Click to See All Bob's 2010 LSU Tiger Football Postings:

June 22, 2011

Grades For LSU Football 2011 All Positions is a great place to visit to get your daily fix of all LSU sports.  When "the Don" of LSU football speaks, people listen because even though Don Long is a huge LSU Tiger fan, he is a fan in the know.  Don posts every morning before breakfast and this morning part of his post included grading LSU football position-by-position.  For this article, I will be quoting Dandy Don extensively and then giving my grade for each position and what I think.  I can tell you now, that when I disagree with Don by even a letter grade, Don will probably be right but, I will try to make my case.
Dandy Don: QUARTERBACKS - B,  Jordan Jefferson will perform better with a playbook with far less plays. I also believe that he will perform better because of pressure from Zach Mettenberger, and because of the coaching of new offensive coordinator Steve Kragthorpe.

Bob:  QUARTERBACKS - C, I agree with everything that Dandy Don says in his analysis but I graded it a little differently.  The upside - the potential for an "A" - at quarterback is certainly there.  Jefferson is a senior and must realize that it is now or never to impress NFL teams and make his final mark in LSU football history.  Steve Kragthorpe has a reputation as a great quarterback coach so there is a reputation to uphold for Kragthorpe.  And backup quarterbacks Zach Mettenberger and Jarrett Lee should press Jordan to be all that he can be.  However, if you base the grade on the known factors, that leaves us with Jordan Jefferson's not so great stats last year which warrants a "D". The 11-2 record, some truly brilliant moments, and the stellar finish in the Cotton Bowl has me settled on "C" for now.  I hope Dandy Don and I are both undervaluing the quarterback position and Jefferson surprises us with an A+ year.  
Dandy Don:  RUNNING BACKS - A,  Spencer Ware is going to be one of the best running backs in the nation, and I am looking for big things from Michael Ford and incoming freshman Terrance Magee.

Bob:  RUNNING BACKS - A, Spencer Ware, Michael Ford, and Alfred Blue all have meaningful game experience and I am with Dandy Don in saying that Spencer Ware appears to be on the verge of being one of the dark horses for being the best running back in the SEC and that is saying a lot.  Don usually knows something the rest of us do not but I was surprised that he did not mention Jakhari Gore as a potential breakout running back with his fairly solid performance in the Spring game.  Two or three LSU Super Fans that I interview suggested that Gore would be the surprise breakout player for LSU this year.  Also, Kenny Hilliard is the incoming freshman running back that many have been expecting great things from.  Hilliard missed the Spring game to attend to "personal business" and I don't want to read too much into that but maybe there is some fire with that smoke.
Dandy Don:  WIDE RECEIVERS - B,  If incoming freshman Jarvis Landry reports in great shape, LSU will have a solid receiving core in Rueben Randle, Russell Shepard, Kadron Boone and Jakhari Gore.

Bob:  WIDE RECEIVERS - A, I think that incoming freshmen Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham will be the tandem receiving stars in LSU's near future.  I just think it will be pretty hard to break into the starting lineup at LSU this year.  This year's wide receiving dynamic duo will be Rueben Randle and Russell Shepard.  Both these junior wide receivers came to LSU as consensus 5-star top recruits and the only thing disappointing about either is that LSU fans have not seen either player with the ball in his hands nearly enough.  The "other" receivers:  Chris Tolliver, Kadron Boone, James Wright, Jarrett Fobbs and Armand Williams are all solid receivers and each of these guys could have some spectacular moments this season if they can get on the field.  Jakhari Gore is still officially listed as a wide receiver and the last time I can remember LSU moving a solid running back to wide receiver Josh Reed, who started with the Buffalo Bills for several years, won the Biletnikoff Award (best wide receiver in college football). Of course it will all rest on a quarterback getting the ball to a "straight A" group of receivers.    
Dandy Don:  OFFENSIVE LINE - B,  LSU returns four full-time starters in center P.J. Lonergan, tackles Alex Hurst and Chris Faulk, and guards Josh Dworaczyk and Will Blackwell. Blackwell started the Cotton bowl and might be the best offensive lineman on the team.

Bob:  OFFENSIVE LINE - A,  I am a fat old man and I would feeling comfortable playing running back for LSU and I would find a way to direct my runs toward Will Blackwell and Alex Hurst.  Although I would not be scared running on the other side behind Dworaczyk and Faulk.  Lonergan, at center, would keep any huge defensive lineman from catching me whichever side I decided to run to.  Seriously, LSU's offensive line is that good and the guys in the backfield are real running backs not an old fat guy.  T-Bob Hebert is an extremely solid backup at either guard or center.  Hebert is like a line coach on the field with his knowledge and ability to recognize defenses and call out blocking schemes.  Josh Williford, Greg Shaw, and Evan Washington are also very able offensive line backups.  I cannot remember where, but I read somewhere that there might be concern that LSU does not have many offensive linemen in the 2012 recruiting class.  Let me allay those fears before they begin.  Look at the 2011 o-line recruits: La'el Collins (6'4" 315lbs) is considered the best OL prospect in the country, and the other o-linemen - Corey White 6'3" 333lbs, Trai Turner 6'2" 334lbs, and Jonah Austin 6'5" 320lbs - were all rated as 3 or 4-star recruits.  I included the sizes of these incoming freshmen because these guys already have the size to be playing in the SEC or given time in the NFL.

