RB Joseph Addai

2004 Statistics

Coach: Les Miles
1st year
2004 Record: 9-3
at Auburn LOST 9-10
at Georgia LOST 16-45
at Florida WON 24-21
TROY WON 24-20
at Arkansas WON 43-14
vs. Iowa LOST 25-30

2004 Final Rankings
AP-16, Coaches-16, BCS-11

2005 Outlook

The pomp and circumstance of Les Mile's hiring and another solid recruiting year has Tiger fans thinking championship, but those thoughts are a bit premature. A new coach and the need for redemption will generate excitement in Baton Rouge, though, and the Tigers will be a favorite to be in Atlanta come December. On paper, the offense looks as good as any east of Los Angeles. However, no one suspected the last group could underachieve as much as it did in big games during its title defense (nine points at Auburn, 16 at Georgia). Recruiting "titles" rarely translate to BCS titles, so for all of the Tigers' weapons, it will take an imaginative game-plan by Miles to make use of that talent.

With lowered expectations, the defense should surprise people, though it won't win as many games again without Saban around. Success nevertheless, will be more a matter of executing in the clutch, something they couldn't do in the final minute against Auburn or Iowa. The schedule is favorable with only one real road test (Alabama). A deep talent-pool ensures that more than two losses will be shocking. A perfect run through the SEC though, would be just as great a surprise.

The burden classically falls on Russell to recognize and/or find his/the team's enormous talent, and then play with a composure that belies his age. The offense will outscore its 2004 counterpart but not without at least one game where Russell & Co. look lost. This means comebacks are in the cards. Defensively, the group must gel quickly and learn to swarm, since individually, they can't count on a Lionel Turner again for 100+ tackles. Fortunately, the o-line and backs will control the clock so the defense should again be on the field for the fewest plays in the conference.

Saban, like Les Miles, came in from a state school that, at the time, wasn't even that state's best team, only to soon lead the Tigers to prominence. Miles proved he, too, could make an overmatched Oklahoma State team competitive amongst the big boys. Now, like Saban, he is suddenly one of the big boys. File this one under 'you'd better watch just what you wish for'…he'll find out just how hot the coaching seat gets in the SEC. But when it's all over, fans will again be delighted with the exciting, top-ten team their new coach puts on the field. Laissez les bon temps roulette…in the red stick.

Projected 2005 record: 9-2
QB - 3.5 DL - 4.5
RB - 5 LB - 4
WR - 5 DB - 4
OL - 4.5 ..

Passing: JaMarcus Russell, 144-73-4, 1053 yds., 9 TD

Alley Broussard, 142 att., 867 yds., 10 TD

Receiving: Craig Davis, 43 rec., 659 yds., 1 TD

Scoring: Alley Broussard, 10 TD, 60 pts.

Punting: Chris Jackson, 50 punts, 40.0 avg.

Kicking: Chris Jackson, 11-17 FG, 15-20 PAT, 48 pts.

Tackles: LaRon Landry, 92 tot., 53 solo

Sacks: Kyle Williams, Claude Wroten, 6 each

Interceptions: LaRon Landry, 4 for 51 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Skyler Green, 11 ret., 22.6 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Skyler Green, 25 ret., 9.7 avg., 1 TD


DT Claude Wroten
OFFENSE: Marcus Randall-QB, Ben Wilkerson-C
DEFENSE: Marcus Spears-DE, Lionel Turner-MLB, Corey Webster-CB, Travis Daniels-CB, Brian West-DE

Versatile RS sophomore JaMarcus Russell was supposed to confuse opposing SEC defenses. Instead, it was the Tigers who shook their heads at his spotty QB play. Russell's strong arm, 6'6" size and 4.7 speed are undermined by a lack of poise and leadership; his finest moments have all been in coming off the bench. Now, though, he'll become "the guy" for 60 minutes only by embracing his own athleticism. Too often, Russell sits in the pocket to prove he can win with his arm, rather than exploiting coverage zones with timely runs. Admire Russell for trying not to lose games as an inexperienced freshman. However, his dismal -41yds rushing reflect a willingness to take avoidable sacks. With a great line and a fresh offense, Russell will flourish, even as he's pressured by back-ups Matt Flynn and incoming freshman phenom Ryan Perrilloux. Flynn can air it out (9.9 yds/att) but is hampered by inexperience. All-everything Perrilloux put up over 5,000yds of offense as a dual-threat blue-chipper and stirred controversy with his declaration that LSU coaches were worried about the current quarterbacks' consistency. With all of the Tigers' weapons and new coaching, the steadiest QB wins this position battle. That will initially be the game-tested Russell, whose mastery of a new system could take him to SEC stardom.

