LSU's five most important position battles leaving spring

On3 imageby:Matthew Brune05/04/23


LSU’s spring practices are behind them and the rest of the offseason will be about two things: Getting players healthy and in shape, and finding a few more pieces from the transfer portal.

At the moment, LSU fans have to be excited when looking at the roster of this 2023 team. With the quarterback, wide receivers, and defensive linemen all among the best in the SEC, there aren’t a lot of questions with the depth chart. Here, we’re going to be looking at the five biggest position battles left after the spring season.

1. Cornerback(s)

The question I’ve been asked more than any other over the past month, ‘Who are the starting corners?” And my best guess right now is Denver Harris and Zy Alexander, but after JK Johnson and Laterrance Welch showed out in the spring, it’s impossible to guarantee anything.

Last year, it was clear that Jarrick Bernard and Mekhi Garner were going to step in and be the starters, but there was no depth to compete with them. This year, there are four corners who can feasibly start for the Tigers. It’s a great situation to be in, but also puts a lot of pressure on the fall camp to decide how the battle shakes out. With Harris’ talent level, it’s hard to imagine him not starting, but he ran with the twos for a lot of spring. 

Take your picks, but it sets up to be the most intriguing position battle this fall.

2. Center

Charles Turner is the incumbent, but didn’t participate in the spring, further opening the competition up. Marlon Martinez was the starter throughout the spring and will be the top contender this fall. The Tigers also added Mason Lunsford from Maryland this spring who projects to also compete for the starting spot. That’s three veteran names vying for the starting center spot. It’s a good position to be in.

Right now, I’m not sure if I’d put Turner or Martinez as the favorite to win the job, but with the other four starting spots seemingly set in stone leaving the spring, it makes for the most intriguing battle on the offense by a wide margin.

3. Jack linebacker

Courtesy LSU Football, Ovie Oghoufo

With Harold Perkins at Will linebacker and Dashawn Womack at defensive end it looks like it’s Ovie Oghoufo and Bradyn Swinson battling it out for the starting Jack spot. Can they be dynamic enough? That’s a huge question mark entering the season, but both performed well in the spring game and have experience from major schools before coming to LSU.

Oghoufo is presumed to be in the lead based off of spring and his prior experience, but Swinson’s athleticism is a real threat off the edge. With the starting defensive line set and the inside linebackers comfortable with Perkins and Omar Speights, this is going to be something to watch because Matt House needs production from this spot.

4. Running back

Courtesy LSU Football, Noah Cain

After a spring where only Noah Cain and freshman Trey Holly were available, there’s been some talk about the Tigers looking to the portal and trying to find another running back and that would further open up this competition. Even if we pencil in Josh Williams as the starting running back (which should be a competition in itself), everyone else will be vying for carries. Cain is probably the leader to be RB2 right now with the uncertainty of Armoni Goodwin’s health and John Emery’s academics. The two freshmen are intriguing prospects, but it’s hard to bank on them being ready.

There are just a ton of question marks with this group right now. If they add another back from the portal, that only adds to the questions I have.

5. Backup safety

I don’t think there’s another starting position that has real competition besides maybe kicker, so we can now look at the backup safety role, which will be crucial for this team. LSU has also been rumored to be looking at some safeties in the portal to beef up the depth, but at the moment, it’s freshman Javien Toviano and second-year DB Jordan Allen.

Kerry Cooks worked out a lot of defensive backs as free safeties throughout the spring, but I think it’s OK to be concerned about the depth at safety at this moment. LSU could add an experienced safety to come in and mend those worries, but at this point, Major Burns and Greg Brooks are all they have.

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