Lots of recruiting stuff to talk about, plus LSU Pro Day and the continuing spring practices. Let's get it started.
Who will be Playing on Special Teams for LSU in 2013?
May be the most unsettled area on the team in some ways. P will be Jamie Keehn (last year Brad Wing), KOs will be by James Hairston (same as last year) and Hairston will compete with Colby Delahoussaye for FGs and XPs. Reid Ferguson is back long snapping. Odell Beckham is back returning punts and may replace Michael Ford returning kicks.
You seem to like Palelei. Will he be in LSU's recruiting class?
I did an update on Palelei today (check it out on the blog). I see him as a guy LSU may come back to late. I like the fact that he put on some weight and will likely play next year at around 200 pounds without losing any of his signature speed and quickness. I think he'll end up at a high-end school. Whether or not that's LSU is a tough question to answer. Right now, LSU's probably most focused on landing Leonard Fournette at RB.
pick to win the sec west and why..in football offcourse
Alabama. So much back on defense and great skill coming back on offense. A&M lost too many high-end players who carried heavy loads and LSU lost too much on defense. I do recognize that LSU has the talent to step up and compete with either, but I can't pick unproven (if still talented)guys over talented AND proven guys.
Who has done more for himself that any other LSU player so far this spring?
As far as veterans go, I'd say D.J. Welter, who has sort of grabbed the middle linebacker spot and won't let go. Lamin Barrow told me yesterday that Welter hasn't given the coaches reason to slide Barrow over from WLB (like a lot of folks, including me, have assumed would happen) because Welter keeps making plays. Aside from that, I'm going to say the early entree freshmen as a group. Pocic has really looked great. Diarse is contending for playing time. Jennings looks fantastic out there.
Does LSU take the commitment from Rhaheem today? How is LSU going to sign everybody it wants if it keeps taking these sort of unknown guys?
Sharieff Rhaheed, a 2014 DE-OLB from Florida, is on LSU's campus as we speak on an unofficial visit. He tried to commit a week ago, but he's never been to LSU before. So LSU encouraged him to visit before taking his commitment. Makes sense. If he enjoys his visit and LSU enjoys having him on campus, I say LSU takes his commitment today. We'll know this afternoon.
That's Sharieff, not Sharrief...
Gary, which freshman will have the biggest impact on offense? Which will have the biggest impact on defense?
On offense, I'm thinking an offensive lineman, quite possibly Pocic, gets playing time this year. But the biggest impact may come from DeSean Smith at TE. From all indications, Cam Cameron looks to create matchup problems and Smith is just that. Teams will have a hard time mathing up to his size in the receiving game.
Who has been the better freshman quarterback this spring, Jennings or Rettig?
I've been to most LSU practices and I have to say Jennings has stood out. He's so confident looking, you would not think he's only seven practices into his college career. Rettig has looked good too, but more like what you would expect from a true freshman going through his first practices.
all the spring practice videos show CLM working with the O linemen. is that unit his only/primary focus, or is he floating? also, how is O line looking as a whole?
Jason, we in the media are only privy to about 15-30 minutes of practice sessions, but in those sessions Miles has been almost exclusively with the OL. I think the reasons are two-fold. He told us Coach Studrawa has asked for help with the young line. He does not have a graduate assistant type out there this spring. So Miles' focus on the linemen is a needed and welcome help. And, indeed, I do think it sends a symbolic message that this is Cam Cameron's offense to run and he's staying out of the way.
TE Josh McNeil said via twitter he will be attending LSU in may. Do we have a scholarship for him?
Miles said in no uncertain terms on signing day that any additional player would have to be in the 2014 class. I'd have to look it up to get the exact quote. I'm not sure LSU can take him without asking him to grayshirt because my understanding is they were at their limit in the number of players they are allowed to SIGN for 2013 per SEC rules. Doesn't matter if a player is shoved aside to make room at this point, those players have already signed NLIs and I don't think there's any taking that back. I could be wrong, but I believe that's the case.
Sold on LSU baseball yet?
The Tigers have been awfully impressive. How about the young kid Bregman hitting the ball all over the park? The extra bat makes a huge difference in their lineup, in my opinion. I thought last year they were one hitter away from being special because if you plug a Bregman in at the three hole, then so many other hitters can now slide into spots that are more appropriate for their ability level and everybody gets better. LSU's offense looks outstanding right now.
Any ideas of why LSU has not offered in-state WatchList recruits Jermaine Roberts (CB) and Cameron Sims (WR) yet?
Simply put, I'm not sure LSU is sold on either. Roberts is a nice player, but he's on the same board as Tony Brown, who many think LSU is the leader for. Now, if Brown goes elsewhere, then an offer may come. Similarly, I think LSU covets Dupre, Noil and Quinn more than Sims, who did not camp particularly well at LSU last year.
Ok there has been a few practices and a scrimmage, how do you see the offense?
Tweaked. I keep hearing that they are doing more in the passing game, which is more than just saying they are passing it more. It means they are doing more things in the passing game. From what the players are saying, there is a big emphasis in creating mismatches and exploiting those mismatches. If that means a soft spot in the defensive line to run at, then that's where they'll go. If that means a swing pass to get a fast RB against a slow LB in space, then that's where they'll go. I think that's more of an emphasis than a year ago when the emphasis may have been more on a force-of-will running game. I do think they still want to run the ball, but it's a slightly different mentality.
