes, most of his production came against the Tiger's second string secondary. But Mettenberger's 272 yard performance in last week's spring game was a passing bonanza LSU fans haven't seen since JaMarcus Russell left town.

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