LSU has a lot going for it going into this season.

It returns nearly all of its top players from last season.

It added one of the top recruiting classes in the country.

It has the potential to excel on offense, defense and special teams.

It appears invigorated by a series of changes to the coaching staff.

But …

The Tigers do have some buts to contend with. There are concerns lurking amid all the optimism.

Here are the 5 biggest concerns I have about LSU in 2021:

1. The quarterback depth

Max Johnson and Myles Brennan were expected to battle for the starting position during preseason camp. Then Brennan was sidelined indefinitely by a broken humerus bone in his non-throwing arm.

So Johnson is the starter for the foreseeable future. He played very well while starting the last 2 games of last season and has the confidence of the coaches and his teammates.

But what if he’s unable to recapture that 2-week magic week in and week out while Brennan mends?

What if he, like Brennan, is sidelined by injury?

LSU does not have second healthy, experienced scholarship quarterback on its roster.

It does have true freshman 4-star recruit Garrett Nussmeier, but he’s not ready to lead this team.

If he were, Orgeron wouldn’t have declared Johnson the starter almost as soon as Brennan was hurt.

2. The offensive line depth

The starting offensive line should be good, though not necessarily great.

If the starting 5 – Cameron Wire, Ed Ingram, Liam Shanahan, Chasen Hines and Austin Deculus – stays intact, the line should be fine. But nobody wants all 5 starters to have to play every snap when game outcomes are undecided.

They want to build quality depth by giving starters periodic breaks, so backups can contribute.

LSU has several backups who appear capable of evolving into good players, but each is a true freshman or a veteran who has yet to make a mark in games.

Sophomore Anthony Bradford, redshirt freshman Marcus Dumervil and true freshman Garrett Dellinger figure to be key players at tackle down the road, sophomore Xavier Hill shows promise as a potential guard or tackle and sophomores Charles Turner and Marlon Martinez have potential on the interior.

So things look promising for the future, but multiple players need to emerge as dependable backups between now and the start of SEC play.

3. Unproven wide receivers behind Boutte

Kayshon Boutte figures to be one of the top receivers in the SEC. There are numerous highly touted receivers behind him.

But …

Are older players such as senior Jontre Kirklin and juniors Jaray Jenkins, Trey Palmer and Devonta Lee merely late bloomers?

Is Koy Moore ready to break out as a sophomore after arriving in Boutte’s considerable shadow last year?

Will 1 or more of the heralded true freshmen – Deion Smith, Chris Hilton Jr., Malik Nabers, Chris Hilton Jr. and Jack Bech – be ready to contribute right away?

No one knows – and that’s a concern.

4. Leadership at linebacker

Orgeron said before spring practice that the linebacking unit had to improve significantly over last season.

They showed progress in the spring, and then Mike Jones Jr. transferred from Clemson and might become a starter.

Micah Baskerville could also start and it remains to be seen exactly what Damone Clark’s role will be. Andre Anthony is back for a sixth season, BJ Ojulari also returns and Navonteque Strong is a highly regarded JUCO recruit.

New linebackers coach Blake Baker has a lot of interesting pieces, but just a few weeks to figure out how the puzzle comes together.

5. A freshman punter

If you’re going to hand your punting job over to a true freshman, you couldn’t do much better than Peyton Todd.

He was the No. 1-rated punting prospect in the country and at 6-6, he has a strong leg and a proven ability to drop the ball inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.

He should be fine, but he is a freshman.

Any freshman mistakes at that position could be costly.