LSU has had significant changes on the coaching staff, offense, defense and even the schedule.

So there’s a lot of uncertainty as the start of preseason camp looms. The biggest question is, can the Tigers contend in the always-challenging SEC West?

That remains to be seen, and whether they do will depend in large part on how well they are able to answer these other questions:

1. Will the place-kicking be more dependable?

The Tigers went back and forth between Jack Gonsoulin and Connor Culp and never found a dependable field-goal kicker last season. The pair made a combined 16-of-27 field goals. Both are back, and LSU is counting on improvement from them. The Tigers were proactive in signing graduate transfer Cole Tracy, who made 27-of-29 field goals with Division II Assumption College last season to try and upgrade the position.

2. Will Devin White have enough help so he doesn’t have to make 10 or more tackles every game?

White finished second in the SEC with 133 tackles last season, which showed just how good he was and how inconsistent the defense was at times. He was one of the better linebackers in the SEC, but LSU’s defense usually doesn’t have to lean on one player that much. The Tigers have talent throughout the defense and are hopeful that young players are ready to give White more help than he had last season.

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3. Will someone emerge at cornerback to complement Greedy Williams?

Last year opponents threw away from Donte Jackson and early on they saw Williams as an inviting target as a freshman. But Williams was ready for the challenge, sharing the SEC lead with six interceptions. Now it’s Williams that opponents will be reluctant to test and someone, perhaps Jontre Kirklin or Kary Vincent, will be challenged as Williams was last season.

4. Will the defensive line be elite?

The line will be the strength of the defense and maybe the strength of the team. But will it be one of the elite units in the SEC and perhaps the country? It has that potential with Rashard Lawrence and Ed Alexander returning and Breiden Fehoko and  Tyler Shelvin arriving. If the line fully realizes its potential, then LSU might be able to exceed the relatively modest expectations most prognosticators have for it.

5. Is a relatively young team ready to handle an extremely challenging schedule?

A lot of other questions will have to be answered positively in order for this one to be answered in the affirmative. Miami and Georgia join the usual SEC gauntlet of Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Texas A&M and Mississippi State to give the Tigers what appears to be one of the more challenging schedules in the country. Additionally they don’t ease into it, opening with Miami and visiting Auburn 13 days later.

6. Are the young receivers ready to help out Jonathan Giles?

Giles is a former 1,000-yard receiver at Texas Tech and should be a big-time playmaker, but LSU has little experience behind him. Terrace Marshall is the top recruit among a group of talented youngsters. One or more unproven receivers will have to emerge and discourage opponents from consistently devoting an extra defender to Giles.

7. Will the offensive line mesh into a top-flight unit?

This unit was weakened by early departures to the NFL, but some youngsters got their feet wet last season. This figures to be a very good unit at some point during the season, but will that happen closer to Labor Day or Thanksgiving?

8. Will someone emerge as a 1,000-yard rusher?

Usually LSU has a returning 1,000-yard rusher or someone who has demonstrated the potential to be one. Perhaps Nick Brossette or Clyde Edwards-Helaire will reach or approach that milestone — or perhaps the two will form a formidable tandem — but it has been a long time since LSU entered a season with this much uncertainty at running back.

Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

9. Can the starting quarterback bring a greater playmaking ability to the position?

It might be former Ohio State quarterback Joe Burrow. Or Myles Brennan. Or Lowell Narcisse. Or maybe even Justin McMillan, if he sticks around after graduating in late July. The starting quarterback won’t be named until sometime during preseason camp, though it’s most likely to be Burrow or Brennan. But the winner will be counted on to be more of a playmaker than Danny Etling was, though Etling’s maturity and ability to avoid major mistakes enabled him to hold on to the job for nearly two full seasons.

10. Will Steve Ensminger’s offense be more reliable than Matt Canada’s?

All those other questions on offense lead to this one. Canada was supposed to upgrade the offense when he arrived as coordinator last season, and at times the Tigers thrived. But they were never consistent and head coach Ed Orgeron soured on Canada and his scheme in September. So Canada has moved on to Maryland and Orgeron promoted Ensminger from tight ends coach for a second time.

LSU was explosive under Ensminger during the final eight games of 2016 when Orgeron took over for Les Miles and dumped Cam Cameron in favor of Ensminger. Orgeron is more comfortable with Ensminger’s scheme, which is more of a West Coast, pro-style set than Canada’s emphasis or shifting formations and misdirection. This offense is a better fit with Orgeron’s wants, but it’s still dependent on a lot of unproven skill players.