What's the latest with WatchList Safety Quincy Wilson? Looks like on twitter that he's almost sold on committing to LSU
I think his position is a priority Anthony. So they could well be pressing to get commitments there. It's an interesting year because Louisiana is loaded, but not so much at safety where they appears to be a drop-off after Hootie Jones, the talented safety from Monroe. So where does Wilson fit? It's kind of hard to say. Is Voorhies 100 percent a safety? How likely is LSU to land Jones? I'm not sure that Wilson is an automatic take, but then again I would not have that a player like Rhaheed was either.
Does the defense look inexperienced?
Maybe not so much inexperienced. "Thin" might be a better word right now. Jordan Allen played in Saturday's scrimmage in a green, non-contact shirt (which did not prevent him from seeing plenty of contact). Quentin Thomas has missed some practices at DT and that has left LSU with only four tackles. Really, LSU is eight deep with defensive linemen and it has an LB (Ronnie Feist) experimenting with playing DE for depth reasons. I think the young players at those positions are coming along, but it always strikes me how few bodies they have on those spots. Of couse, they'll have six more DLs joining them this summer, so they'll be fine.
But, I'll add that there is a veteran core back with Johnson, Ferguson, Allen and Rasco, guys who have been around, even if their playing time hasn't been great. All these guys are in year three (at least) in the program.
Gary, who will have the bigger year, Landry or Beckham?
From a pure receiver standpoint, I like Landry a bit more because he'll catch everything thrown at him. I think he has a huge receiving year this year. But as far as complete impact on the team and on a game, it could be a wash because of what Beckham might bring to special team. If he returns kickoffs, he can be one of their more valuable players even if he has a ho-hum season as a receiver.
Anybody going to have a big pro day Wednesday?
There are guys who I like in a testing setting. Ford tests well and I think he'll be better tomorrow than he was at the combine. I think Russell Shepard will test well because he's simply a tremendous athlete. After a poor combine, I'm looking for Sam Montgomery to try to get the train rolling in the right direction tomorrow.
By moving Ronnie Feist to DE, do you think Chief will give incoming freshman Melvin Jones or Beckwich a chance at the MLB position?
I think at least one of them will get a look at MLB, even if Feist moves back. Remember, LSU will have sufficient numbers at DE come August when Herron, Neal, Patterson and Bower arrive to campus. Unless Feist really makes a big impression, I think he goes back to MLB. The thing about both Jones and Beckwith is they were high school QBs, so there may be a bit of a learning curve for them at MLB. There are a lot of responsibilities at that spot that go beyond the purely physical. Minter and Kelvin Sheppard were really smart, dedicated football men. It's not a spot where a true freshman is going to easily show up and play.
What's more interesting right now, spring football or baseball?
For us? This is a football-centric site, as you might notice. We're heavy on the football team and football recruiting. But it's hard not to keep an eye on a 22-2 baseball team, right?
I know this is a stretch for LSU football, BUT have you heard any word on JaMarcus Russell's comeback?
One thing I have heard is his comeback attempt doesn't involve LSU much. I was asked if he would work out at Pro Day and the answer is, no. He's working with a personal trainer. The obvious thing is he needs to get his weight way, way down. Is he accomplishing this? I really don't know. He hasn't been around LSU much, if at all, this spring from what I've seen.
Who's a better freshman, Bregman or Jeremy Hill?
If Bregman's numbers project through the rest of the season -- we're approaching the halfway point -- then he'll have had a better season simply because Hill's impact came late in the party and Bregman has been swinging the bat since Day 1. Both are fantastic players who were, in their sport, considered among the best in their class coming out of high school.
any sec football coaches searching elementary schools with scholarship offers in tow?
It's only a matter of time Ken. But you've got Urban Meyer up there now and, regardless of what you might think, he's an SEC coach at heart. So if there's a 6-foot-4, 215 pound stud running 4.5 40s in eighth grade in Canton, I bet he gets offered too.
Is Hilliard going to make a comeback to the LSU offense?
It's interesting. I don't think Hilliard ran poorly last year. He just fell behind Hill and Hill never let go. So much of what happens at RB at LSU involves who's healthy and who's hot and who's taking advantage of their opportunity. If Hill gets dinged or performs poorly, then I think Hilliard is capable of reclaiming a vital role. If Hill plays well and stays healthy, it's going to be tough because they have similar skill sets and may be seen as somewhat redundant.
University of Texas have been offering a lot of scholarships to Louisiana 2014 prospects this recruiting season. I know they recently hire Porter as their RB coach. UT coaching staff is a 3 game losing season from being replaced. Do you think any top Louisiana prospects commit?
It's possible Terrell. It's going to be tough for Texas to compete head-to-head with LSU for a commitment. But in a year like this one where Louisiana has a lot of high end recruits, not every one will end up wanting to go to LSU and not every one will end up getting LSU offers. A great example was mentioned earlier in Cameron Sims, the WR from Monroe who currently does not have an LSU offer but, to me, is a great prospect.
That's my time folks. Thanks for all the good questions. I'm impressed in LSU fan passion considering the volumes of questions will get for an off-season chat. Same time, same place next week. I'll also have a mailbag Friday so send your questions to @glaneyespn on Twitter or firstname.lastname@example.org.