We finally have a Jeremy Hill update and we have LSU's football camp starting this weekend (on Sunday). Plenty to talk about, so let's get started. We've got 12 questions already lined up, so let's dive in.
What do you see Kenny Hilliards role/production being this year now that Hill is probably done for the year? how do you see the carries shaping out between him and Blue? thanks
I don't think Hill is necessarily, or probably, done for the year. That said, Hilliard looked like he had lost weight in the spring, which I think will help him. He seemed to have that half-a-step of quickness he lacks while still being a big, physical back. His body type is, frankly, more like Jeremy Hill's and that's a good thing for Kenny. Now, having said that, I haven't seen Kenny since the spring. But if the weight stays off, I think he could have a break-out year.
What's your early prediction for the showdown with TCU?
I think people will be surprised by the quality on LSU's defense as some young talent steps up. And LSU will be obviously better on offense. It'll add up to a 7-point LSU win, somewhere around there.
Are you surprised that barely any of the top prospects in Louisiana have committed yet?
Surprise might not be the right word. Did I expect this? No. But when you consider that most of the top prospects are in the top 50 or so in the country, it's not surprising. Scroll down the ESPN 300 and you'll find that the deeper you go into the rankings, the more guys are committed. Near the top, most of the players are uncommitted. Considering that this is a top-heavy class in Louisiana -- most of the good players are among the elites -- then it's not shocking that most would let the process play out. But all of them? That wasn't expected.
How many guys on the team know what LSU means?
Not sure if you are asking this from a "do they understand the tradition?" angle or from a "do they understand that the 'L' stands for Louisiana, etc.' Angle. Considering the tone of your past questions, I'd assume it's the latter and leave it at that...
Hello, what's the update on Jeremy hill and how many goes do you think he will miss this season.
Hill was formally charged with misdemeanor simple battery yesterday. So now the case becomes more clear. He violated probation from a misdemeanor by committing another misdemeanor. While the DA has said they will pursue revoking his probation, I have my doubts on whether a judge will agree to that. I lean toward Hill missing a couple of games. Would I be shocked if Hill is off the team or suspended for the whole season? No. Do I expect it? No.
when will College Basketball be relevant in Baton Rouge again? sorry for BB question _oldtimer who remembers Pistol Pete and Shaq and even the recent final 4 team in mid 2000s
PJ, LSU looks like a potential top 25 team this year. The Tigers have some young talent coming in and keeping forward Johnny O'Bryant in school for his junior year was huge for this team. I think this is an NCAA tournament team. If it is, then the 2015 and 2016 teams will be key. LSU's problem in the post-Shaq era has been consistency. They've had some good teams, but after every good team -- the Final Four team, the 2009 SEC championship team -- there is a rapid fall. The program needs to string 2-3 successful seasons together. That's the difference between the basketball programs and the wildly popular football and baseball programs. The latter two are annual winners. Basketball has been a peak-and-valley sport.
Is Brandon Harris almost a sure lock for LSU? And do you see him being the only QB LSU takes in this years class if he commits?
How likely is the Brandon Harris to LSU thing? And if he comes, do other offensive players follow? He suggested that he and Trey Quinn may play for the same school.
I'll address both questions together. I think LSU gets Harris next week and that he'll likely be the Tigers' only take in the class at QB. Don't write that in stone, but with the potential needs at RB, FB, K and other places, I doubt if they take 2 QBs. As for other offensive players following Harris, I think there's a pretty good chance that if LSU gets a QB one can have confidence in, that will be attractive to other offensive players, especially receivers. I'm not aware of any outright package deals though.
Who do you think will start opposite Loston in the secondary this season, and how good do you think Jalen Mills will be this season?
I like Ronald Martin at the free safety position and like him enough to add that if any of the other young safeties beat him for the job, that will not so much be a knock on Martin as it will be a case of somebody else being really good. I think Mills has a chance to be an all-SEC type at CB this year. Is he at the Peterson/Claiborne level? That might be a stretch, but I think he can be at least as good as Tharold Simon, who wasn't bad.
How many running backs do you think LSU will take in this class and if so who?
