Patterson (LA) tight end Deondre Skinner, an Arkansas commit, announced three official visits with a…
2013 Impact Commits: Offense
Here's a ranking of which 2013 commits should have the biggest impact next season:
1. Quantavius Leslie – 6-4, 195 pounds – No. 1 JUCO WR
Though the passing game appeared to come alive toward the end of the 2012 season, there's no denying LSU had a clear void in its receiving corps. The Tigers really needed the help of a tall receiver that can stretch the field, and obviously made finding one a priority in the 2013 class. Leslie should step in immediately and play the X position, which requires a tall, physical receiver. Leslie fits that mold, and if he qualifies to enroll early, should expect to have a firm hold on that position by the time the 2013 season comes around. If Courtney Gardner gets his academics in order, and enrolls in the summer, he's another candidate that could see action at the X position.
2. Logan Stokes – 6-4, 240 pounds – No. 5 JUCO TE
LSU will be looking to fill the vacancy left by senior Chase Clement at tight end. The staff brought in Stokes with the intention of him immediately competing to fill that position. He will have some competition with the emergence of Travis Dickson toward the end of the season, but Stokes already has a complete set of tools to step into that role. The status of Nic Jacobs remains uncertain for the 2013 season, but with Stokes being an early enrollee, he should be in a solid position to take over that primary TE role by the start of the season.
3. Desean Smith – 6-4, 220 pounds – No. 9 TE
The competition at tight end should be stiff in 2013, but Smith appears to be the most ready to see the field as a true freshman. Les Miles has stressed many times how having a receiving tight end can be a luxury in the passing game. Dickson showed flashes toward the end of 2013, but it never seemed LSU found the guy that can serve that role. Smith has perhaps the best hands of any TE recruit to come into LSU in recent years. Those tools could get him on the field early, and if he can improve in his blocking quickly, he could solidify a spot in the offense as a freshman.
4. Avery Johnson – 6-2, 185 pounds – No. 40 WR (2012)
Johnson will be another player enrolling early with the intentions of seeing the field in 2013. He does possess the tools, but would likely fall behind Leslie and Gardner in terms of that X position. He only played two games for Hargrave Military Academy in 2012, so it may take some time for him to get back in the swing of things. But he does bring another big body to the passing game, and if he comes out firing in the spring, he could certainly find himself in a position to see the field in 2013.
T-5. Andy Dodd – 6-4, 305 pounds – No. 34 OG
K.J. Malone – 6-4, 285 pounds – No. 41 OG
The offensive line should be one of LSU's deeper positions in 2013. Chris Faulk should return from his injury in 2012 and will likely regain his position as the starting left tackle. Trai Turner, Vadal Alexander and Lael Collins will also all return and likely start in 2013. There is a question mark at center though, as Elliott Porter is the current favorite to replace PJ Lonergan, but his backup is unclear. It's hard to project where the current batch of offensive linemen will end up, but it doesn't appear one has emerged as a clear-cut center. Both Dodd and Malone have the body types to project to center, and expect the LSU staff to work both at that position to find a serviceable backup should Porter struggle or suffer an injury in 2013. Depending on how things play out, it's certainly possible for one or both to see the field in 2013.
7. Kennard Swanson – 6-0, 225 pounds – No. 5 FB
J.C. Copeland will return for his senior season in 2013 and will have a firm grasp on the fullback position. But he did struggle with some minor injuries at various points in the season, and his tendency to draw unsportsmanlike penalties led LSU to turn to backup Connor Neighbors several times in 2012. Swanson could come in and fill in that second-string role early and provide a serviceable option should Copeland go down at any point. But LSU does enjoy using walk-ons at fullback, and the staff could opt to redshirt Swanson in 2013 and keep his full eligibility when his time comes in 2014.
8. Josh Boutte – 6-5, 320 pounds – No. 10 OG
Though Collins, Turner and Josh Williford will have a firm grasp on the top three guard spots in 2013, there's much less certainty after that. Evan Washington projects to the inside, but after missing the entire 2012 season, it's unclear where he might fall in 2013. Boutte has the potential to compete for a spot in the two-deep in the 2013, but he will have some competition.
9. Chuck Baker – 6-2, 195 pounds – No. 49 WR
It will be hard for most of the young receivers in the 2013 class to break into the wide receiver rotation next season. But Leslie and Gardner still aren't certainties to end up at LSU in 2013, and Baker could be a candidate to emerge from the herd of players vying for time. He projects as a long-armed, possession receiver, but coming from a struggling offense in high school, it will likely take him time to adjust to the college game.
10. Rickey Jefferson – 6-0, 185 pounds – No. 22 WR
Jefferson does have the potential to get involved early as a quick, slot receiver but LSU should have that position firmly squared away in 2013. Both Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham will return and should spend more time inside next season. Jefferson will have a lot of traffic in front of him and will probably redshirt in 2013.
11. Ethan Pocic – 6-6, 280 pounds – No. 4 OT
LSU won't be lacking depth at offensive tackle in 2013. Faulk and Alexander both return and Derek Edinburgh, Jerald Hawkins and Jonah Austin will all likely compete for backup roles. Pocic will benefit from coming in early, and like Alexander did a year ago, could surprise many by emerging as a candidate for early playing time. But Alexander was the exception, and more often than not, offensive tackles redshirt their first year on campus.
T-12. Hayden Rettig – 6-3, 205 pounds – No. 22 QB
Anthony Jennings – 6-2, 202 pounds – No. 31 QB
Though both quarterbacks are expected to enroll early, neither figures to get in the mix in 2013. Zach Mettenberger will return next season with a firm grasp on the starting spot, with Stephen Rivers and Rob Bolden likely in line behind him. Both Jennings and Rettig should redshirt in 2013, and fight for position on the depth chart in 2014.
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