Publisher’s Notes: Every weekday until the LSU football team reports for Fall Camp on Sunday, Aug. 4, TSD will unveil another player in our top 50 Tigers for the 2013 season. We arrived at this list by combining individual rankings from TSD’s Austin Cooper, Ben Love and Hunter Paniagua. For example, a player who received a No. 1 vote got 50 points, a No. 2 vote got 49 points, and so on. Every player who received votes had his points totaled across all three individual lists, and the result was our final TSD ranking. All players, including incoming signees, were eligible for selection.
No. 5 – RB Alfred Blue
Since he arrived on campus in 2010, Alfred Blue has occasionally gotten lost in the shadows of a very crowded, talented LSU backfield. The Hahnville product has sat behind and aside current NFLers Stevan Ridley, Michael Ford and Spencer Ware as well as Jeremy Hill and Kenny Hilliard as the latter two had breakout freshman campaigns. Now entering his senior season, it’ll be awfully tough to miss the versatile 6-foot-2, 220-pound back.
Blue had actually emerged as the Tigers’ lead back exiting Fall Camp 2012. The starter through the team’s first two contests, Blue authored consecutive 100-yard rushing games to start the season and had 270 yards on 40 carries (6.75 ypc) before he suffered a knee injury in LSU’s third game versus Idaho to sideline him for the rest of the season. During the Tigers’ 13-1 season of 2011, Blue toted the rock 78 times for 539 yards (6.9 ypc) and seven touchdowns. Clearly the production is there for Blue, who came back to practice with the team this spring in a green no-contact jersey. His value rises even higher, however, with Cam Cameron calling the plays given Blue’s ability to catch the football.
By The Numbers
Blue’s highest ranking: 4th
Blue’s lowest ranking: 6th
Why this ranking is too high
Like some other players on this list – Jalen Mills (No. 9, shoulder), Jermauria Rasco (No. 15, shoulder) and Vadal Alexander (No. 20, knee), just to name a few – Blue comes into 2013 bouncing back from an injury. Especially at the position Blue plays, it can be difficult to come full circle and always trust a knee intuitively while planting, cutting or doing any number of movements that happen virtually every play at running back. That knee, and how the player will respond to his injury physically and mentally, is really the only question mark surrounding Blue at this point.
Why this ranking is too low
How many other schools around the SEC or the country have a guy returning with almost 1,000 career rushing yards and 10 touchdowns and he’s not even the surefire starter? Answer, having done pretty much no leg-work: not many. Blue has played in 27 games in TigerTown, starting five, and he’s long been a personal favorite of Les Miles. As long as he’s back to normal on that knee, look for Blue to have a huge season for LSU, whether Jeremy Hill is around for the whole slate or any portion of the season. Blue, a monster in the backfield at 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, is just that good.
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