I'm thinking 3 and it will depend on who leaves after the season. We'll know they will lose Blue, a senior. They will almost surely lose Hill as LSU, in the past, has had a way of encouraging problem players to go pro. Now, if Hilliard also leaves, then the need will be great. They are obviously after Fournette and may push hard for Racean Thomas. But there are some guys in state -- Williams out of John Ehret, Palelei out of East Ascension, and several others -- who could come into the picture later in the process.
For the second offseason is a row the Tigers have lost a major playmaker they were counting on. Which loss will be more impactful, and damaging, Mathieu or Hill?
As I said earlier, I don't necessarily think LSU loses Hill. Think that's still very much up in the air. But let's play what if. I would say Mathieu because his skill set was so unique, it wasn't replaceable. I really think Blue, Hilliard and Magee can be an effective trio if healthy. I will be curious to see if Jeryl Brazil doesn't end up at RB if Hill is indeed suspended for the season or off the team.
So a few recruiting sites are saying the next 2 weeks will be big for LSU. Are you hearing similar talk? Who do you see commiting?
I would agree with this. On Monday's mailbag, I said I did not see a "lock" right now, but I'm beginning to think Garrett may be close to pulling the trigger. I think LSU wins the Harris battle. I like LSU's chances with Quinn. I would be surprised if, by month's end, there were 3-4 more top 100 guys committed to the Tigers, if not a couple more.
Who comes in second behind us this year in the west
Alabama? Joshing you Mark. I still lean toward LSU being second in the West right now because I think A&M was top heavy with a trio of high-end players -- Manziel, Joeckel and Moore -- carrying disproportionate weight on that team. Two of them are gone. I think LSU's talent depth is a little better than A
I am glad that Sharieff Rhaheed is still considering LSU, but I still maintain my stance on his recruitment. What position are we looking at him for again? Does our staff see him as a raw talent that can grow into a bigger body?
He's a perfect fit as a speed-based OLB, much like a Kwon Alexander or, from last year, Duke Riley. So he fits in. My question is, has LSU overstocked these kinds of players? Do they need a couple more physical, MLB types? It's interesting that LSU seems to have a lot of quality depth at linebacker, but right now, it seems to be struggling to find an MLB replacement for Minter.
Hi Gary, used to read you back in the American Press growing up in LC. Been hearing that Quinn is close to giving his commitment to the Tigers. Do you believe that is the case?
The good old days in Lake Charles, eh? I have been hearing the same thing, though not from Trey or his family, so I can't make any authoritative statements right now. But I do think LSU has a good chance at closing the deal with him and I do think that Trey is looking at getting this done in the summer, before August camp. Add those two factors together and what you're hearing sounds pretty credible.
Have you heard any update on Nick Longhi? I heard he was flying up to meet with Boston the other day. Is he coming to LSU or are the Red Sox getting him?
The obvious concern is that the Red Sox are a big-money organization so if they identify Longhi as a guy that they want, they can throw money at him. Beyond that, I don't really know.
I saw some of the challenge in Oregon and it looks like the La. recruits did very well, how many of those do you think LSU has a chance at signing?
Louisiana has eight of the top 48 in the ESPN 300. I think getting half would be disappointing, 3/4 would be good and batting .1000 might result in NSD being declared a state holiday.
Sorry I'm late Gary. How do you see the Hill situation playing out?
Addressed it earlier, but worth repeating. It can still go a lot of different directions, but I lean toward him playing this year right now.
Ben I'm going to have to make some calls on your Wisconsin question. Not sure where that is right now, but I'll address it in the mailbag, deal?
Any chance of putting Towson State or North Texas back on the schedule? Do you think it is fair that LSU and Bama oversigns when other teams don't?
Bill the anti-Tiger making his weekly appearance. Oversigning is now against SEC rules. There is a 25-man signing limit in the SEC, that's somewhat adjustable based on how many spots you have open at the end of the fall semester and how many spots you did not use the year before. If you sign 23 in 2013, you may sign 27 the next year, so long as a couple enroll early and count back against the previous year's undersigned class.
As for North Texas and Towson, unless something drastically changes, like all major programs, LSU will host guarantee games. So a North Texas and a Towson is always possible for future schedules.
Do Jemauria Rasco and Anthony Johnson become All-SEC performers on the defensive line for the Tigers this year?
