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Five Takeaways From the LSU Spring Game

LSU Spring Game

LSU held its annual Spring game in which the defense surprisingly kept up with the offense in a 34-34 tie. We’ll cover five of the more intriguing takeaways from the culmination of Spring practice. Some players, such as Garrett Nussmeier, cemented their status as potential standouts in 2024. Others effectively announced that they were more prepared for the big stage than outsiders might think.

Five Takeaways From the LSU Spring Game

Interior Defensive Line

Defensive tackle depth was one of the biggest issues for the Tigers entering spring practice. The tackles’ effort and effectiveness during the spring game was surely encouraging for defensive line coach Bo Davis.

Jacobian Guillory and Jalen Lee held their own physically at the point of attack. Shone Washington had five tackles, including a sack. Kimo Makane’ole and Preston Hickey were serviceable at the very least as depth pieces. Although the offense made big plays on the ground, the plays weren’t the result of defensive tackles getting blown off the ball.

Big Play Problems

As exciting as it might be for fans to watch the LSU offense make big plays, those same plays trigger traumatic stress after the wobbly defense of 2023. To be fair, the Spring game should not dictate one’s defensive expectations for the 2024 Tigers.

Blown coverages are to be expected to an extent with the addition of new coaches. New coaches use different terminology and put players in changing roles. It takes time to adjust and communicate effectively. The pressure is on the staff, but the responsibility is on the players to understand terms, signals, and checks before the season starts.

The missed tackles in the running game were the most problematic issue. There were times when linebackers fit gaps effectively but didn’t bring the ball carrier down. A safety whiffed in the open field without even getting a hand on Josh Williams during a touchdown run. Coaches can only put players in a position to make a play.

Pass Catcher Potential

No receiver room gets better after losing two first-round picks, but this is a deeper group than last year. Kyren Lacy was as dominant as he’s been advertised to be all spring. Chris Hilton left plays on the field but has reportedly added consistency to his freakish athletic traits during spring camp.

It looks like Aaron Anderson will be used in a variety of ways, starting with putting constant pressure on the defense with jet sweep looks that cause defensive hesitation. Liberty transfer CJ Daniels presented a big target, but he was also impressive running the ball after the catch.

There has been talk of the offense using two tight ends more often this season. It’s easy to see why when watching 6-6 Ka’Morreun Pimpton glide across the field after the catch. Nobody will mistake Pimpton for Brock Bowers, but he is a fluid athlete with a huge catch radius.

Success in the Secondary

The LSU secondary looks like a much more competitive group than we saw last year. Ashton Stamps and freshman PJ Woodland are slight in build but almost always in position. Woodland is fearless and does not play like a three-star prospect who should still be in high school.

Ohio State transfer Jyaire Brown was also impressive in coverage. Brown played bigger than his size with his ability to read routes and stay in phase. He forced receivers to play through him to make contested catches.

Local products Kylin Jackson of Zachary and Dashawn McBryde of Denham Springs were beyond comfortable at safety. Both freshmen covered well and looked the part. The future is bright for the Tiger safety room.

Backup Quarterback Competition

LSU added former Vanderbilt quarterback AJ Swann the team to in the offseason. Swann’s experience as a starter gives LSU a solid, high-floor option as a backup quarterback. Redshirt freshman Rickie Collins threw a curveball and channeled his inner Andre 3000 in an announcement that he indeed has something to say about who gets the second-string nod.

Collins was poised and accurate throughout the game, even when throwing off-platform. He leaned on his arm and only flashed his athleticism when necessary. His decision-making was also notable. No decision is imminent regarding the position, but Collins proved himself to be an appealing option at this point.

LSU Spring Game

Photo courtesy: Getty Images



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