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LSU Football Team of the Decade: Offense

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Decade retrospective time!

College Football Playoff National Championship - Clemson v LSU
Joe Burrow and some other guys
Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

All of the rage around SB Nation and every sports site about a month ago were team-specific Teams of the Decade. We did not jump in on this action because… well, we were busy with other things.

But now that the whole “winning the national title and staking our claim as the greatest team of all-time” thing is out of the way, we can get the gang together and vote on our teams of the decade.

I will list the players so the top vote getters at a position, as voted by the panel of ATVS contributors, are listed first if there are multiple players at a position. I made some arbitrary calls, which we’ll get into, about positional eligibility, but it was based upon the voting. I’ve listed a player’s years, followed by their honors and awards, and then their career stats.

First, the offense, where we went with 2 RB, 3 WR, and 1 TE. Yes, we have 12 offensive players, primarily because if anyone was gonna get dropped, it was the tight ends. So going with an extra man gives us a chance to keep the tight ends.

QUARTERBACK

1st team: Joe Burrow (2018-19, All-American, All-SEC, Heisman, Maxwell, Unitas, O’Brien, Camp, 621/906, 8565 yds, 68.8%, 76/11 TD/INT)

2nd team: Zach Mettenberger (2011-13, 407/659, 5783 yds, 61.8%, 35/15 TD/INT)

A complete slam dunk in every way. Every single contributor who cast a vote, voted Burrow #1 and Met #2. There was literally no dissension in any way. Sorry, Danny Etling. Joe Burrow leaves LSU as clearly the greatest quarterback in school history, but Mett had himself a pretty good run as well.

RUNNING BACK

1st team: Leonard Fournette (2014-16, All-American, All-SEC, 616 att, 3,830 yds, 40 TD); Derrius Guice (2015-17, All-SEC, 471 att, 3,074 yds, 29 TD)

2nd team: Clyde Edwards-Helaire (2017-19, All-SEC, 354 aa, 1993 yds, 23 TD); Jeremy Hill (2012-13, All-SEC, 345 att, 2,156 yds, 28 TD)

Jesus, what a group. Leonard Fournette unanimously ran away with our top spot. I’ll admit I wanted to vote for Guice, but the numbers nor the awards merited it. But I don’t think my feelings are unique and we might see Guice’s stature continue to grow in the minds of LSU fans as the years go on. Fournette was better, but Guice may be more beloved.

That’s clearly already happened with our second team backs. Jeremy Hill has better numbers, but Clyde is… well, Clyde is Clyde. Edwards-Helaire embodied the 2019’s nature as a team of guys who blocked out the critics to become the best version of themselves. National titles matter for a guy’s rep, and CEH was one of the key guys, maybe the key guy beyond Burrow.

OFFENSIVE TACKLE

1st team: La’el Collins (2011-2014, All-SEC, Jacobs); Vadal Alexander (2012-2015 All-SEC)

2nd team: Chris Faulk (2010-12); Joe Barksdale (2007-10)

Collins was nearly unanimous, as he is LSU’s sole winner of the Jacobs Award, given to the SEC’s best linemen, of the decade.He started as a freshmen and was pretty much great from the day he showed up. Vadal was one of our more difficult guys to slot, as he played tackle as a freshmen due to injuries, then shifted back to guard, only to return to tackle for his senior year. But he earns enough votes as a tackle to make the first team, so that’s where I’m gonna put him.

Our second teamers both got hosed by circumstance. Barksdale straddled the decade line, and was a backup on the 2007 team. Chris Faulk never quite lived up to his mammoth potential thanks to a litany of injuries, including one that caused him to miss his entire junior season. Based on talent, he might be a first teamer.

OFFENSIVE GUARD

1st team: Trai Turner (2012-13); Will Blackwell (2009-11, All-SEC)

2nd team: Damien Lewis (2018-19); Will Clapp (2015-17. 2x All-SEC)

Despite his lack of accolades, Turner dominated our voting. He took over the starting gig as a redshirt freshmen, never relinquished the job, and was so awesome that he went to the draft after his sophomore year. Get paid, man. Will Blackwell was the anchor of a mean as hell 2011 unit.

