LSU Football: Latest News, Injuries and Updates on the Tigers

Sean MerrimanCorrespondent IApril 16, 2012

LSU Football: Latest News, Injuries and Updates on the Tigers

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    With spring ball practice and the annual spring scrimmage concluded, LSU fans will have to wait until next fall to see the Tigers take the field again.

    But fans got a glimpse at what next year's team might look like; and with a new promising quarterback and another dominant defense in place, things look good for LSU in the upcoming year.

    All reports have been positive coming out of camp, and while the spring sessions are finished, there is still plenty of LSU football news to talk about.

    Let's take a look at the latest news, injuries and updates on the Tigers.

    Bleacher Report style!

News

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    Since the conclusion of the spring game, there hasn't been a ton of news on LSU's football team.

    Perhaps the biggest up-to-date news is surrounding a player who isn't even a member of the 2012 Tigers' football team.

    Robert Nkemdiche, who is widely considered to be the top recruit in the nation for the 2013 class, has put his commitment on hold. The 5-star defensive end was originally set to make his college decision on May 18, but he recently came out and said that he would prefer to make another round of visits before making his commitment.

    This is big news for the LSU program because the Tigers are one of Nkemdiche's four finalists, along with Clemson, Alabama and Ole Miss.

    Right now, he has not given any type of indication as to which school is the leader as of now, which means that Tigers fans will just have to wait patiently and see how it all plays out.

    Hopefully for LSU's sake, they can convince Nkemdiche to sport the purple and gold in 2013 and beyond that.

Injuries

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    The Tigers did have several players banged up and unable to participate in the spring game. But what is important here is that none of these injuries look to be real serious and everyone should be healthy entering the 2012 college football season.

    The key injuries this spring were to linebacker Tahj Jones, safety Craig Loston, running back Michael Ford and wide receiver Kadron Boone.

    Of those four injuries, Loston's looked to be the most nagging, which is difficult because he is expected to be a new starter in the Tigers' defensive backfield this fall. The former 5-star prospect missed the last week of spring ball with a toe injury, but again, Les Miles and the medical staff expect him and everyone else to be a full go to open the 2012 season.

Updates

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    While every LSU fan was certainly interested in how the team performed as a whole this spring, it was no secret that most eyes were on quarterback Zach Mettenberger, who is expected to take over the starting role this fall.

    Every report from LSU's spring camp has said that Mettenberger has looked strong and that LSU should be able to air it out more this season with a much more efficient passing quarterback.

    Mettenberger completed 14-of-25 passes for 272 yards and two touchdowns in the White team's 24-17 victory over the Purple squad in the spring game. Most importantly, he has appeared to develop a nice connection with soon-to-be sophomore wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who is expected to fill the role of Rueben Randle, who left early for the NFL draft.

    If Mettenberger is as advertised this fall, then LSU should be a national championship contender once again. 

Recruiting Updates

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    As of now, the Tigers still have nine recruits on board for their 2013 recruiting class.

    What makes this class so impressive thus far is that every one of those commitments are in-state products, which Les Miles and his staff love.

    Several big-name prospects who are considering LSU at this point and could commit to the Tigers in the upcoming months are:

    1. Grayson (GA) Defensive End Robert Nkemdiche 

    2. Oakland Park (FL) Wide Receiver Stacy Coley

    3. Lake Charles (LA) Tight End DeSean Smith

    4. East Feliciana (LA) Defensive End Kendell Beckwith

    5. Rider (TX) Quarterback J.T. Barrett  

Position Battle Updates

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    On the offensive side of the ball the main position battles will come on the offensive line.

    The starting tackles should be all set with Chris Faulk and Alex Hurst both returning starters from last season. Also returning is center P.J. Lonergan, who is the glue on this dominant unit.

    But the real position battle comes at offensive guard, where La'El Collins, Josh Williford, Matt Branch, Josh Dworaczyk and freshman standout Vadal Alexander are all capable of filling those open spots.

    On the defensive side of the ball, the main position battle should be at linebacker.

    Kevin Minter is the lone returning linebacker from last year's team. With Minter starting at the middle linebacker spot, the Tigers will need to find two new starting outside backers, and there are plenty of strong candidates.

    Tahj Jones and Lamin Barrow have the early lead in this position battle, but the Tigers signed a loaded linebacker class in this year's 2012 recruiting class.

    This will be a great position battle to watch leading up to the first game of the 2012 season.