Everyone has to grow up at some point. Unless you’re Peter Pan or one of the Lost Boys, maturation happens at some point. For some, it happens sooner than others. For LSU’s highly touted freshman class, it needs to happen Saturday.

Les Miles once again hauled in a loaded recruiting class for 2014. Rivals.com had it ranked as the No. 2 class in the nation, headlined by two five-star recruits and a host of three- and four-star players.

Already, those 18- and 19-year-old kids are making their presence felt. No fewer than six freshmen will play major roles on Saturday, making their first SEC road trip to take on the Auburn Tigers. Brandon Harris is the biggest name, making his first career start at quarterback, and he’ll be flanked by fellow freshmen Leonard Fournette at running back and Trey Quinn and Malachi Dupre at wide receiver.

Harris has already given the LSU offense a “spark,” as Miles put it, while Fournette and Dupre have begun to live up to preseason billing. Running back Darrel Williams, who’s made an impact carrying the ball already, shouldn’t be overlooked either.

While the offensive freshmen garner the headlines, the rookies on defense are going to be just as crucial to LSU’s chances of success. Defensive tackle Davon Godchaux has taken over a major role at LSU’s weakest position, and his importance has only grown with veteran Quentin Thomas missing time with an arm injury. LSU has been gashed by the run, both with and without Godchaux, and the young man from Plaquemine, La. will need to be up to task against Auburn’s zone-read running game.

Meanwhile, defensive back Jamal Adams will step into a much larger role in the absence of Dwayne Thomas, who will likely miss the rest of the season with a knee injury. With Thomas out of the picture and Ronald Martin struggling, there’s a chance Adams could earn a start on Saturday. With the way LSU has struggled against the run, Adams could be needed up near the line of scrimmage and on the back line.

It’s no easy thing to ask such young men, no matter how poised and talented they may be, to take control of a team that has an outside chance of taking the brutal SEC West. Those chances could be dashed this weekend if they’re not ready, but that’s life at LSU.

Miles has sent 18 players to the NFL from the last two iterations of his team, accelerating the need for young talent to step up. It wouldn’t be surprising if that’s part of Miles’ pitch to recruits, letting them know that if they can prove themselves they’ll be in line for major roles sooner than later in their careers.

This class of freshmen already looks special for LSU. The future is very rosy for these Tigers. A win over Auburn, led by this group of young men, would make the present just as bright.

Have LSU’s freshmen grown up enough since stepping onto campus? We’re about to find out.