FIVE (NEW) STORYLINES
The new offense
In a way, this will be LSU’s fourth different offense in the past 18 months. The Tigers started off the 2016 season with Les Miles and Cam Cameron’s pro-style scheme, moved to a more versatile offense under interim coordinator Ensminger and then switched to Matt Canada’s motion-filled system last year. Ensminger’s 2018 offense is somewhat shrouded in secrecy, but a few things are known: it will lean on what Ensminger calls the team’s strength (receiver) and will operate out of a shotgun and 1-back set,
The new quarterback
With LSU, this position seems to be a yearly storyline. In 2018, it’s more serious of an issue. LSU enters a season without having a quarterback on the roster who’s started at least one game for the first time since 2012, Zach Mettenberger’s first season as the team’s starter. Sophomore Myles Brennan is a heavy favorite to win the nod as Danny Etling’s replacement. After all, he beat out his two competitors, Lowell Narcisse and Justin McMillan, for the No. 2 job last August after being on campus for two months.
The new coaches
Orgeron’s staff saw sweeping changes, including the following: a couple of familiar faces in new roles (former support staff members Greg McMahon and Jerry Sullivan are special teams coordinator and pass-game coordinator, respectively), a new face in a new role (Bill Busch as safeties coach), a new face in an old role (James Cregg as O-line coach) and two old faces in different roles (Dennis Johnson moves from coaching outside linebackers to D-line, and Ensminger takes over QBs and offensive coordinator).
The new players
LSU welcomed in nine 2018 signees in January. Four are expected to compete for starting spots: Cole Tracey (center) and junior college transfers Badara Traore (tackle), Damien Lewis (guard/center) and Travez Moore (B-OLB). Two have tough fights at stacked positions: ILB Micah Baskerville and TE Zach Sheffer. One is making waves this offseason and could see a crack as a returner: RB Tae Provens. Finally, two are healing up from fall injuries: WR Terrace Marshall (nearing 100%) and DE Davin Cotton (expected to join team toward end of spring).
The new (and now eligible) players
Three players transferred last spring from the FBS level, having to sit last season in accordance with NCAA transfer rules. They include DE Breiden Fehoko (Texas Tech), WR Jonathan Giles (Texas Tech) and TE Thaddeus Moss (NC State). Fehoko and Giles are expected to start this season for the Tigers, something Orgeron revealed in January. The hype around both players is significant. Meanwhile, Moss is more of a pass-catching tight end who’s expected to compliment the versatile Foster Moreau.