Dandy Don:  TIGHT ENDS - A, Deangelo Peterson, Mitch Joseph, Chase Clements and Tyler Edwards are as good as they come.

Bob: TIGHT ENDS - A,  Deangelo Peterson is a great wide receiver-type tight end and he had one of Jordan Jefferson's favorite running plays last year.  Jefferson got to block.  Jefferson can do it all.  Mitch Joseph, Chase Clement, and Tyler Edwards are all first rate tight ends and I am eager to see Travis Dickson in a game.
Dandy Don:  DEFENSIVE TACKLES AND ENDS - A, Sam Montgomery, Michael Brockers, Athony Johnson and Lavar Edwards are the real deal. I also like the depth at the position.

Bob: DEFENSIVE TACKLES AND ENDS - A,  I am with Don on both statements!  The four guys Don mentions are the real deal and so are Barkevious Mingo, Kendrick Adams, Chancey Aghayere.  I am also eager to see Josh Downs, Bennie Logan, Ego Ferguson, and Justin Maclin. I kind of expect true freshman Jermauria Rasco to be redshirted just because of the talent in front of him.  
Dandy Don:  LINEBACKERS - B,  I like Ryan Baker and am looking forward to a breakout season for the senior. I also like Kevin Minter and incoming freshman Trevon Randle.

Bob: LINEBACKERS - B-/C+, Ryan Baker is a rock anchoring the linebacking crew but, I am concerned about the loss of Kelvin Shepard.  Along with Kevin Minter, Lamin Barrow may have the experience to step up.  And LSU may have a guy like Luke Muncie or Tahj Jones step up.  Also, it is hard to be worried about seeing senior Stefoin Francois line up at linebacker.  Francois is one of those converted safeties that hits hard.  Still, out of respect for the loss of Kelvin Shepard from the ranks of the linebackers, I cannot give this better than a B-/C+.
Dandy Don:  DEFENSIVE BACKS - A, LSU will have the best defensive backfield in the nation led by cornerbacks Morris Claiborne and Tyrann Mathieu and safeties Brandon Taylor and Tharold Simon. Also, I am not counting out Craig Loston and Eric Reid as starters.

Bob:  DEFENSIVE BACKS - A,  It seemed strange last year to see so many freshmen getting playing time in LSU's backfield.  The freshmen did not disappoint.  1st round NFL draft pick Patrick Peterson is gone but my last memory of last year was Peterson carrying Tyrann Mathieu on his shoulders after learning that Mathieu had won defensive MVP of the Cotton Bowl.  Eric Reid, Tharold Simon, and Craig Loston are among the younger starters in LSU's backfield but any doubts we had about Mo Claiborne at the beginning of last season were erased  as he led LSU DBs in passes defended and interceptions last year. Old Mo will be a more experienced junior this year. Karnell Hatcher and Brandon Taylor will be senior safeties.  And Ron Brooks will be a senior cornerback/strong safety and return man.  

The defense runs deep at almost every position.
Dandy Don:  SPECIAL TEAMS - B,  LSU will be very strong on kickoff and punt coverage. It might be a little early to grade special teams on kickoffs, field goals and PATs, but the team will be strong in that area because the talent is there.

Bob:  SPECIAL TEAMS - I,  I hate to "punt" this one but I am taking Don's suggestion that "it might be a little early to grade special teams."  I grade Special Teams an "I" for incomplete.  I do hope that they decide to complete this one for an "A".  But, I can't tell and I can't give them a "B" just because Don does.  Remember though, I told you previously that when Dandy Don talks LSU football, he's probably right.
This is what we think about each position.  Yes Dandy Don and I are two big LSU fans or homers but besides that I would love to read your thoughts about how you would grade LSU position-by-position in the comments section or email me your thoughts at and I may quote you.  

FYI:  I do have the ability and authority to block/delete comments should they get out of hand. Also, you can choose to leave "anonymous" comments or choose any name you like. And you do not have to sign up or give any personal information.

If you have not been to LSU's official football home page and watched the Les Miles video, you should.  It is funny.  Here is a link to the page: LSU Sports - Football.

No comments:

LSU Tigers Central Headline News