The second team has perhaps my favorite player of the 2019 team, Damien Lewis, who was a near afterthought as a JUCO transfer and developed into a star. Will Clapp was a two-time All-SEC player, once as a guard and another as a center. He actually tied in the center voting, but this helps break the tiebreaker thanks to Vadal moving to tackle.

CENTER

1st team: Ethan Pocic (2013-16, All-American, All-SEC)

2nd team: Lloyd Cushenberry (2017-19 All-SEC)

LSU continued its vaunted center history this decade with yet another All-American at the position. Pocic was an utter bad ass in the middle, and a rock for the line for years, only to essentially hand the job off to the next long term starter in Cushenberry (with only a brief gap for Will Clapp to help with the transition). Cush may not have gotten the All-American designation, but he got to wear the #18. And that’s even cooler.

TIGHT END

1st team: Thaddeus Moss (2019, 47 catches, 570 yards, 4 TD)

2nd team: Foster Moreau (2015-18, 52 catches, 629 yards, 6 TD)

I get it. Thaddeus Moss had the best season for an LSU tight end probably ever. He capped it off with two touchdowns in the national title game. But I’m bowing to the whims of the voting body, as I cast my vote for the long-termer in Foster Moreau. He didn’t have the same numbers, but he was a ferocious blocker, a team captain, and again, I give weight to the #18 tradition. But that one great year weighed too heavily, and Moss takes the top slot with relative ease.

WIDE RECEIVER

1st team: Odell Beckham (2011-13, All-American, All-SEC, Hornung, 143 catches, 2,340 yards. 12 TD); Ja’Marr Chase (2018-19, All-American, All-SEC, Biletnikoff, 107 catches, 2,093 yards, 23 TD); Jarvis Landry (2011-13, 137 catches, 1,809 yards, 15 TD)

2nd team: Justin Jefferson (2017-19, 165 catches, 2,415 yards, 24 TD); Rueben Randle (2009-11, All-SEC, 97 catches, 1,634 yards, 13 TD); DJ Chark (2015-17, 66 catches, 1351, 6 TD)

A lot of razor close votes here, as essentially we have three separate couplings with Jarvis getting that extra vote to make the first team. Each pairing was separated by one vote.

Beckham wins the first one to take our top slot. If Chase stays healthy, he will easily pass Beckham’s yardage mark. He’s already nearly doubled his TD total and won the bigger national award. Chase is getting screwed by the arbitrary endpoint of the decade, and the only real question is whether he will break Josh Reed’s career receiving record or match Wendell Davis’ SEC Player of the Year Award. Chase is the best wide receiver in LSU history, and we voted him second.

Landry and Jefferson were also neck and neck, and again, the pull of that 2013 offense proved too great for us to resist. It’s a great pairing, as both were slot guys who complimented the more nationally praised guy with their reliable play in the middle. They moved the chains and Jarvis, well, Jarvis made some of the most absurd catches we’ve ever seen. Jefferson has to settle for making perhaps the biggest. He has a starring role in perhaps the definitive Joe Burrow highlight, the 3rd and 18 against Texas.

Rueben Randle was the star of some vertically challenged offenses, so if anyone gets to complain about missing out on Burrow, it’s him. Chark also played in an offense that didn’t throw it that well, but he was a force in the running game in Canada’s jet sweep offense. He adds 264 rushing yards and 4 TD to his totals.

How did we do? Sound off in the comments.

Poll

How did we do in assembling LSU’s All-Decade Team?

This poll is closed

  • 33%
    Great! I agree with all of your choices!
    (207 votes)
  • 60%
    Good! Hey, I disagree with some stuff, but they were close calls that could have gone either way
    (375 votes)
  • 3%
    Meh.
    (20 votes)
  • 0%
    Bad! You suck! This is outrageous! How could you forget...
    (6 votes)
  • 1%
    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! This list is literally worse than Hitler. It is the Nick Saban of lists.
    (11 votes)
619 votes total Vote Now