LSU Football: 5 Players with Most to Gain in Spring Practices
Take a big whiff of that folks.... Do you smell it?
Yes, spring football is in the air.
For the LSU Tigers football program, this spring will have a new feel to it with many new faces competing for starting positions.
There are plenty of questions surrounding Les Miles' program heading into this season. The Mad Hatter and his staff will use this spring as a time to evaluate the Tigers' roster and gain a better idea of who will fill these voids after nine starters left from last year's team.
With that said, let's break this down and list five LSU players who have the most to gain this spring.
Bleacher Report Style!
Barkevious Mingo is gone.
Sam Montgomery is also gone.
Even backup defensive end LaVar Edwards is out of the running.
That means that the defensive end position is wide open heading into LSU's spring practice.
Danielle Hunter is a kid who arrived in Baton Rouge last season with big expectations, and he should have a chance to let his presence be felt this spring.
Standing at 6'5", 240 pounds, Hunter has an ideal defensive end body. He has the physical tools to be the next great defensive end for this LSU program, but he is going to have to show coaches that he is ready to make the transition into a starter.
Hunter has the chance to go from a little-used special teams player as a freshman, to an impact starter at defensive end as a sophomore.
With the graduation of Chase Clement, the tight end position is another spot that is wide open heading into LSU's 2013 season.
Logan Stokes is a junior college transfer who has the skill to come in and compete for playing time right away.
Outside of Travis Dickson, there isn't another tight end on this LSU roster who has any type of playing experience.
With mega-recruit DeSean Smith arriving in the summer, Stokes will have to prove himself this spring if he wants to wrap up that starting tight end spot.
With the early departure of Chris Faulk, combined with the graduation of Josh Dworaczyk, the LSU Tigers have a major hole at left tackle heading into the 2013 season.
It is a strong possibility that La'el Collins could be asked to make the move over to tackle, but if not, it could be a freshman who could end up winning this left tackle starting gig.
Four-star recruit Ethan Pocic was a mega-recruit for the Tigers, and the talented freshman will have a shot at this starting spot as he is enrolled early and will participate in spring practices.
At 6'7" and 280 pounds, Pocic has ideal size for a left tackle, and of course, he will continue to get stronger once he gets on that LSU workout program and spends time with their strength coaches.
The size is there, the talent is certainly there. Now it's up to Pocic to prove that he is worthy of a starting spot on this LSU offensive line.
Ronnie Feist is a future stud for this LSU Tigers football team.
The question is, will he be able to show the LSU coaches that he is ready to take over the starting void left at middle linebacker when Kevin Minter left early for the NFL?
Feist has great size and is a powerful hitter.
It will be interesting to see if the coaches go with Feist as a first-year starter at middle linebacker, or make the choice to move Lamin Barrow over from the outside.
It's up to Feist to show everyone this spring that he is worthy of that starting middle linebacker spot.
We mentioned earlier that the departure of Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery left a huge void at defensive end for this LSU football team.
While Danielle Hunter may be the future, Jermauria Rasco is the present. He is the guy with the most experience, and it's up to him to prove to the LSU coaches that he is ready to take over one of those open starting defensive end spots.
Rasco is a 6'3", 255-pound defensive end with great strength and the speed to run a 4.7-second 40-yard dash. In other words, he has the ability to be an impact player for the LSU football team, but is he ready to take that next step and be an impact player?
I think so.