Chat with Gary Laney
Welcome to GeauxTigerNation! On Tuesday, reporter Gary Laney stops by to chat about the state of LSU football.
Laney joined ESPN.com in 2012 after spending a year and a half as online sports editor of the Baton Rouge Advocate. Before that, he covered LSU sports for the Advocate. He has also been the sports editor at the Beaumont (Texas) Enterprise and covered McNeese State athletics for the Lake Charles (La.) American Press. Laney currently lives in Baton Rouge, La.
Send your questions now and join Laney Tuesday at 1 p.m. CT/2 p.m. ET!
LSU has tough road games @ GA and @ AL, but they have FL and A&M at home. Do you think they'll finish better than 10-2 ?
Gary Laney (2:09 PM)
I've been seeing this as a 9-3 kind of season ever since last season ended. This is a team capable of being better -- 11-1 isn't out of the question -- but given the schedule, I think 9-3 is reasonable. You forgot to add TCU in Arlington, which is almost like a road game, except that the neutral stadium will give LSU fans more access to tickets.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What College Football Freshmen so you think will be the Best for LSU in 2013?
Gary Laney (2:13 PM)
I really like Tre'Davious White's chances of getting on the field early and doing well. Rashard Robinson is another, but he still has academic work to do. And the six freshmen who came early will all have a chance to make an impact.
Joe Dirt (Denham Springs)
What are the chances LSU gets a commitment at this camp this week?
Gary Laney (2:16 PM)
The offers have gone out to really young kids who I think will let the process play out. There is a fullback in camp that I'll touch on later who, if he got offered, might jump on the offer. But there's no offer as of yet.
Henry (Montgomery, AL)
Does focusing on local/in-state talent hurt LSU in the long run?
Gary Laney (2:20 PM)
I'd say just the opposite. By fostering the football culture in Louisiana, it assures LSU that young kids in a talent-rich state will be more inclined to concentrate on football and be the foundation for more good teams. It's a common dream in Louisiana to play for the state school and compete for national championships and so long as LSU succeeds at bringing these kids to campus, there's a decent chance of that happening year-in, year-out.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Does LSU bring another CWS trophy back to Baton Rouge?
Gary Laney (2:24 PM)
I like LSU's chances. They are very good defensively. Pitching is strong and they compete hard at the plate. This team is complete. I do question whether they might struggle putting up big innings, but it's going to be hard to put up a big inning against them too.
Owen (Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)
It looks like Louisiana has a bumper crop of blue chips at all positions...will LSU get them all or will Alabama, A&M and Texas skim off the elite offensive players who do not want to play under Les Miles
Gary Laney (2:28 PM)
I haven't heard of any top Louisiana recruit who is specifically cold on the current LSU staff. There are guys who are considering other schools who are high on, say, Saban or Sumlin, but that's not necessarily implying an anti-Miles stance. One might hold Miles in high regard and hold Saban in a higher regard. I think there are a lot of Louisiana prospects where that is possible, but I can't think of any who outright don't want to play for Miles.
How is the young defensive line shaping up? Can they hold up against the likes of A&M and Alabama? Not to mention Ga.........
Gary Laney (2:30 PM)
Going back to Owen's question for a minute. One other thought: There are a few spots where Louisiana is a little thin. For example, if LSU sees Willis and Godchaux as defensive tackles, which seems to be the case, the state may lack ends, although LSU might take Garrald McDowell at end, but that's yet to be determined.
Gary Laney (2:32 PM)
Gary -- The defensive line really does look the part, but it's an issue of what happens when the lights come on. There's an old saying in baseball that some hitters are 1 o'clock hitters for 3 o'clock games, meaning they look great at batting practice, but can't hit once the fans are in the stands and the pitches are for real. I think that's where we are with the young defensive line. We know there are plenty of guys that look the part, but the only way we'll know how that translates to game production is to put another team across from them, some fans in the stands and see how they do.
Zach Mettenberger (The Hot Seat)
Will Devonte Fields being suspended for our game give me the time I need to torch the Horned Frog seondary and silence some of my critics from day one?
Gary Laney (2:36 PM)
Can't hurt. When I saw that suspension I was thinking this was shades of the North Carolina game a few years back when the Heels seemed to have half their team suspended. Of course, LSU barely hung on to win that one. So this shouldn't lead to any complacency on LSU's part.
Stephen Gauthier (Arlington, VA)
How does Cam Cameron's arrival change LSU's offense which has been a mostly run based attack in recent years?
Gary Laney (2:39 PM)
The impression I get is that it's a little more matchup oriented, which means it will be more pass oriented. If they feel like they can get a back lined up against a defender who can't keep up with him in space, they'll line up the back wide and try to exploit that more than they have in the pass. That alone should make this more of a throwing team because it will look for these mismatches in space.
Joe Dirt (Denham Springs)
Who's the best 2015 running back on LSU's board?
Gary Laney (2:44 PM)
It might be a little early to talk about what national targets they are after, but Louisiana again has a couple of elite running backs. Right now, Nick Brossette from on-campus University Lab has the most accomplished resume in the state and I expect him to be very high on recruiting lists. He'll be in the 2015 range and he's just a load with good feet. But Derrius Guice from Baton Rouge Catholic has a similar skill set, but might be a little faster, so he might have a hair more upside. At this week's camp, we've had a chance to see David Ducre, a bruising man among boys from Mandeville Lakeshore. He could be a fast riser in this class. Very physical back.
Scott (Los Angeles)
Has there been any specific word on Cam working with Zac on timing and release? SEC defenses won't give him much time to decide. For some reason, this has been a problem with QBs ever since Matt Flynn left.
Gary Laney (2:49 PM)
You saw it every day in the spring. Cam wanted guys to work quickly, from the tempo of practice to how quickly they went through their progressions. It almost looked like they tied together. I do think it's a priority with Cameron.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Bigger question mark entering the season for LSU, DL or LB?
Gary Laney (2:54 PM)
The linebackers are in great shape, I think. A lot of young linebackers got their feet wet and have a certain amount of "been there" about them. A lot of the defensive linemen may be a little wide-eyed in Arlington for the opener.
I assume Jeremy Hill is effectively out of the picture ?
Gary Laney (2:57 PM)
I don't think that's a safe assumption at this point. If the legal case resolves in Hill's favor, then I can see Hill in an LSU uniform this fall with minimal suspension time. I doubt if he plays against TCU. Beyond that, I think there are a lot of possibilities.
Gary Laney (2:58 PM)
That's all the time we have for this week. Thanks for all the questions and join me at the same time next week.
Gary Laney (2:59 PM)
Sorry for the slower than usual responses. We had a little bit of a technical issue. Don't forget, I'll take more questions for Friday's mailbag at @glaneyespn on twitter or email@example.com. Have a great day!