Lots to talk about. So let's get this thing started.
early predictiton for for the sec west football standings..
Get asked this every week. My prediction now would be 1. Alabama, 2-3 a toss up between LSU and A&M, 4. Ole Miss, then the other three battle it out. I think the top three might have an edge on Ole Miss and where they finish is arguable. Want to see LSU develop on defense before I call anything better for the Tigers.
What are the chances that the Tigers land Fournette?
I think LSU is the leader. Fournette is going to go through the process though, so I wouldn't be holding my breath for a commitment this weekend, at least not yet.
Great news from Q Leslie, but with the academic setbacks of last year's players, how is he being handled?
LSU did have some setbacks, but outside or providing encouragement and motivation, the ball is a little bit out of LSU's court right now. But I'm hearing Leslie is working with his teachers at Hinds and really is trying to get this thing done with the resources he has available there. I think he might do better at LSU because with things structured the way they are at LSU (and schools like it) it'll be a bit easier for a kid like Leslie to be able to follow the path he needs to take. Show up for the things who are supposed to show up to, do the work and you'll be fine.
Mett struggled mightily with his footwork in the pocket and dropbacks last year. Based on what you've seen so far from the spring, how much has his footwork improved?
Mett's looked sharp in the drills we've seen, but I don't think the footwork issues were obvious in similar drills last spring. It's in those live-games situations where technique issues were more apparent. We aren't really privy to those in the limited practices we can see. But he has had productive scrimmages and looks good when we in the media are allowed to watch.
Do you think Jalen Collins is worthy of being a starter for the 2013 defense?
He's strong candidate. What's interesting is he's a guy who's better suited to be "outside" on a receiver and not in the slot, so that might lend his talents to being a starter. Last year, Jalen Mills would slide inside to the slot on passing downs, so there's that possibility too. The third cornerback does not necessarily have to cover the slot. Last year, Mills started and slid inside in nickel packages, In 2011, Mathieu did the same.
What kind of injury did Dural suffer? Did he reaggrevate his knee?
Wish I knew exactly. We were only told he was "nicked." But I gather it was not considered to be a serious injury.
Alright Gary, I WILL officially freak out if no commitments come out of this BIG weekend for the Tigers!! Will there be commitments come Friday/Saturday??!
I don't know if LSU necessarily lands a big name this weekend. I'm hearing by the spring game there could be one, maybe two of the big in-state names off the board and in the Tigers' commit list. I was bullish on Brown a few weeks back, but now I think he'll be a post-track season commit.
When Quantavius Leslie gets to LSU, how will LSU use him and how will this effect the other receivers' roles?
Outside receiver with a big role as a downfield home run threat. He'll need to tighten up his short and intermediate route running so he's not predictable and, as a result, easier to cover. The good thing for LSU is there's depth there, so there will be motivation for Leslie to fine-tune his game. It's not like the red-carpet will be put down for him to start by the other receivers in camp. He's going to have to work for it.
LSU defense lost 8 starters. Which defensive position group is the biggest concern?
The defensive line lost all four starters and will inevitably have some true freshmen push for playing time in two-deep. There is potential for the front four to be very good, but guys are going to have to perform in a way they have not proven they can perform yet. For example, Anthony Johnson will have to go from being a talented backup to an all-SEC kind of player. Danielle Hunter will have to play like he looks (which is, like a prototype DE). Etc., etc.
Do you see our offensive line being as big of an issue as it was last year, or do you see signs of improvement this spring?
There are a lot of reasons why I think LSU will be better next year. 1. Unless something crazy happens, you should not expect the in-season roster issues they had last year with the injuries to Faulk and Williford and the loss of Hurst, 2. Studrawa is more concentrated on the OL now that he's no longer OC and 3. Stud is getting quality help at the position from Les Miles, who is not "floating" at practice, but is instead hands on, day-in, day out with the o-line. I think all those factors will help.
So what is LSU hearing on Lorenzo Carter?
I'm not sure what LSU is hearing on Carter yet, but I do know Carter is hearing a lot from LSU, which seems to be recruiting him hard. LSU is on the nation trail hard, more than I would have expected this year, given the strength in the state. But that's not a bad thing.
Gary...I'm a little confused about the whole offering a football scholarship process: Commitable vs. Non-commitable. Does it basically mean "we are serious about offering you a scholarship but it is "contigent" on several factors?
