No. 13 – LSU’s 2016 season saw them fire Les Miles and promote Ed Orgeron to head coach. Coach O will enter 2017 as the head coach of the future. They also hired Matt Canada as the new OC, and he plans to take LSU’s offense in a completely new direction. Orgeron and the Tigers recruited the 7th best class in the country, featuring 5 star safety Jacoby Stevens who will start 2017 as a wideout for the offense.
The biggest issue this offseason has been injuries to key pieces on the team. Superstar defensive end Arden Key will miss camp with an off-season shoulder injury, and the question remains if he will be back in time for the start of the season. Key broke the single-season sack record for the tigers with 12, and is a top-tier NFL draft prospect. One player who could either take his spot during his absence, or play opposite of him is incoming freshman K’Lavon Chaisson. Chaisson is the 4th rated defensive end out of Houston, Texas and at 6’4, 200 he looks like a LSU prototype.
Aside from Key’s injury. The Tigers defense is ready to make strides with a new crew leading it. They have to replace Jamal Adams, Tre’Davious White and Duke Riley. Four-star ILB Jacob Phillips looks to step in and earn reps as a true freshman, and at 6’3- 230 he will be a handful for offensive lineman.
When Leonard Fournette went down, the Tigers offense was expected to take a huge hit, but Derrius Guice stepped up in a way nobody expected. He broke out for 1400 yards on less than 200 carries. His big game was the 37 carry, 285 yard game against Texas A&M, in which LSU stomped the Aggies 54-39. Guice will look to build on the 2016 campaign and will compete for a Heisman trophy.
Some key games for the Tigers in 2017
Oct. 7 – LSU @ Florida – Gainesville, FL
Oct. 14- LSU vs Auburn – Baton Rouge, LA
Nov. 4 – LSU @ Alabama – Tuscaloosa, AL