Running Back
The backfield remains an embarrassment of riches, only with a reshuffled depth chart. Junior Alley Broussard rose from afterthought to record-setter with an uncanny ability to find the endzone. His bruising style brands him the go-to guy in the red-zone (five one-yard TDs), but his 74yd TD scamper in the bowl shows he's anything but a one-dimensional back. Flexible senior Joseph Addai won't have to worry about that label either. He's equally adept at gaining big chunks on the ground or through the air. The team's third leading receiver makes an ideal third-down back with a knack for the big grab in the clutch (three 20+yd TD rec. in November). Junior Justin Vincent, a hero on their national championship squad, must earn back playing time by returning his yards-per-carry to those astronomical numbers that led the Tigers in 2003. Broussard's durability though, will keep him the feature back. The Tigers will be most successful with Vincent providing him an explosive breather as Addai creates match-up problems with linebackers unable to cover this speedster. Blocking specialist FB Kevin Steltz is solid, plus, Broussard doesn't need much help. All of the backs are multiple dimensional, which mean this unit will not be stopped often, if at all.

The underused receiving corps should be drooling at the chance to play for the offensive-minded Miles. He will open things up and give this deep and talented group a chance to make plays. No one does that better than junior Dwayne Bowe. A monster at 6'4", Bowe believes he has a chance for six on every pass. He's deadly on jump balls and as the bowl proved, he's earned Russell's trust as the featured guy. Senior Skyler Green should be 100% again and will find any seam underneath with his unparalleled speed. Craig Davis remains the unsung hero. Without the physical stats or blue-chip pedigree, Davis simply led the team in yards and receptions as a prototypical possession receiver. The wild cards are sophomores Xavier Carter and Early Doucet. Each is a burner who showed flashes of brilliance in limited action. A year under their belts will improve their route-running to develop this explosive duo by late-season. (Doucet will blossom first as Carter splits time with track.)

Tight End
Keith Zinger and David Jones know their roles; block and let the speedsters catch the ball. The collective unit has the most depth and talent in the SEC; solid QB play will make them the most productive.

Offensive Line
As on the d-line, a wealth of experience and depth returns, minus a critical leader. Senior Rudy Niswanger slides over to center in place of NFL-bound Ben Wilkerson and will develop a rapport with Russell in a hurry. Niswanger started at four different spots on the line, but versatility must become virtuosity as he takes charge in the middle. Expect the academic all-American to quickly pick up the mental aspects and, after a team-high 22 pancakes, he'll attract all-SEC attention. It will be many all-America honors, however, for senior LT Andrew Whitworth (NC.net second-teamer). A starter in every game he's played, Whitworth could be the first Tiger ever to start 50 games, a testament to extraordinary physical talent and consistency (team high 793 plays, only one sack allowed). Senior Nate Livings will likely move to RT to form a scary pair. The guards have taken fewer snaps, but have game-experience and solid technique, so that won't be a weak link. This Saban-recruited huge line, averaging 6'5", 310, will continue to be the SEC's best run-blockers and can only improve on their SEC-high of 33 sacks allowed.

After an added year experience, its time for the recently-hyped recruiting classes to shine. Even with a new coach, offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher remains, providing continuity for Russell as Les Miles preaches a more explosive offense. Everything is in place to dominate. For opposing defenses, they must harass Russell into turnovers or else they will pick their poison. In rhythm, the offense will be impossible to stop with its depth. Broussard can bang away inside, Addai provides a check-down option and at any time, the stable of thoroughbred receivers can run by helpless safeties. And, what about when they look like they will run (two backs), only to employ the backs into a four- or five-man spread? Look out…Yet, these weapons are only dangerous if Miles takes off the reins that Saban held so tightly. Given freedom, Russell will take shots deep and scramble when plays break down. There is no way to defend that. By not rotating QBs, Russell can provide/develop a much-needed identity, his own and the team's. Only with his improved poise will LSU match its championship-year offensive output.


OT Andrew Whitworth


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB JaMarcus Russell-So (6-5, 222) Matt Flynn-So (6-2, 220)
FB Jacob Hester-So (6-0, 240) Kevin Steltz-Sr (5-11, 260)
RB Alley Broussard-Jr (6-1, 220) Joseph Addai-Sr (5-11, 210)
Justin Vincent-Jr (5-11, 200)
WR Skyler Green-Sr (5-10, 180) Craig Davis-Jr (6-2, 195)
Xavier Carter-So (6-3, 190)
WR Dwayne Bowe-Jr (6-3, 202) Early Doucet-So (6-1, 210)
Amp Hill-So (6-3, 200)
TE David Jones-Sr (6-4, 260) Keith Zinger-Jr (6-5, 260)
OT Andrew Whitworth-Sr (6-7, 310) Ryan Miller-Fr (6-6, 320)
OG Brett Helms-Fr (6-4, 300) Terrell McGill-Sr (6-4, 325)
C Rudy Niswanger-Sr (6-5, 290) Ryan Miller-Fr (6-6, 320)
OG Brian Johnson-Jr (6-4, 307) Will Arnold-So (6-4, 320)
OT Nate Livings-Sr (6-5, 313) Herman Johnson-Fr (6-7, 350)
K Chris Jackson-Jr (5-11, 175) Ryan Gaudet-Jr (5-10, 165)



