The Tigers return nine starters, offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher and two quarterbacks who saw playing time in 2004. Sophomore JaMarcus Russell shared time with Marcus Randall throughout last season while Flynn played a limited role but the two spent the spring competing for the starting job.
Even though Russell passed for four TDs in the spring game and Flynn threw two INTs first-year coach Les Miles insists the job is still up for grabs. Or maybe he's got bog plans for highly regarded signee Ryan Perrilloux.
The continue to be loaded with talent and depth at running back with the return of Alley Broussard, Joseph Addai, and Justin Vincent.
Between the running backs and the offensive line, the Tigers should be able to run the ball effectively. The offensive line returns at least six players with four career starts, led by senior All-American Andrew Whitworth.
Senior Rudy Niswanger started at three other positions along the line before replacing injured center Ben Wilkerson late last season and starting the final three games.
Now that Niswanger has settled in at center he and Whitworth will anchor a line that also returns senior Nate Livings (guard or tackle), junior Brian Johnson (tackle), senior Terrell McGill (guard) and sophomore Will Arnold (guard).
The Tigers lack a proven go-to receiver comparable to former LSU receiver Michael Clayton but they're still deep and talented with the return of Craig Davis, Dwayne Bowe, Skyler Green and Early Doucet. Amp Hill, one of the nation's top prep prospects in 2003, finally showed signs of what he can do by returning from injuries to play well in the spring, catching four catches for 80 yards and a TD in the spring game.
At tight end, senior David Jones may have to win his job back from junior Keith Zinger and sophomore Mit Cole after undergoing offseason should surgery, but he remains the most experienced candidate for the job.
New defensive coordinator Bo Pelini has some huge holes to fill now that defensive end Marcus Spears and cornerbacks Corey Webster and Travis Daniels are off to the NFL.
Still, LSU returns seven starters, including three on the defensive front from a unit that ranked among national leaders in scoring (17.1 points), rushing defense (99.8 yards) and total defense (256.9 yards).
With second-Team All-SEC seniors Kyle Williams and Claude Wroten back at the defensive tackle spots, the Tigers should once again be tough against the run.
At one end, LSU can count on returning starter Melvin Oliver. At the other end, Texas transfer Chase Pittman looked ready to become a full-time player. LSU is also looking for help from senior Brandon Washington, sophomore Glen Dorsey and redshirt freshman Marlon Favorite to help replace Spears.
With Lionel Turner completing his LSU career the Tigers are looking for a new middle linebacker. By the end of the spring, the best bets were seniors Cameron Vaughn and Kenneth Hollis, who played his best football late in the 2004 season. Senior E.J. Kuale and sophomores Ali Highsmith also bring talent and depth to the position.
No team in the SEC has more work to do at cornerback than LSU after losing both starters, Travis Daniels and Corey Webster, to the NFL. The leading candidates to replace them seniors Ronnie Prude, who has been LSU's nickel back the past two seasons, and Sammy Joseph, a transfer from Colorado.
At least the safety positions are set with three-year starter LaRon Landry at free safety and junior Jessie Daniels at strong safety.
Sophomore safety Craig Steltz stood out in the spring game, leading LSU with 11 tackles, including seven solo stops.
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