Oh...it's "that" question. The way I gather it, the non-committable offer means they really want to offer you a scholarship, but there's something they want to see from you first. Usually, that means come to camp so they can time you in the 40 or what not to see if the speed they think they see on film is legit. Or maybe, it's just a matter of getting a kid on campus first, just to make sure that the kid still likes the school after a visit. It's easy to be a fan from a distance (Rhaheed was an example of this). It's a very nuanced thing.
Will the Tigers lock up the top offensive lineman in state this year?
You're speaking of Cameron Robinson, the OT from West Monroe. I do think LSU has a good shot at him, but of the in-state prospects, he might be one of the tougher gets for the Tigers this year. Very good prospect though.
Gary, I saw that Jabrill Peppers will be visiting LSU this weekend? With so many DBs on the target board who would they take if they were all willing? B/t A Jackson, J Peppers, T Brown, L Jones wih already have Paris, Voorhies, hardeman
Peppers would be too good to pass up. I think if they can take both Peppers and Jones, they'd take them. Brown is a cornerback, so that's sort of a different position. If they could cherry pick, I'ld guess they'd take those three first.
How would you rate LSU's chances of landing Clark and Willis II given the Tiger's history with defensive lineman?
I like LSU's chances with Willis a little more than Clark. What's interesting about LSU's reputation on the DL is it gets the Tigers' foot in the door with so many national recruits like Clark. It's sometimes hard to gauge how genuine the interest is, or of they are just enamored with the idea of being recruited by a school as strong in DL production as LSU. So it's hard for me to gauge right now exactly where LSU is with Clark.
So is LSU keeping an eye on Lorenzo Featherstone?
I think that's a good way to put it. LSU has had success in that area and Featherston is a guy who looks like he'd project very well. I don't know if he's a priority guy right now, but I do think there would be interest.
What about Mekhi Brown is he open to schools even though he committed to Bama?
Anytime a kid commits that early, I don't think the door is completely shut yet.
How do you think getting a deep threat like Leslie will impact the team?
Avery Peterson (who signed as Avery Johnson, but is now going by Peterson) had a nice scrimmage in LSU's second scrimmage, but he comes into a highly competitive environment at the WR position. LSU returns its top four WRs and in August is bringing in the Leslie to be the "big" downfield receiver. So for Avery to make an impact, he has his work cut out for him to beat out more established guys and an older, talented JUCO guy.
Mekhi Brown, a sophomore from Georgia, committed to Alabama recently? Is the kid that good? And was he on the Tigers radar?
Obviously, the kid is talented. I'll try to get a better feel for him, since I've gotten two questions about him. And certainly, LSU is familiar with him. It's hard to predict if he's the kind of player who is going to stay 100 percent sold on Bama or may get cold feet and want to look around.
With so many great in state prospects this year who so u think will slip through the cracks n go out state and b a miss for lsu
Let's talk some baseball! A few weeks ago you said we needed to temper our enthusiasm about the baseball team based on the competition so far, after a sweep of No. 7 in the country is that reason to be more optimistic or do you still wanna see more? The #3 starter is the only weakness I see on this team based on Jones and Ross' big weekend at the plate.
It's inevitable. This is one of the strongest years I can remember in Louisiana and even if LSU gets every in-state player it wants, there will be high-level guys left for other schools to pluck.
That answer was for Trey...Next for Eugene's question...
Eugene, my biggest question or concern was would LSU be physical enough offensively and the answer has been a resounding "yes." The thing about a No. 3 pitcher is, not only does the opponent have to hope it can scrape some runs against LSU's Sunday starter, but its own No. 3 pitcher is up against a daunting lineup. With Nola and Eades, it's tough for an opponent to score more than 3-4 runs on Friday or Saturday and that won't cut it on those days. You might put up 6-7 on Sunday, but do you have a guy who can keep LSU from scoring 8-9 and put up 14-15 hits?
Do u think welter is the best opition at mlb ? If not who is?
I think it'll either be Welter or Barrow. I think Welter figures into playing time either way, which is why they are investing so many snaps in him in the spring. They need a true MLB, capable of handling all the responsibilities of the position. You'll either see Barrow start in the middle, then bounce outside with Welter coming behind him, or Welter starting and Barrow getting significant snaps as the backup...of course, lots can change, right?
Hey Gary, first time on your chat. Who is the better defensive end for LSU: Danielle Hunter or Jordan Allen at the right end position?
I'm trying to gauge if Allen is close to being back to where he was in August. If he's physically as good as he was before the knee injury, I might give him a slight edge for now. But Hunter is a physically imposing guy. I want to see him take some game snaps. He looks like a potentially dominant player.
