Twitter Mailbag is a blog series running each Tuesday or Wednesday answering readers’ questions about the LSU football team. Readers submit their questions through Twitter each Tuesday, and the best are posted here with answers. Follow us on Twitter at @RossDellenger to submit a question.
@RossDellenger too 3 impact freshmen? Also, what freshman that wasn't an early enrollee looks to get the most playing time as of today.
— Hunter St. Cyr (@HStcyr) May 18, 2016
Mid-year enrollees Saivion Smith, Dee Anderson and Devin White are your three impact freshmen. They’re ahead of those other signees who won’t arrive to campus until June. They’ve gone through winter/off-season workouts and then spring practice. And all three of them made impressions at the spring game.
In the spring game, Smith worked with the first string defense at cornerback in the nickel package. LSU was down four DBs, but Smith’s place in running with the No. 1s is still a sign of his potential impact this season as a rotational player in the secondary.
Anderson made, arguably, the spring game’s best catch. Check it out:
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) April 17, 2016
He, like White, participated with the second string. Anderson appears to be in the top 4-5 receiver rotation, and White appears to be LSU’s backup middle linebacker to Kendell Beckwith. That doesn’t mean he’s the immediate replacement for Beckwith (Duke Riley might be the next man up), but White put himself in position to have a role this season.
(see answer to your last question below)
@RossDellenger TE battle update?
— Redsox 148-16 (@jakerichjr) May 18, 2016
There’s not much of one, but that doesn’t mean we won’t see something unfold in preseason camp. The pecking order in the spring was clear: Colin Jeter, Foster Moreau, Jacory Washington. DeSean Smith missed spring while recovering from a knee procedure.
Jeter is LSU’s do-it-all tight end, a pass-catcher and blocker. The 260-pound Moreau is the run-blocker of the group, and Smith is the receiver. I don’t expect that to change this season. The question: Will LSU move someone to tight end after Dillon Gordon was ruled ineligible?
The Tigers don’t have another tight end with Gordon’s size (300-plus), but they do have a handful of offensive linemen who could fill that role. Keep an eye on that in preseason camp.
@RossDellenger What happened to DeSean Smith last season ? Injury? Is he expected to be back for fall camp?
— Ryan Dewey (@t_ryandewey) May 18, 2016
Smith played in nine games last season and caught four passes for 82 yards. He missed three of the final four games with what appears to be a knee injury that he sustained against Alabama. Smith missed spring practice recovering from a knee procedure, but he’s expected to be full go by the time preseason camp arrives.
@RossDellenger what is the FB position looking like? Is Moore going to be healthy? Mouton/Ducre/Williams battling?
— Connor Bear Deneau (@Beardeneau) May 23, 2016
Moore is expected to, not only be fully healthy by preseason camp, but he’s likely to return 100 percent by the time LSU begins summer workouts in about two weeks. Late during spring practice, Moore was running at full speed.
He is the unquestioned starter at the position, but keep your eye on Ducre. Running backs coach Jabbar Juluke said the former No. 1-ranked prep fullback in the nation impressed him during spring practice. Ducre even received some reps at running back.
Darrel Williams, according to players, did not work with the fullbacks in spring. It appears that Ducre is taking Williams’ running role in the fullback position. We won’t know that until the season begins, though.
@RossDellenger besides the Early Enrolees, which freshmen do you think will get early playing time?
— Pretty Flacko (@Tyler_Capone) May 23, 2016
You have to first look at 310-pound tackle Rashard Lawrence, a versatile linemen who could play LSU’s new end position and nose tackle. Edwin Alexander, if he qualifies academically, might have an immediate impact at nose tackle as well.
Drake Davis (receiver) and Kristian Fulton (DB) are highly talented skill players, and Rahssan Thornton is a candidate at outside linebacker.
@RossDellenger how'd the defense look in camp and what kind of production should we expect?
— Pat Welford (@mp5W) May 23, 2016
I assume you mean spring practice (and not camp, since camp hasn’t started). It’s tough to tell much from watching practice. After all, we were allowed just 20-30 minutes to watch and rarely during the open portion was LSU in scrimmage-like team drills.
Having said that, given new coordinator Dave Aranda’s past success and the talent on LSU’s front seven, you can expect a lot of production. The Tigers potentially have three players on the front seven who could be picked in the top three rounds of next year’s draft (Kendell Beckwith, Lewis Neal, Davon Godchaux) and that’s not including sophomore Arden Key, possibly the most athletic and talented guy on the Tigers’ defense.
Throw in returning All-American candidate in Jamal Adams at safety and a potential first-round pick in Tre’Davious White at cornerback, and the Tigers are loaded.
Expect a lot.
@RossDellenger how does aranda get the new freshmen who didn't enroll early up to date with what he has already installed?
— chris baudean (@chris_baudean) May 23, 2016
Coaches can work with players two hours per week for an eight week period in the summer, but that’s not near enough time, coach Les Miles said after the spring game. It’s up to players to spend time over the summer learning with one another on their team-issued iPads, Miles said.
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