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Breaking Down LSU Football’s Running Back Recruiting Part I: Evaluating the Depth Chart & Recruits

LSU will use by-committee approach in 2020 with its veteran backs
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After winning the 2019 national title, LSU lost first round draft choice Clyde Edwards-Helaire to Kansas City Chiefs. The cupboard is not bare, and recruiting presents a unique situation as well.

Go big or go home. That’s an old saying that may be applied to LSU’s running back recruiting this year. Amongst several prospects the Tigers are going after, there are two players that will be discussed in part two of this article. First, however, let us not forget that LSU coach Ed Orgeron sits on a pile of talent at the running back position.

The 2018 Tigers’ recruiting class included Chris Curry, RB, 6-foot-0, 200, Lehigh (Fla.) Lehigh Acres. Curry was ranked the No. 355 overall recruit, per the 247Sports composite rankings. He was one of Florida’s top prospects overall, which says enough about his talent. Here’s a reminder of the skill set that Curry possesses, from his senior high school film.

When Edwards-Helaire was scratched from the starting lineup against Oklahoma in the national semi-final, it was Curry that made his mark. In his first start, the Floridian rushed 16 times for 89 yards and also caught one pass for nine yards. Now that’s a starting debut!

Curry is not a stout 215-pounds, and he’s an adept receiver out of the backfield. LSU certainly has a talented veteran to run the football and catch passes this fall. Curry will only be a redshirt-sophomore this fall so keep that in mind as well. There are two more talented returners to discuss as well.

True sophomores Tyrion Davis-Price and John Emery both came to LSU as big-time recruits. Each player was highly coveted and rightfully so because of how they dominated in the Louisiana prep ranks.

Let’s start with Davis-Price. Coming out of Southern Lab High School in Baton Rouge (La.), the 6-foot-1, 235-pound bulldozer of a running back made his mark by leaving tire tracks on the backs of defenders. He was also more nimble than many remember. Here’s a review of Davis-Price coming out of high school, as he was the nation’s No. 139 overall recruit.

As one can see, Davis-Price’s lateral cutting ability and bullish strength allowed him to simply dominate at the prep level. This past season for LSU, he only improved his talent, albeit with limited opportunities behind Edwards-Helaire. He’s now listed by the LSUsports website as 226-pounds. An even more athletic bulldozer, if one will.

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Davis-Price rushed for 290 yards and six touchdowns during the 2019 campaign, and he will be a prime contender to start for the Tigers this fall. One thing is for sure, and that’s Davis-Price being a power back that LSU can count on, i.e. inside the 10-yard line, short yardage, and crucial situations where the Tigers need to run the football. Those types of running backs never go out of style.

The final running back to discuss would be another top-level 2019 recruit from the state of Louisiana, and that’s John Emery from Destrehan High School. Emery was rated the nation’s No. 13 overall prospect from the national composite.

The 6-foot-0, 203-pound talent from St. Rose (La.), Emery, the Destrehan High product, provides a great combination of speed and power. He’s a true all-around tailback. Here’s a look at Emery’s Hudl highlights.

Quick feet, excellent acceleration, and incredible effort are just the start of why Emery was one of the nation’s most highly sought after prep players. Additionally, his power and agility made him the five-star prospect that enrolled in Baton Rouge.

In 2019, Emery rushed for 196 yards and four touchdowns. As a receiver, Emery also contributed six receptions for 60 yards. Like the other returning LSU running backs, Emery is a talented runner, and also a receiver out of the backfield that teams must deal with.

So, which running back will LSU start in 2020?

Does it really matter? All three returning Tigers can tote the football with the best of the best, and all three possess receiving talent as well. LSU’s running back depth chart is in a very healthy position headed into the 2020 college football season.

Tomorrow’s article will dive into breaking down LSU’s incoming freshman running back Kevontre Bradford, as well as its top RB targets for the class of 2021.