Ranking the most important LSU players for 2021 season


Three weeks and counting until the beginning of the LSU Tigers 2021 college football season. The team will head on the road to face off with the UCLA Bruins in Pasadena. The first game between these two teams.

A lot of excitement has surrounded this team for the upcoming campaign after 2020 left a bad taste in the mouths of the team and fans. Max Johnson prepares his first season as the starter following the unfortunate injury to senior quarterback Myles Brennan.

The offense will be going back to the system they used in 2019 when Joe Burrow and company lit up opposing defenses. Jake Peetz takes over as the offensive coordinator after spending two years with the Carolina Panthers. DJ Mangas resumes the role of passing game coordinator.

On defense there is no more Bo Pelini on the sideline, instead head coach Ed Orgeron went to the NFL to snag Daronte Jones of Minnesota. He looks to fix what ailed a defense that looked lost and out of place all season. Derek Stingley Jr looks to return to his freshman form.

For the LSU Tigers to have a successful season, a bulk of the weight will need to be carried by these 10 players.

Tyrion Davis-Price, Running Back

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They say running backs don’t matter but for this team they do. With a young quarterback in Max Johnson under center, Tyrion Davis-Price needs to show that he can take some of the pressure off his young quarterback. In 23 career games, Davis-Price has rushed for 741 yards and nine touchdowns. LSU needs him to put up that kind of season in 2021 with help from John Emery Jr.

Neil Farrell Jr, Defensive Tackle

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For the defense to have success in 2021, that means getting some help from the interior defensive line. Farrell is going into year five in Baton Rouge, he needs to prove to be as productive as 2019. That season Farrell finished with 46 tackles, 7 TFLs, and three sacks.

Cade York, Kicker

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Look, kickers are people too. Cade York is one of the more accurate kickers in LSU history. He needs to be ready when called upon, just like the Florida game last season when he gave LSU the lead late.

Andre Anthony, Edge

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Last season LSU was gashed through the air giving up 323 yards passing per game and 492.1 total yards. To help the coverage unit, the edge players need to get to the quarterback more. Anthony can help in that regard, he accounted for 5.5 sacks a season ago. He led the team in sacks and finished second in quarterback pressures with 31. LSU needs more of that from Anthony.

Eli Ricks, Cornerback

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As we noted above, LSU was gashed through the air. Eli Ricks did his best to contribute to the defense as he led them in interceptions with four. He needs to show continued growth and prove to be the best cornerback duo along with Derek Stingley Jr. Ricks was the No. 1 LSU defender in coverage last season according to PFF.

Ali Gaye, Edge

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Ali Gaye is another edge defender looking for a huge season in 2021. He does a little bit of everything for the defense. He can rush the passer, create disruption, create turnovers, and defend in the passing game. Gaye led the team in TFLs, quarterback, pressures, and matched Jay Ward in passes defended. He is one of the underrated edge defenders in the SEC who could be in for a big year.

Kayshon Boutte, Wide Receiver

(AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

No Ja’Marr Chase. No Terrace Marshall Jr. No Arik Gilbert. It is going to be up to Kayshon Boutte as the featured player on the offense. Last year he showed what he could do down the stretch of the season. Boutte cracked the 100-yard mark three times last year, all in the final three games of the season. If the Ole Miss is any indication, Boutte might be a breakout star in the making for LSU.

Austin Deculus, Offensive Tackle

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It is time to give the offensive line some love here with right tackle Austin Deculus. Usually, it is the left tackles who usually garner the praise but Deculus is very important. Given a left-handed quarterback, it is up to the right tackle to protect the blindside. Deculus played right tackle in 792 snaps last season with an efficiency of 97.2 according to PFF. He needs to improve from his 22 pressures allowed in 2020.

Derek Stingley Jr, Cornerback

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Stingley could have easily been No. 1 on this list. Last season was not the season he or his team expected. Injured last year and appeared to be out of position at times due to the coaching. A return to 2019 form would do wonders for the defense that ranked 13th in the SEC, only Ole Miss was worse. Stingley could be a deterrent for opposing quarterbacks if he can be the Derek from 2019 again.

Max Johnson, Quarterback

(AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

I know this is a shocking development to place a quarterback at the top spot. Max Johnson is going into his first season as the starter and the success of the team rides on his shoulders. He proved he could guide the team to wins as he did against Florida and Ole Miss. His ability to be a dual-threat can help the offense immensely in 2021.

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