The 2012 LSU Tigers report for Fall Camp on today with hopes of returning to the BCS National Championship. Here’s a look at how the roster shapes up heading into the season.
Zack Mettenberger finally gets his chance to lead a team through the difficult Southeastern Conference. Penn State Quarterback Rob Bolden will reportedly join the Tigers and provide experience as a back-up. Bolden started 16 games at Penn State. Without Bolden, the Tigers season could go quickly down the tubes, if Mettenberger misses any significant time.
Four solid running backs that each bring a different strength are back. Spencer Ware, Kenny Hillard, Michael Ford and Alfred Blue will see the majority of the playing time. Any injuries to those four, sophomore Terrence Magee and freshman Jeremy Hill will be eager to step up.
Sophomore Odell Beckham Jr. leads a group of receivers looking to establish itself. Many are wondering if this is the season that Russell Shepard finally has a break through season. Sophomore Jarvis Landry could be the impact player that really steps up. He was one of the top wide receivers in the country coming out of Lutcher High School.
The starting o-line heads into fall camp nearly set. The starting tackles are Alex Hurst and Chris Faulk. P.J. Lonergran is back at center. Six-foot-seven Josh Williford enters his junior season as a starter at right guard, while La’el Collins and Josh Dworaczyk battle it out at left guard.
LSU has potentially three future first round picks on the defensive line in ends Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery and tackle Anthony Johnson. LSU’s other starting defensive tackle, Bennie Logan, isn’t bad either, in fact he’s one of the top run stuffers in the country. Sophomore defensive end Jermauria Rasco could be a new name that emerges on the d-line.
Kevin Minter, Lamin Barrow and Tahj Jones are the expected starters, but there’s a lot of competition for playing time past these three. Several incoming freshmen could see playing time right away like Deion Jones, Lamar Louis and Kwon Alexander. Alexander missed his senior season with a knee injury, but had 17 sacks as a junior.
This is another position group that’s filled with potential first round picks. Tyrann Mathieu, Eric Reid and Tharold Simon. Craig Loston heads into fall as a starting strong safety. Loston has had trouble staying healthy, so get ready to see plenty of Ronald Martin and Micah Eugene as well.
LSU has All-SEC caliber specialists in punter Brad Wing, placekicker Drew Alleman and the Honey Badger as a punt returner. True freshman Reid Ferguson is the long snapper. Kick returners could be Russell Shepard, Odell Beckham or Paul Turner.