LSU Football: Updated Spring Practice Stock Report
As it stands right now, Les Miles' LSU football team is nine practices into its 15-practice spring schedule.
The Tigers are on spring break this week and then will get back to practice before wrapping up with their annual spring game at Tiger Stadium on April 20.
So, we ask, how is this 2013 team looking up to this point?
Let's go ahead and point out three key storylines in this week's spring practice report.
Right here, right now!
1. Linebackers look good, but starters are unclear
Here is what we know about LSU's starting linebackers in 2013—Lamin Barrow is going to be starting somewhere on this unit. Where that is remains unclear.
Barrow is the only player at this point who you can pretty much guarantee is going to earn a starting role. He starred for the Tigers last season at outside linebacker, but it still remains unclear whether he will stay there or move to the inside 'backer position in 2013.
LSU is loaded with talent at the outside linebacker spot. Barrow, Tahj Jones, Kwon Alexander, Lorenzo Phillips and Deion Jones are all starter-worthy, but only two spots can be filled. The ideal situation would probably be to move Barrow inside and keep Jones and Alexander on the outside, but Barrow is so valuable in pass coverage, which makes the move much more challenging than it sounds.
LSU has been trying out D.J. Welter at middle linebacker, but his talent level is nowhere near Barrow, which makes things even more challenging.
It will be interesting how this all plays out and what starting unit Les Miles settles with heading into the 2013 campaign.
2. Offensive line beginning to take form
I said at the beginning of the spring that I believed LSU's starting offensive line would consist of the following:
Left Tackle: La'El Collins
Left Guard: Josh Williford
Center: Elliot Porter
Right Guard: Trai Turner
Right Tackle: Vadal Alexander
Heading into the final two weeks of spring practice, it looks like I was spot on with that call.
The Tigers made a big move when they shifted Collins over from guard to tackle, but it was the right move and one that this offensive line had to make.
Now, it appears that Collins has fit in great at left tackle and Josh Williford and Trai Turner have cemented themselves at those two guard spots.
Vadal Alexander was the Tigers' starting right tackle as a true freshman last season, and while he did have his growing pains, look for this kid to only improve and get better in his sophomore year.
If there is any question at all on the line right now, it is at center, where true freshman Ethan Pocic appears to be pushing Elliot Porter for that starting gig. In the end, I think Porter wins that competition because of his in-game experience, having played last season when P.J. Lonergan went down with an injury.
This looks like what could be a dominant offensive line if everything plays out correctly heading into the 2013 season.
3. Tight End is the best position battle in spring camp...And it will only get better
LSU has not had a true pass-catching threat at tight end since Deangelo Peterson back in 2011.
It looks like that could come to an end this season.
With the graduation of Chase Clement and the suspension of Nic Jacobs, the tight end position is wide open and up for grabs at LSU heading into the 2013 season.
As it stands right now, Travis Dickson, Dillon Gordon and junior college transfer Logan Stokes are battling it out for that No.1 tight end spot. It has been a fantastic position battle thus far, with no clear-cut leader at this point.
The epic battle will get even better this summer when mega-recruit DeSean Smith joins the group.
If I had to choose right now, I would probably guess that Dickson ends up winning this battle. But keep an eye on Smith when he arrives on campus. This kid is a big-time player who can stretch the field, which as I mentioned, is something that LSU hasn't seen in a while.
The beauty of this position battle is that as good as it has been thus far, it's only going to get better going forward.
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