Defensive Line
No shoes will be tougher to fill than those of DE Marcus Spears. Even after superb seasons by DTs Claude Wroten (NC.net second-team all-American) and Kyle Williams, these seniors must prove they can control the line without the scary Spears attracting double-teams. The two already rose to the challenge of Chad Lavalais' departure by each finishing in the nation's top 20 in sacks while plugging holes for the country's third stingiest defense. These 6'3" stalwarts in the middle won't let altered blocking schemes prevent them from pressuring opposing QBs - they disrupt early and often. All they need is solid play from senior Melvin Oliver and junior Brian West. Oliver's first-step is reminiscent of Spears' and gives the Tigers a quick, experienced edge-rusher often occupying two opposing linemen. By mid-season, he'll be among the SEC leaders in hurries, too. Teams will test the undersized West (270lbs), but he plays as tough as anyone. With speedy Kirston Pittman and a host of talented sophs waiting in the wings, the line will generate pressure without blitzing and again serve as the defense's cornerstone.

This is the area of greatest concern. WLB Cameron Vaughn will fly around the football, but little else is certain, despite having a senior-laden group. E.J. Kuale should shift to MLB but will find difficulty in replacing the savvy Lionel Turner. A true strong-side LB, Kuale needs to master the defensive calls or Bo Pellini will have to throw sophomore Luke Sanders into the SEC fire. Sanders matches Vaughn's physicality and can make up for inexperience with his intangibles and work-ethic. He's not a star yet, but he'll get a chance to start with anything less than spectacular play from Kuale. Senior Kenneth Hollis can be a run-stopper at SLB but hasn't shown much else. Like Sanders, sophomore Ali Highsmith should therefore capitalize. His (4.5-sec 40) speed and ability to wrap up tackles will be a huge addition once he's comfortable in Pellini's scheme. They won't hold opponents under 100yds on the ground again, and the pressure moves to the safeties to cover-up inevitable mistakes for a unit with far too many question marks.

Defensive Back
The Tigers may have the nation's toughest and most talented safety tandem but could still be vulnerable in the secondary. Junior FS LaRon Landry is a stud whose athleticism even surprised Tiger coaches. Near the top of the SEC in tackles, he is the quintessential teammate. Landry led all SEC DBs in assisted tackles and, with his preternatural awareness, will be in on every play. A student of the game, Landry quarterbacks the defense so junior SS Jesse Daniels can roam and punish anyone with his LB physique. Fortunately, Daniels can also cover like a corner, which he may/will have to do with a thin group at CB. Ronnie Prude's clearance for another season was a huge boost, but he doesn't have the speed to be left on an island. Mario Stevenson's rapid depth chart ascension means his grasp of the position is catching up to his athleticism, but highly-regarded recruit Chris Hawkins will still step up right away. Expect fewer big plays from Landry and fewer turnovers as he and Daniels 'baby sit' the corners.

Statistically, Saban's recent Tiger defenses will be unrealistic to try to match. Bo Pellini is a gifted defensive mind; however, installing a new scheme with so many seniors is a huge hurdle. They won't likely be among the nation's best again, but there should be little drop-off in points-allowed if the group bears down in the red-zone. Unbelievably, the Tigers were among the top three in the SEC in every other defensive category but were second worst in the red zone (84.4%). Better conditioning will strengthen the Tigers at the end of long drives and will lessen the brunt of critical personnel losses. The speed and size is still there, and with an improved offense, they're solid enough to give LSU a chance to win any game.


