LSU spring game 2018: Players and storylines to watch

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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BATON ROUGE, LA – OCTOBER 14: Clyde Edwards-Helaire (22) (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
BATON ROUGE, LA – OCTOBER 14: Clyde Edwards-Helaire (22) (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

Players to Watch

Clyde Edwards-Helaire – sophomore, running back/return specialist

At 5’8″, 190 pounds, Clyde Edwards-Helaire isn’t the prototypical LSU running back we’ve grown accustomed to over the last several years. And with only nine career carries, he’s stepping into a leading role as much more of an unproven commodity than almost any recent predecessors. As a freshman, he also appeared in 10 games on special teams, returning 13 kickoffs and averaging almost twenty yards per return.

Senior Nick Brossette has more experience and will get his share of touches in the running game. Brossette will be steady, consistent, and fits the LSU running back prototype at 6’0,” 210 pounds, but he doesn’t have Edwards-Helaire’s elusiveness or breakaway speed.

He won’t be running over or through tacklers the way Leonard Fournette and Derrius Guice did the last three seasons but he’s a slippery, extremely balanced runner, and makes defenders miss, especially around the line of scrimmage and breaking into the second level of defenses. Edwards-Helaire is also a solid receiver out of the backfield and should be used quite a bit in the passing game, especially with LSU trotting out a first-year starter at quarterback.

Terrace Marshall – freshman, wide receiver

Marshall was the prize of LSU’s 2018 recruiting class and is one of nine early enrollees participating in spring practice. Although he’s still recovering from a serious ankle injury suffered early in the fall, the former five-star prospect has been a full participant so far, living up to the hype, even at 85 percent, according to Orgeron.

The Bayou Bengals signed four receivers in 2018 but Marshall is by far the biggest name. We’d be seeing him early and often this fall either way but he’ll certainly benefit from having a full spring under his belt before the rest of the freshman receivers join him on campus this summer.

The offensive coaching staff will likely be more concerned with protecting him than unleashing him in the spring game so he may be used sparingly, but Marshall is the kind of player who only needs one play to make his mark on a game.

He isn’t an incredibly physical receiver at 6’2,” 190 pounds, but he has great hands, makes plays with the ball in the air, and probably his greatest asset — he can absolutely fly. Marshall has the speed to torch SEC corners in man to man and he also has the kind of run after the catch ability to turn a screen or slant up the field and outrun all eleven players on a defense. Whoever gets the nod at quarterback will be lucky to have him catching passes.

Returning Leaders (three starters on offense, five starters on defense)