Aight. Here. We. Go! Game week.
Gonna take a look at the Huskies in a bit. But first, a quick rundown of stuff that caught my attention in the team's prep leading up to this week.
In no particular order - just as they arrive in my pea brain. By the way - my disappointment might be your surprise, or vice-versa. Go with it!
1. Craig Loston actually joined the team! I haven't followed recruiting for years and years, but Loston's recruitment, signing and ultimate clearance to play has to be one of the most dramatic of the last few years. Les Miles sez he'll play against the Huskies - which I take as meaning he'll play special teams. But I guess we'll see.
2. Harry Coleman is a linebackah! Those who follow Chavis closely say this is exactly the kind of guy he likes - fast, loves to hit, agile. Makes perfect sense to me - just as long as he's big enough to shed FBs and cut-blocking offensive linemen...But hey - I just sit here and type. Perhaps Chavis knows his business...
3. Freshman QB Chris Garrett is the real deal! I'm actually not completely surprised by this because his recruiting video looked pretty damned good and his all-star game performance was VERY good. I've been touting him for awhile. He'll redshirt unless LSU faces a catastrophe of injuries (knocking on wood).
4. Stevan Ridley may be ready to go! After ACL surgery and rehab, and very little info being released, it's tough to tell just how recovered he really is. But if you've watched Ridley run in the past, you know that this is the Charles Scott back of the immediate future for LSU. While some fans will impatiently call for Mike Ford to inherit the job next year, I predict - if he's healthy - Ridley will be that guy. I hope he gets some good, quality time this year. I'd play him over KW, personally. But Miles won't , and I don't blame him. I actually appreciate Miles' loyalty to his seniors - to a point. I think KW deserves the last chance at building his draft stock. I still hope Ridley gets his touches.
1. Carneal Ainsworth quits the team. I feel for the kid and his family's loss. His departure is not a huge deal in terms of team depth. But playing LSU football is an awesome, life altering, opportunity and I hope Ainsworth finds his way back to the program as a walkon. Because he'll want those BCS championship rings from 2010 and 2011 - they'll be collectors items!
2. Freshman FB Dominique Allen. I'm not calling the kid out. I'm just disappointed for him that (it appears) he won't be able to take advantage of a golden opportunity of getting early FB time. Allen, it has been reported, is not in playing shape right now. Which is interesting because he played RB in high school and he's listed behind two former walkon offensive linemen at the moment. Anyway - Allen has a lot of potential if he focuses and does what the coaches are asking.
3. The schedule. I hate LSU's schedule this year. I hate the away games at Bama and Georgia and Ole Miss. I hate that Bama and Florida have the week off before playing LSU. And I hate that we are playing in-state rivals USL, Tulane and La Tech all in the same season. There ain't shit anyone can do about any of it. But it still pisses me off. Because, honestly, LSU has a chance to be very, very good this year. And with just one break in that schedule - like oh, I don't know, having Florida play Georgia before LSU instead of the other way around - the Tigers could realistically vie for the SEC championship. But as it stands, it's a very, very steep climb for a lot of reasons, not least among them the schedule. As for the small state schools - good for them, but I'm getting impatient for an ACC or a Big 12 mid-level team, especially early in the season.
4. Les Miles picking his nose during post practice interviews. Seriously, Coach. You're a millionaire executive of a multi-million dollar brand and you're on TV and camera all the time. Nobody thinks your scratching with that thumb move. Everyone knows you're about a heartbeat away from going knuckle deep on a booger safari. (I'm kidding, Coach. In fact, you average 10 wins every year, I'll dig it for ya!)
1. Walk-on OL Richard Dugas is our FB?! As a former high school offensive lineman who probably could've walked on at Southeastern or maybe Nicholls (shut up - it could've happened), I'm all about Dugas getting his chance. But wow. LSU has had some really good FBs in the recent past - Miles seems high on Dugas. Will Allen play later in the season?
2. Jarrett Lee. He could be in the disappointment section, but after last year, it doesn't fit. If anyone had taken my bet, I would've wagered that Lee would be a serious contender for the starting QB job right now. However, Jordan Jefferson is the LSU starting QB and I don't get the impression it's really even that close of a call. Will Jarrett Lee shake off last year and be ready to step up and provide an experienced hand if, God forbid, Jefferson gets hurt? Or will Russell Shepard take those reins? Or will Chris Garrett have to burn his redshirt?
3. Kellen Theriot. I was high on this kid when he committed to LSU in 2007. Mostly because, if I remember right, he played quarterback in high school and was rated that way. But he is a bull of an athlete, enrolled early, and I thought he looked pretty damned strong at LB during the 2008 Spring game. Since then, he's been injured and I haven't heard anything at all.
4. 2010 defensive line recruiting. This is a just a minor WTF, but for a team that has placed a lot of defensive lineman in the NFL, LSU seems to me to be having a tough time pulling high quality defensive linemen in this recruiting class. Of the 3 DEs and 2 DTs on the board right now (Scout), one is really a Tight End (Dickson), one is being rumored to have OL in his future (Allen), and the other three aren't exactly national recruits. Nothing wrong with that, per se. And Les Miles hasn't called me recently to give me his thoughts on the matter. I'm just sayin - WTFO? I thought we were defensive line university? Perhaps we're building gaps to entice Rasco and Johnson next year? Hmmm....