There’s a cloud of mystery hanging aroundLSU football this summer.
as a coach Brian Kelly enters his first season in charge, no one knows exactly what to expect. VegasInsider.com sets the Tigers’ over/under win total to 7.5 wins, even if the estimate is more of an average estimate than an indictment of their roster.
The questions exist because, despite its talent to compete in the SEC, LSU still has plenty of questions about its depth chart and new faces on the list.
The starting quarterback’s spot is still up for grabs. The cornerbacks’ room consists of almost all new faces. And the offensive line brings back one starter from last season Cam Wire who is not guaranteed a starting spot.
Because there are so many unknowns, here are 10 players who can play a big part in the success or failure of the Tigers.
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John Emery Jr.
Emery is entering his senior season with something to prove after being academically ineligible to play in 2021. Without an obvious No. 1 option in the backfield, Emery, a former five-star recruit and senior, is LSU’s best hope of becoming that leading running back
The last time Emery was on the field, he was productive, as he had 11 runs from 10 or more yards during the pandemic-shortened season.
Banks transfers to LSU as an Ohio state graduate student after an injury-ridden fourth season with the Buckeyes. Despite the presence of Oklahoma State transfer Jarrick Bernard-Converse and Louisiana transfer Mekhi Garner, he will be instrumental in the Tigers’ lean cornerback rotation this season.
During his last healthy season in 2020, opponents completed only 58.5% of their passing attempts against Banks in cover, according to Pro Football Focus.
Jarrick Bernard Converse
Bernard-Converse, a transfer graduate, has already emerged as a vocal leader during his brief stint with the Tigers.
He has the pedigree to be a plug-and-play starter for LSU as he was a first-team All-Big 12 roster last season. But an injury in spring practice raises the question of whether he can stay on the field enough to make a positive impact on the Tigers’ defense.
Campbell is a freshman offensive tackle and LSU’s starter on the left when spring practice ended in April.
It remains to be seen whether Campbell can retain that role once the Tigers begin their season against Florida State on September 4. If he can keep the job, his youth and inexperience will be immediately put to the test in a crucial position.
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Shorts are attacking gear for seniors with a strong pedigree of success. The East Tennessee State transfer last season was a roster of the All-Southern Conference first-team and FCS All-American second-team.
Currently appointed as the starting left hat after spring training, it will be fascinating to see if Shorts can maintain its high production level against SEC competition.
The last time Gaye, a fifth-year senior, was healthy for an entire season was in 2020, when he logged 38 press on 333 photos as a pass rusher, per PFF. If he can return to that high level after an injury limited him to just four games played last season, LSU’s pass rush will go from very good to elite.
Greg Penn III
Penn appeared to usurp senior Micah Baskerville for a starting spot in LSU’s deep linebacker room during spring practice. bright lights.
Nabers had a breakthrough in his first year with the Tigers. The former recruit in Lafayette’s area averaged 14.8 yards per catch, while amassed 430 receiving yards.
If he can take one more step as a sophomore and be more than just a solid No. 2 receiver, LSU’s passing strike could be deadly between him and star receiver Kayshon Boutte.
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Dibert, a freshman, has big shoes to fill. LSU’s last kicker, Cade York, was prolific. He set the program record and Tiger Stadium record for longest field goal conversion before being drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the fourth round.
Dibert doesn’t have to score 50-yardfield goals straight away like York did, but he will have to prove he won’t be a disadvantage to the Tigers’ success in the first year.
Jayden Daniels, Myles Brennan and Garrett Nussmeier
Whoever is LSU’s starting quarterback will have the most crucial starting role on the team.
Each of the three candidates has their own traits to bring out. Nussmeier is a creative playmaker with his legs and arm. Brennan has the greatest arm strength. Daniels is a dynamic open field runner.
Either way, if whoever wins the runway is accurate, is a strong leader and can make good decisions, life will be infinitely easier for the rest of the team.
Koki Riley covers LSU sports for The Daily Advertiser and the USA TODAY Sports South Region. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @KokiRiley.
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