LSU's Shepard, Randle facing big springs

It’s never as simple as it seems when an offense enters the spring looking for more production.

But in the case of LSU, the first SEC team to open spring practice next Thursday, one of the quickest ways to improve next season is finding a way to get the ball to two of their most talented players.

If you polled a cross-section of LSU fans, an overwhelming majority would tell you that they want to see the ball in the hands of Russell Shepard and Rueben Randle next season.

And why not?

They were two of the most coveted players in America when they came out of high school a year ago. According to ESPN’s Scouts Inc., Shepard was the No. 1-rated athlete in the country, and Randle was the No. 1-rated receiver in the country.

Shepard threw for 20 touchdowns and ran for 28 his senior year of high school. Randle also played quarterback his senior year and accounted for 31 touchdowns.

It’s imperative this spring that both of those players find their place in the LSU offense. Entering their sophomore seasons, they’re the kind of playmakers who can jump-start this LSU offense if they’re properly used.

Last season, Shepard had 45 rushing attempts and caught five passes. Randle caught 11 passes. They had four touchdowns between them.

Look for their combined number of touches to swell to well over 100 in 2010, which means their combined touchdowns total should climb into double figures as well.