LSU linebacker Arden Key said he won’t play his senior season so he can enter the NFL Draft early.
Tigers running Derrius Guice then said he will do the same.
That means the guys who would have been the most prominent players on next season’s LSU team won’t be hanging around Baton Rouge.
So other players must emerge as the faces of the Tigers program in 2018. Here are five candidates:
LB Devin White
He led the SEC in tackles during the regular season as a sophomore in 2017 and figures to be one of the top defensive players in the country as a junior. The Tigers have been known more for Dave Aranda’s defense than their inconsistent offense, and the defense figures to be the signature unit again in 2018. White isn’t the flashiest player, but he makes tackles by the dozen and will lead next year’s defense as well.
CB Greedy Williams
LSU likes to call itself DBU (Defensive Back University) because it has sent so many prominent defensive backs to the NFL, e.g. Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu, Jamal Adams and Tre’Davious White. Williams will be a third-year sophomore in 2018, but he established himself as one of the most prominent Tigers when he led the SEC with six interceptions as a redshirt freshman.
DL Rashard Alexander
LSU doesn’t call itself DLU, but it has turned out some pretty good defensive linemen as well, e.g. Michael Brockers, Ricky Jean Francois, Bennie Logan and Kyle Williams. Alexander probably would have been one of the faces of the 2017 team if two ankle injuries hadn’t slowed him. Assuming he’s healthy in 2018 he should be one of the top defensive linemen in the SEC if not the country.
C Will Clapp
Offensive linemen generally aren’t the face of a team, but Clapp, if he returns for his senior season as expected, will unquestionably be one of the leaders on an offense devoid of proven talent at the skill positions. He was one of the leaders last season even with a senior quarterback (Danny Etling), two senior wide receivers (D.J. Chark and Russell Gage), a junior running back (Guice) and a senior running back (Darrel Williams) as the top skill players on the offense.
QB Myles Brennan
The quarterback is almost always going to be the face of any team and whoever starts for the Tigers next season should be no exception. Brennan saw very limited action behind Danny Etling as a true freshman, but he’s the favorite to be the starter next season. Lowell Narcisse will compete for the starting position and, depending on what OC Steve Ensminger wants, Brennan and Narcisse could perhaps both play. But chances are Brennan will be one of the faces of the team.