LSU Football: The Offseason 'To Do' List for the Tigers
The LSU Tigers were oh so close.
Les Miles' team had a memorable 2011 regular season, but the Tigers' national title hopes were dashed when they were defeated by a great Alabama team in the BCS National Championship Game.
Since that game, the Tigers have lost a few unexpected players to the NFL draft and failed to land a top-10 recruiting class.
So what now for the Tigers?
Let's break down the offseason "to do" list for this LSU team...
...Bleacher Report Style!
Find Your Quarterback
Will Zach Mettenberger be LSU's starting quarterback in 2012?
That has to be the question on every LSU football fan's mind during this offseason?
Despite the Tigers' memorable 2011 season, the quarterback position never seemed completely stable for this team, and now that both Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee are out of the picture, who will be the next guy under center for Les Miles' team?
Mettenberger seems to be the popular, and perhaps, an obvious pick as of now, but is he a national title-caliber quarterback?
The No. 1 thing on that "to do" list for this LSU team has to be finding your quarterback.
Find Replacements in the Secondary
The LSU Tigers had the best secondary in all of college football last season, but how will this team go about replacing multiple key losses from this secondary?
Morris Claiborne, the team's top cover corner in 2011, is entering this year's NFL draft and is expected to be a top-five selection. Of course, the team still has Tyrann Mathieu, but who will take over for Claiborne and start opposite the Honey Badger?
Also gone is starting safety Brandon Taylor and nickelback Ron Brooks.
LSU missed out on top recruit Tracy Howard, so look for guys like Tharold Simon and Craig Loston to step in and fill the voids.
Get the Offensive Line in Place
LSU featured a great offensive line last season, which in return made Jordan Jefferson look a whole lot better than he probably really was.
However, this offseason, the Tigers have to find a way to rebuild that offensive line as they look to find a way to replace both starting guards.
Will Blackwell and T-Bob Hebert are both gone due to graduation, and Josh Dworaczyk missed the season with a leg injury and is attempting to get another year of eligibility.
That leaves La'el Collins, who the Tigers are very high on and was a huge prospect coming out of high school. The other guard spot could be filled by a number of players, including 4-star recruit Vadal Alexander, who has the size and skill set to compete for that starting guard spot right when he steps foot on campus.
This should be an interesting storyline to follow with the Tigers this offseason.
Find a Way to Get Russell Shepard More Involved
Russell Shepard was one of the top recruits in the nation when he signed with LSU over three years ago.
However, now entering his senior year, Shepard has yet to find a role in this LSU offense and that has to change in 2012.
Shepard was a standout quarterback in high school but switched to receiver when he arrived at LSU. He will be one of the Tigers' top returning receivers in 2012, and with Rueben Randle gone, Les Miles and co. have to find a way to get this guy more involved in the offense.
Whether it be looking for him more often in passing situations or designing trick plays to take advantage of his throwing and running abilities, spend this offseason simply working on more ways to get this big-time playmaker the ball next season.
You convinced him to come back for his senior season Les Miles, now make it worth it.
Get the Freshmen Settled into Their Roles
It is no secret that LSU did not bring in the type of recruiting class this year that they have in past years.
According to ESPNU, the Tigers rolled in the No. 14 class in the nation this season with not a single 5-star prospect. With that said, Les Miles and his staff need to get this freshman class onto campus and get them working right away in order to get them 'game ready.'
With the Tigers losing key members of their secondary and offensive line to graduation, several of these freshmen could be looked on to play big roles in 2012.
If LSU can get these freshmen on campus and rolling early and often, this team should be poised for another national championship run.