DB LaRon Landry


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Chase Pittman-Jr (6-4, 260) Ryan Willis-Jr (6-5, 265)
DT Claude Wroten-Sr (6-3, 315) Charles Alexander-Fr (6-3, 295)
DT Kyle Williams-Sr (6-3, 288) Glenn Dorsey-So (6-2, 300)
DE Melvin Oliver-Sr (6-3, 290) Kirston Pittman-Jr (6-3, 238)
SLB E.J. Kuale-Sr (6-2, 225) Luke Sanders-So (6-4, 230)
MLB Ken Hollis-Sr (6-0, 235) Quinn Johnson-Sr (6-3, 230)
WLB Cameron Vaughn-Sr (6-4, 225) Ali Highsmith-So (6-1, 225)
CB Ronnie Prude-Sr (5-11, 176) Chevis Jackson-So (6-0, 185)
CB Sammy Joseph-Jr (5-11, 179) Mario Stevenson-Sr (6-2, 195)
SS Jessie Daniels-Jr (5-11, 200) Craig Steltz-So (6-2, 195)
FS LaRon Landry-Jr (6-2, 187) Nick Child-Jr (6-0, 165)
P Chris Jackson-Jr (5-11, 180) Patrick Fisher-Jr (6-0, 240)


Unlike at QB, the position battle at kicker was won on the field. Junior Chris Jackson's leg in key November games (51yd FG vs. Miss, 53yd long vs. Arkansas) cemented the job, but walk-on Ryan Gaudet is a sound back-up. A full-season for Jackson will improve consistency so the Tigers don't have a repeat of last year's porous 80% conversions on PATs.

Junior Patrick Fisher was no where near his high school numbers of 48yds per kick, but, with that leg and a year of facing SEC rushes, he'll improve the Tigers' punting mediocrity and relieve Jackson of his kicking double-duty.

Return Game
If Skyler Green's fully healed from his ankle-injury, he's amongst the most dangerous return man in I-A ball. Even hurt, he still scored on a 65yd return and should see more time on kick returns with improved depth at wide-receiver. Fellow senior (5'6") Shyrone Carey adds another playmaker. To completely control field position, Miles expects this young, hungry group to repeat as the SEC's best kickoff coverage unit.


According the USA Today Offensive Player of the Year Ryan Perrilloux, he will enter school and will beat out both Russell and Flynn, and then subsequently pass for over 2000 yards this fall. For now, it appears JaMarcus Russell has won the job this spring, but new head coach Les Miles has refused to name a starter until Ryan gets to Baton Rouge. Miles has been very tight-lipped when asked about his QB(s). Despite this, Russell danced with the first group in the spring game completing 17 of 30 passes for 223 yards and four TDs. Mike Flynn was on par in terms of statistics. At 6-5 and 248 pounds, Russell is much more agile than people might think. His ability to improvise has received some praise from coaches. We'll be very surprised if Russell is not starting on September 3.

Justin Vincent still shows top-flight ability, but has yet to regain the form from his impressive freshman championship season. Reserve fullback Shawn Jordan, facing charges involving steroids, has been suspended from the team.

All-SEC selection David Jones missed spring drills after undergoing shoulder surgery in the off-season. In his place have been Keith Zinger and Mit Cole. Former center Doug Planchard has spent most of spring here.

Skyler Green should be 100 percent at the start of fall practice. Speedster Xavier Carter has been racking up the receptions this spring and is set to play a primary role. Carter is a member of the LSU track team and shattered the school record in the 200 meters. Miami-native Amp Hill is back after tearing knee ligaments as a true freshman. He finally appears to be healthy for the first time in two years and is poised to become an active part of the offense. He logged four catches and a TD in the spring game.

NT Kyle Williams has become a leader this spring. Expect great things to happen with the senior. Making the biggest strides up front was highly touted 2003 recruit Kirston Pittman at DE, who snared the Most Improved Award on defense. But who replaces Marcus Spears? The likely candidate is Chase Pittman, a Texas-transfer who had to sit out last fall. His abilities were highlighted in the spring scrimmages.

SLB Cameron Vaughn has emerged as the leader of this group. Vaughn is highly thought of by the coaching staff. Kenny Hollis will assume the Mike position. It took the JUCO-transfer some time to adapt under Bo Pelini. It's become clear; Hollis is one of this team's best playmakers. "Will" is up for grabs at this point between Sanders and Highsmith, with E.J. Kuale being the favorite. But Kuale has apparently had trouble picking up the system (after coming over from junior college, much like Hollis).

Senior Ronnie Prude is one corner, but the other spot is open. Chevis Jackson got a hard look, but coaches are so far hesitant about naming a starter.

Although Chris Jackson currently holds both punting and kicking duties, Patrick Fisher is pushing for time as a punter. Much of Fisher's playing time had to do with the fact Jackson is playing third base for the LSU baseball team. Skyler Green and Early Doucet have been named the starters for returning kicks.

Jimbo Fisher looks like he is allowed to open up the offense more, as opposed to life under Nick Saban. Under new defensive coordinator Bo Pelini, the DL has been using a five-man front (utilizing a nose guard), which was not a function under Saban. Also, there seem to be fewer players rotated between snaps on defense.