LSU Football Recruiting: Freshman-Year Predictions for Every 2014 3-Star Player

Carter Bryant@carterthepowerContributor IFebruary 17, 2014

LSU Football Recruiting: Freshman-Year Predictions for Every 2014 3-Star Player

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    Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

    The opportunity to play right away is an effective pitching point that every coach makes to a recruit. Les Miles and his coaching staff are no different, telling the best high school players in the country that playing time is up for grabs at every position.  

    The Tigers signed an impressive 2014 class of 23 players. Some of them, like 5-star talents Leonard Fournette and Malachi Dupre, will undoubtedly step between the white lines. 

    Seven of LSU's signees were labeled as 3-star players. Miles will call on a few to step up and help the Tigers next season. Yet, as with most 3-star prospects in the upper echelon of the SEC, few will see the field at all. The Tigers only had two, Duke Riley and Lewis Neal, play as true freshmen last season in limited roles. 

    All stats and rankings via 247Sports unless otherwise noted. 

Sione Teuhema

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    Position: Defensive End 

    Will He Play Next Season: No 

     

    Analysis

    Sione Teuhema was an excellent late addition to the LSU 2014 class. He was a Texas commit who eventually signed with the Tigers on national signing day. 

    LSU lacked a consistent pass rush at the defensive end position last year. Teuhema has the potential to be a sack master, yet he needs to bulk up before becoming a playmaker in the SEC.

    If he proves to be a dominant edge-rusher in fall practice, he will play. But it seems as if he needs some time to develop. 

    LSU returns all of its defensive ends who played meaningful snaps last season. The Tigers also raked in some talented 4-star edge-rushers in Deondre Clark and Davon Godchaux.

    Teuhema will get his chance, but he will need to have some patience first.

John Battle

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Position: Defensive Back 

    Will He Play Next Season: No

     

    Analysis

    John Battle will have to fight hard to see the field if defensive backs coach Corey Raymond chooses to make him a safety. LSU returns Corey Thompson and Ronald Martin. The Tigers will also have highly touted freshmen Ed Paris and Jamal Adams at their disposal. 

    If Battle can play corner, he could see the field more quickly. 

    He would get immediate playing time at most schools. He could play special teams next season, but expect him to redshirt. 

Trey Lealaimatafao

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    Position: Defensive Tackle 

    Will He Play Next Season: Yes 

     

    Analysis

    LSU head coach Les Miles says Trey Lealaimatafao will get playing time next season, according to Will Weathers of Rivals.com. He is not a space-eater but more of a gap-shooter. Miles characterized him as the next Drake Nevis, per Chad Sabadie of WVUE-Fox 8.

    LSU returns some players on the interior on the defensive line, but for the most part, the group is unproven. Even a bigger challenge for Miles, and everybody for that matter, will be pronouncing Lealaimatafao's last name

    He could redshirt, which may not be a bad thing. Starting defensive tackles on the 2011 SEC championship team, Michael Brockers and Bennie Logan, both watched from the sidelines as freshmen. 

D.J. Chark

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    Position: Wide Receiver 

    Will He Play Next Season: No

     

    Analysis

    LSU lost its two best receivers to the NFL in Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, which opens up plenty of catches for the taking. But D.J. Chark will not be the guy to help replace the production. 

    LSU finished with a loaded recruiting class at receiver, reeling in Malachi Dupre, Trey Quinn and Tony Upchurch. Dupre and Quinn will certainly play, while Upchurch is an uncertainty. Chark is below their talent level. 

    Travin Dural, Avery Peterson, John Diarse and Quantavius Leslie all return next season as well.

    Chark could crack special teams. He was an effective kick returner in high school. But look for him to sit next year as LSU looks to develop him for the future.  

Donnie Alexander

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    Position: Outside Linebacker 

    Will He Play Next Season: Yes

     

    Analysis

    Donnie Alexander is the hidden gem in the 2014 LSU recruiting class. 

    Fans at every program know some 4-star and 5-star prospects will never pan out. But to counter, some 2-star and 3-star talents will emerge. Alexander could be the next great 3-star surprise playmaker for the Tigers. 

    He played with a plethora of talent at Edna Karr in New Orleans. As a versatile defensive missile, he was often overlooked because of 5-star prospect teammates Speedy Noil and Gerald Willis and was never given the credit he deserved.

    Alexander is an outside linebacker who loves to play in space, which fits defensive coordinator John Chavis' scheme perfectly. He will get a chance to play special teams, but do not be surprised if he sees snaps midway through the season on defense.

Russell Gage

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    Position: Defensive Back 

    Will He Play Next Season: No

     

    Analysis

    Russell Gage can do a little bit of everything. He is an intriguing prospect who is projected to play corner or safety. 

    LSU has never shied away from playing freshman corners. The Tigers did not sign one true corner in the 2014 class. 

    Gage starred at quarterback for Redemptorist High School, running an effective zone read-option attack. Do not count him out on offense at the college level just yet.  

    He has some developing to do. He was an effective special teamer at the prep level, so he could crack the lineup there. But he more than likely will redshirt.  

Cameron Gamble

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    Position: Kicker 

    Will He Play Next Season: No

     

    Analysis

    Cameron Gamble will have to wait his turn to kick the football at LSU. 

    The Tigers return effective field-goal kicker Colby Delahoussaye and kickoff specialist James Hairston in 2014. But Gamble could win the job this offseason as Delahoussaye does not have a booming leg.