LSU quarterback Danny Etling (16) awaits the snap in the first quarter of the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl against Louisville, Saturday, December 31, 2016, at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla.

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK

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

Year: Senior

Starts: 10

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.

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A play that was ruled defensive pass interference, LSU wide receiver D.J. Chark (82) eventually gets upended by Louisville safety Zykiesis Cannon (24) while going for a pass during the second half of the LSU-Louisville Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl football game Saturday Dec. 31, 2016, in Orlando, Fla. LSU won 29-9.

WR D.J. Chark

Year: Senior

Starts: 6

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

Year: Junior

Starts: 12

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LSU defensive back Donte Jackson (1) celebrates his interception with LSU safety John Battle (26) and LSU safety Jamal Adams (33) during the first half of the LSU Ole Miss football game Saturday Oct. 22, 2016, in Tiger Stadium.

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.

Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter, @RossDellenger.