I think Johnson will. Rasco still needs to prove it before I say that. If you take Johnson's production last year and add snaps for him playing in a starter's role, he would have been an all-SEC candidate last year. This year, we can just project that production over more snaps. So he's proven to me and it's reasonable to expect him to improve and be even better than last year. Rasco is talented, but, again, he needs to play more and prove what he can do. While he was a second-teamer much of last year, LSU often went with a 3-man rotation at end, so his snap count wasn't high enough to really judge.
So NCAA Football 2014 came out last night. From what I've seen, the young defense is very talented. According to those scientist at EA Sports.
That game gets tested on LSU's south campus. So there could not possibly be any bias in that game, could there? But Henry, I'm 43 now. My X-Box is one of the old ones that you can't even get on XBox live from it. Yeah, I'm getting old.
Will young defensive ends Frank Herron or Danielle Hunter be a factor for LSU in 2013?
Good chance of it. Hunter looked great in the spring game and I can really see him emerging as a force. The numbers at the position are where I can see a true freshman coming in and competing to be in the rotation right off the bat and Herron looks like the best candidate to do so. Certainly if there are any injuries at the position, then true freshmen will be forced into playing time.
What are LSU's chances with Adoree Jackson? I also have heard less and less about Tony Brown...cause for concern?
I think LSU is fine with Brown, to be honest. Brown has some family issues that sort of ruled out making an early choice. I still think LSU is strong with him. Jackson has LSU in its top 10, but I'm skeptical if it can do much better than that. He could be this year's Priest Willis, a West Coast DB that flirts with LSU, but ultimately stays out west. But it's still relatively early and LSU is certainly on the radar.
Ok I noticed that the all ESPN conversations will shift to Facebook. Does that mean we will need Facebook to participate in the weekly chats?
No. I THINK the chat will remain the same. Comments at the end of stories will be Facebook comments. At least, that's my understanding.
After the mass exodus last year many were talking about 2013 LSU doing well to win 8-9 games. I still thought 10-11 wins was very attainable with Chavis still in place running the defense and now the addition of Cam Cameron to hone a second year starter Mettenberger. Where do you think this team falls in the landscape of college football, are they an outside contender for a national championship or is there too much youth to overcome on the defensive side of the ball?
I agree with you Chris. The quality of the recruits has not diminished. LSU should be able to maintain a fairly high standard. I think 8 wins is low, 9 wins is reasonable, 10 is optimistically reasonable and 11 would be a great result for this team.
No question here. I just have to speak my mind. In my opinion, LSU NEEDS Jeremy Hill to have a chance at winning the SEC. Alfred Blue is a very good back as well, but none of the RBs on the roster have Hill's skillset. He is massive, has great speed and impeccable vision. He made the OL, which thanks to injuries was atrocious last year, look good. It's no coincidence that he rushed for 100+ yards in 3 straight games against the toughest opponents last year nor is it a coincidence that LSU didn't score another point against Clemson after Hill stopped getting touches. I know he needs to pay for his actions, but I hope he remains on the team because I feel he can be VERY special in a new offense with an improved o-line. Sorry for babbling.
Hill is indeed, very good. I'm curious to see how a lighter, more nimble Hilliard compares to Hill.
USC (California) never played a FCS school. Neither has UCLA or Notre Dame
Indeed. Never said LSU plays the toughest schedule, just said it's the standard in college football these days. With pressure to play 7-8 home games, schools are going to play guarantee games.
With all the "experts" picking against LSU this year, do you see this as possibly a break out year?
It's an interesting perception. LSU's at the point as a program where even in years where it's perceived to be down, performing above those expectations won't surprise folks much.
Gary, would you point out to Bill (NYC) that USC and UCLA play in the PAC 12 which is borderline FCS.
Oh my, an SEC-Pac 12 War is brewing in here, with a little Notre Dame added to the side. Better shut this down before it gets out of hand...great chat guys. I'll have my mailbag on Friday (I'll address the Wisconsin series there). I'm not sure if I'll have next Tuesday's chat next week as LSU will be having its camp that day, so I'm not sure. But I'll let you know on Twitter (@glaneyespn). See you guys next time!