This is a three-part series starting Thursday and ending Saturday to preview LSU's spring football practice, which is scheduled to start next Saturday.
QB Danny Etling
Stat that impresses: 5 interceptions in 269 attempts (one every 54 attempts)
Stat to improve: 11 touchdown passes (one per game)
This spring, he needs to… For one, learn Canada’s offense. Just guessing here, but Etling’s No. 1 job this spring has to be to learn a new offensive scheme and, don’t forget, help others learn the system too. Remember, Etling has a 3.9 GPA. He’s a smart kid who has the ole “coach on the field” mentality. Etling evolved into a leader last season, and he’ll need to continue to expound on that skill for a team that lost 11-12 starters from 2016.
WR D.J. Chark
Stat that impresses: 17.9 yards a catch in 2016
Stat to improve: 2.1 catches per game
This spring, he needs to … be a leader, on and off the field, for a receiving corps that lost its top two wideouts in production and experience, Malachi Dupre and Travin Dural. Chark’s catches per game should soar this season, and it needs to. The other six scholarship receivers have a combined 10 catches, with a former defensive back-turned-receiver Russell Gage leading that group with his five catches, all against Texas A&M.
CB Donte Jackson
Stat that impresses: 8 pass breakups in 2016 (highest of returning players)
Stat to improve: 7 kick returns
This spring, he needs to … help carry a secondary that lost so much from 2016. Jackson likely moves into Tre’Davious White’s spot as the Tigers’ top cornerback, a pressurized position for the track star. He also may take over as LSU’s primary kickoff and punt return man. He’s played both positions sparingly over his first two years in Baton Rouge, averaging 23.4 yards on kick returns last season while partially filling in for RB Derrius Guice.