This week, we’re continuing our team-by-team look at some of the intriguing freshmen on SEC teams and who among them could be instant-impact players.
DT Rashard Lawrence: The monstrous defensive tackle was the sixth-ranked defensive tackle in the 2016 recruiting class, and will be expected to contribute immediately this fall. The thing is that the Tigers actually have a pretty solid defensive line to work with already, but LSU's coaches would like Lawrence to play a lot early inside because starter Davon Godchaux isn't exactly the biggest noseguard around. Godchaux is listed at 6-foot-4 and 293 pounds, while Lawrence stands at 6-3, 309. Both of their weights will likely change before the season starts, but the staff would like to get a little more meat in the the middle of their already athletic line. Lawrence, who has a very quick first step off the line, should be able to immediately help this defense against the run. And he's also agile enough to make an impact against the pass. His speed should give the Tigers another pass-rushing option from the interior.
WR Drake Davis: The good news for the Tigers is that while there isn't any proven depth behind receivers Malachi Dupre and Travin Dural, the team welcomed true freshmen Stephen Sullivan and Dee Anderson to campus this spring. The early enrollees made nice impacts this spring, and Anderson had an excellent performance during the Tigers' spring game. But the receiver to really keep an eye on this fall is Davis. The No. 10 receiver prospect will be on campus this fall and the thought is that he has the most potential of LSU's freshman receiver crew. He combines his size with great quickness, strength and speed. He'll go up and make the tough catches, and with his soccer background (he actually played soccer instead of football as a junior), Davis should frustrate defenders with his agility. Davis could really be a major weapon for LSU's offense this fall, but some within the program have questioned the focus of the 6-4, 215-pound prospect. If Davis can stay focused, he could find an early role in an offense that needs help at receiver.