Does Johnny O'Bryant go to the NBA?
I lean toward yes. I think he'll announce he leaves and starts a journeyman career. I would hope not though. I think he benefits from coming back to school and I'm not prone to suggesting that. I'm usually of the mindset that if teams are ready to pay a kid to play, it makes no sense to go back to school. But I think O'Bryant is potentially a D-leaguer, making little money, if he leaves this year and that's not much financial advantage at all.
It looks as if a highly suspect offense is going to have to carry the burden with the defense in rebuilding mode.
Possibly. The thing about the defense is it never recruited talent, so it's not like there are a bunch of no names stepping out there. Regardless of who the new starters are on the D-line, chances are, they'll all have been at least 4-star recruits coming out of HS. Same with the DBs. And I think the offense will improve anyway.
True or False, Anthony Johnson will be a First Team All-SEC defensive lineman, and first round draft pick, in 2013-2014?
Oh, tough call. I'm leaning towards true. Nobody questions the talent and I think being put into a leadership role ("Battlefield promotion" is what Miles calls it) will motivate Johnson to step his game up to a more consistently dominant level.
Though lsu lost a lot to the draft a lot of young players got pt n the team from 3 years ago was the same way n ended up with only 2 losses too eventual champ auburn and a very good arkansas team if this team comes together early can u see that type of season for them?
Trey, typing on the cell phone killed you there, but I get the gist of the question...Yes, LSU used a lot of young players in 2010. Yes, this can be similar. Two fundamental things about LSU's program that tend to get overlooked: 1. The consistency in recruiting results and 2. Pretty good player retention beyond the early NFL exits. LSU isn't immune to losing players as transfers, etc., but generally speaking, I think players at LSU seem more willing to stick around even if they aren't seeing early playing time than other comparable programs. Suggests a high level of buy-in.
Let me throw you a change up real quick, how do you feel about the baseball teams chance to win it all? Any concerns?
My concern would be if they had to drop into a loser's bracket in a regional (unlikely) or in Omaha. They have a great 1-2, but Sunday's been a little bit tricky and they just lost their mid-week starter for the season. If you can stay in the winner's bracket in the post-season, pitching depth isn't an issue. If you lose, especially in Omaha, you'll need to beat teams with your three and four, which might be dicey. Of course, how many teams in college baseball do you NOT say that about?
Which highly drafted LSU defensive lineman has been the biggest disappointment in your opinion the past 5-10 years ?
I thought Dorsey would be the next Warren Sapp. Of course, a lot of it has been round peg in square hole stuff. He's your prototype 1-gap, 4-3 tackle and he's spent a fair chunk of his career in 3-4 schemes. Kind of an identity crisis.
Who are LSU top DE prospects as of late?
If you mean the 2014 class, Willis would be the top, although I'm not 100 percent convinced he stays outside. He could slide down to tackle. I like the kid from Oklahoma, Clark, as well.
What happened to Kenny Hilliard last year? Now that Hill is the established #1 RB, will Hilliard be ok with the #2 spot and is he in danger of being passed up by T. Magee? How did he get in Miles's doghouse?
Chuck, I don't think he ever got in the doghouse. I think Hill just got his chance and ran with it and once Hill broke through, Hilliard's ability became redundant. I can very easily see Hilliard regain his role. All it would take is for Hill to get "nicked" or for Hilliard to have one game where, for some reason, he sees significant snaps and plays well. It's always a fluid situation on the RB board.
Do you see the tigers being better, worse, or about the same on special teams next year? Who will be the place kicker replacing alleman?
Good question. I'd have to guess they'll take a half step back unless one of the kickers proves to be as consistent as Alleman or if Keehn shows he can pin teams inside the 20 the way Wing could. As far as the return game, it should be similar. Coverage teams should be similar.
Please tell me your against starting D. Welter at the middle linebacker position?
I'm not against it, just from the standpoint that I don't think John Chavis does special favors to anybody. If Welter is playing, it'll be because he earns it. Again, I'm a little skeptical that he'll end up starting, but I do think they want to prepare a "true" MLB to play, either as a starter or as a backup to Barrow, who I think can easily slide to the MLB spot at any time because he's mastered the position and the defense in general.
I'd love to take questions, but have deadlines to hit with some stories. There are a lot of good questions still out there, so here's the deal: Look for the GTN mailbag Friday and I'll address them there.