BR.FloridaLSU.112016 HS 2290.JPG

LSU quarterback Danny Etling (16) and LSU offensive lineman K.J. Malone (63) are two of three seniors that LSU's offense will count on this year.

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK

This is part of a 10-part series counting down to the start of LSU's preseason camp July 31. One part is being published each day beginning July 21 and running through July 30.

QB Danny Etling

Career numbers: 22 starts, 27 TDs, 17 INTs, 57 percent completion percentage

Count on 'em: The presumed starter at the most important position on the field, Etling heads into his fifth season of college football loaded with experience and knowledge of the game. He started 10 games last season and 12 more during a two-year stint at Purdue. Etling has proved to be a stable leader who combats his lack of five-star talent with intelligence. He's a savvy player who last season gave the Tigers their most accurate passer since Zach Mettenberger in 2013. 

LT K.J. Malone

Career numbers: 12 starts, 70-plus knockdown blocks

Count on 'em: Malone nearly left football over the offseason, but coaches persuaded him to stay on and serve as the Tigers' left tackle for a second straight season. He played the second-most regular-season snaps of any lineman last year, anchoring the left side to protect quarterbacks Brandon Harris and Danny Etling. Karl Malone's son struggled early before progressing by season's end. He helped LSU's offensive line rank as the nation's best, according to Pro Football Focus. 

+1 
lsufootball.042317 HS 1198.JPG

Receiver D.J. Chark (7) and Russell Gage are the two-most experienced guys on LSU's team.

WR D.J. Chark

Career numbers: 26 catches, 466 yards

Count on 'em: The Alexandria native bypassed the NFL draft after last season, returning to lead a young and inexperienced receiving corps. He's the Tigers' go-to guy in the air — and potentially on the ground, too: Chark will likely be one of a handful of players taking jet sweeps, an integral play in new coordinator Matt Canada's offense. Chark broke onto the scene last season. He entered 2016 with no career catches and finished with 26, taking advantage of defenses that didn't know his name. He won't have that luxury in 2017. 


Camp Primers

Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter, @RossDellenger.