The LSU Tigers will be trying to defend their 2007 National Championship without names like Flynn, Hester, Dorsey, and even Perrilloux. Here's a look at the names to watch in '08.
WR Demetrius Byrd
While most preseason prognosticators have said to keep an eye out for WR Brandon Lafell, I'm telling you not to sleep on the man they call "D-Byrd."
The 6'2" 195 pound senior JC transfer from Miami is going to multi-task by starring on the field in the Tiger offense, and skyrocketing his draft stock in the meantime.
Byrd has tremendous hands and speed but it's his route running and vision that will separate him as a top flight receiver. While #2 can stretch the field, he can also go across the middle and make the catch in traffic.
Also the man is battle tested, making big TD catches in clutch situations last year in the Florida, Auburn, Alabama, and the SEC Championship game. Lastly, D-Byrd is a team leader for the skill positions on offense.
LT Ciron Black
Who's the biggest baby born in Louisiana's history?
The answer is LG Herman Johnson. While Big Herm is a hard guy to miss in both stature and personality, the man who plays next to him and wears #70 is force to be reckoned with.
Black is a quiet mountain of a human being from Tyler, TX. And while he may look a little smallish next to Johnson's 6'7" 350 pound frame, the 6'5" 315 pound tackle is a fierce competitor set to anchor a fine offensive line for the purple and gold.
He excels equally in pass and run blocks, and is a hard man to get around. His feet, hands, and technique are NFL ready right now, and he still has another season to hone his skills.
MLB Darry Beckwith
If you hate headaches, you might not want to be between Beckwith and the ball.
The 6'1" 231 pound Baton Rouge native has spent the last three seasons piecing together his own personal highlight film of bone crushing hits.
Beckwith is relentless, and has the lateral speed to chase runners down and be effective on blitzes. He can play inside and outside, but will play the Mike (middle) position this season for the Tigers.
Although former defensive coordinator Bo Pelini left for Lincoln, the new co-defensive coordinator tandem of Doug Mallory and Bradley Dale Peveto will use basically the same sets to put Beckwith in position to make the plays he's been making his whole career for the Tigers.
This is just three of the many Tigers who will look to make an impact in 2008. In order for the Tigers to be successful all three of these guys will need big years.