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ATVS Roundtable: Newcomers

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The gang talks some of the newbies we’re most excited about on the 2018 Tigers.

Texas A&M v LSU
Who might be posing with ODB later this year?
Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Aside from the previously discussed Burrow, what other newcomers are you interested in watching for LSU this season?

Dan

They aren’t new to the program, but we will finally get to see Breiden Fehoko and Jonathan Giles, the Texas Tech transfers, take the field. Both should be immediate impact players for us. Fehoko garnered a ton of praise throughout practice work and now it’s time to pay that all off. Pairing him with Rashard Lawrence and Rougarou gives LSU an elite front.

Giles similarly earned much praise, but then disappointed in the Spring Game, when he was outshined by a former three-star recruit that’s suddenly become a leading contender to start at receiver. That may say more about Justin Jefferson than Giles, though. Giles will be the No. 1 wideout and we need he and Burrow to find chemistry early.

I’m also pumped to see Damien Lewis contribute. If he keeps up the momentum from the Spring, he’s gonna be a starter on the offensive line and he might be the transfer that makes a serious impact when most expected it to be Badara Traore.

Freshman wise, everyone wants to see Marshall and Chase play. They should see time early and often. I’m kinda jazzed up for the young running backs, though. Curry could emerge as our best back. And Tae Provens won’t be an every down guy but if they can find some creative ways to use him, he could be absolutely electric.

Adam

Kelvin Joseph.

Fair or not, he will always be compared to Surtain Jr. and whether he outperforms him (or even beats him to the field) will always dictate him. It’s just the nature of life in the SEC and the way LSU and Alabama fans operate.

But I’ve seen the kid play in person and covered him, if any freshman is going to get playing time or start in the LSU secondary as a freshman it will be him. He’s a tremendous talent, but the best thing he has going for him is that he’s a defensive back and not just a cornerback. He’s truly convertible, you can point at a position in the backfield and he can play it. His preferred position is a cornerback, but his senior year at Scotlandville was spent playing safety and he was just as impressive. That combination of talent and versatility is certain to be useful at some point down the line, if not out the gate.

Billy

I‘ve been on the Chris Curry bandwagon ever since I watched his highlight tapes before he committed. And if I didn’t like him enough as a player, he’s walking into a perfect situation in terms of being exactly what this offense will need as a power back to complement Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Nick Brossette. He gives you the short-yardage/closer guy that can push the pile and chew up clock in the fourth quarter.

A low-key name I’ll be watching for is Dare Rosenthal. Most are expecting a redshirt for him, and I can understand that because most view him as really raw. Others think he should just move to offense anyway. But watch his senior highlights. Yeah, it’s small school competition and he’s a 6-7, 300-pounder, but he’s all over the field, and if he brings that kind of motor to training camp this August, Ed Orgeron isn’t keeping a kid that big and that fast off the field.

Likewise, I really want to see if Cole Tracy is worth the scholarship spot from last cycle. It’s easy to dismiss a kicker, but if LSU has a consistent one last year, they would have been an 11-2 team instead of a 9-4 one.

Poseur

I’m with Dan and Adam. I’ve heard so much about the Texas Tech transfers that my anticipation for their debut keeps getting bigger. Especially for Giles because we need someone to step up at the receiver position. I do think Stephen Sullivan has shown us some things and could be poised for a breakout, but Paul’s right... we’re relying on the newcomers to take the position by storm. Terrace Marshall and Ja’Marr Chase haven’t had as long of a build up, but both will get every chance to play right away.

For the first time in a decade, LSU is a bit thin in the secondary, so Kelvin Joseph is not just the most heralded recruit in the class, he’s a guy who will get every chance to start right away. He’s got talent, there’s a spot ready for him.... it should be a match made in heaven. I do think it’s going to be Stingley who will have to live with Surtain comparisons for his whole career, but that’s a year away.

Crissy

Everyone else here has pretty much covered it. Of course, we are all looking forward to what the highly touted Kelvin Joseph can do - and that looks like quite a bit.

Not a totally new guy, but I’m also excited to see what Mannie Netherly can do after being moved to the defensive side of the ball. Between what I noticed during the Spring Game and watching the work he’s put in this offseason, I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do when he’s presented the opportunity. To add to the guys on their second year, I’m probably more excited to see Clyde Edwards-Helaire in action more than any other player on the team. Talk about sky-high potential.