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What Does The Future Hold For LSU?

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Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. are both juniors, but unlikely to return to the program following the 2013 season. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.
Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. are both juniors, but unlikely to return to the program following the 2013 season. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.

Tiger Nation may be reeling from their third consecutive loss to Alabama this past weekend, but LSU can still finish with a 10-win season. Not bad considering most pundits thought 2013 to be a rebuilding year. Since LSU has been eliminated from winning any championships — division, conference, or national — winning 10 games becomes paramount for recruiting and building for the future.

The Tigers are approaching another bye week so they should have plenty of time to lick their wounds and prepare to stop Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M. LSU’s last two games of the season will be at home. Then they can land anywhere from the Outback Bowl to the Music City Bowl depending on the outcome of the final two contests.

Just like LSU had to replace virtually its entire defense from last year, the same will be true of the offense for 2014. Starting with the skill players: Quarterback Zach Mettenberger, running back Alfred Blue, and fullbacks J.C. Copeland and Connor Neighbors are seniors. Star receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry are juniors, but it would be a surprise to see either one return next year given the numbers they are producing this fall. In addition, receivers Kadron Boone and James Wright will exhaust their eligibility at the end of the 2013 season.

The offensive line should return four starters for 2014, but it is unclear if left tackle La’el Collins will come back to Baton Rouge for his senior season. If he chooses to turn pro, LSU will have to replace the left side of its line as guard Josh Williford is a senior. At least the tight end position should be set with the return of Travis Dickson, Logan Stokes and Dillon Gordon.

This means offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and Les Miles will lean on the running game next season until a quarterback and a new group of receivers can develop. Fortunately for the Tigers, starting tailback Jeremy Hill is just a sophomore and poised to lead the LSU offense in 2014. The trick will be for Hill to keep his nose clean during the offseason and avoid the embarrassing mistakes that have sidelined him throughout his brief career with the Bayou Bengals.

We all know Les Miles can recruit. LSU’s 2014 class is currently ranked just outside the Top 10 according to ESPN Recruiting Nation. It would be great if the Tigers can obtain some skill players capable of contributing immediately. I am sure Les Miles will use this pitch when promoting his program to those young men.