LSU looks to fill in the holes on offense

March, 11, 2009
3/11/09
2:15
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

LSU opens its spring practice on Thursday, and most eyes will be on the quarterback battle.

Jordan Jefferson, who ended his true freshman season as the starter, is the odds-on favorite to win the job. But LSU coach Les Miles said coveted signee Russell Shepard will work exclusively at quarterback this spring.

Shepard enrolled in school early and was rated by Scouts Inc. as the No. 1 athlete in the country, so he's obviously the kind of player who could line up at a lot of places.

It will be interesting to see how quickly he picks up the offense.

Jarrett Lee also remains in the mix after struggling through a forgettable redshirt freshman season in which he threw seven interceptions that were returned for touchdowns.

The best news for whoever wins the quarterback job is that there are several proven playmakers returning on offense.

The Tigers had a great recruiting year, but the most important recruit may have been getting receiver Brandon LaFell back after he initially declared for the NFL draft. Richard Dickson is also one of the best tight ends in the league.

The running back position is stocked. Charles Scott rushed for 1,174 yards and 18 touchdowns last season. Keiland Williams and Richard Murphy return behind him and are both immensely talented. Because the Tigers are in desperate need of a fullback, there's a chance the 235-pound Scott could play there in certain situations.

This is a big spring for junior receiver Terrance Toliver. He'll have chance to win a starting job, and the Tigers would like to get more out of speedster Trindon Holliday on offense next season. Senior receiver Jared Mitchell will miss the spring because of baseball, and prized signee Rueben Randle doesn't arrive until the summer.

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