DONE DEAL: LSU Tigers Football Just Confirm THE Signing Another Top Experienced Star Player

Many wondered if LSU would utilize the Transfer Portal to address the lack of depth at the running back after the defection of former five-star John Emery left the Tigers with only three scholarship backs. The staff indeed looked into the portal and replaced Emery with…Emery. Emery recently announced that he plans to withdraw his name from the portal and return to Baton Rouge for his final season. His decision adds much-needed depth for the Tigers and gives him one more chance in Baton Rouge to prove why he arrived with such lofty expectations. High Hopes from High School The former Destrehan High School star came to LSU in 2019 as a five-star recruit and the second-ranked high school running back in the country,

according to the 247Sports composite rankings. Emery played in 10 games as a true freshman, as future first-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire understandably got the bulk of the reps. In Emery’s sophomore year, he averaged an impressive five yards per carry in 2020. He also brought value in the passing game with 14 receptions. After finishing second on the team in rushing yards, Emery seemed primed to take over the starting job in 2021. Unfortunately, there has always been an ongoing, discouraging component of Emery’s career. Whenever it seemed that he was ready to reach his potential, setbacks occurred. Emery was academically ineligible for 2021 and did not play a down. Emery eventually fought his way back into the rotation to have his most productive year at LSU in 2022. He finished with over 500 yards from scrimmage and eight touchdowns. Fast-forward to 2023, Emery attempted to finish a spectacular run against Florida with a touchdown when adversity struck again. After a jaw-dropping juke to avoid a defender at the line of scrimmage, he broke into the open field. His next juke near the goal line resulted in a torn ACL, and the senior’s season was suddenly over. The Current Running Back Room It’s easy to understand why Emery would consider transferring at this point. A fresh start can sound quite refreshing after so much misfortune in one place. Not to mention, the modest yet dependable Josh Williams is returning for seemingly his 10th year at the position. Williams is a former walk-on who has played his way into a scholarship and brings value as a runner, blocker, and receiver. As much as the staff loves Williams, sophomore Kaleb Jackson has the tools to be the next elite running back for the Tigers. Jackson has track speed on a 225-pound frame and has shown lateral quickness to elude defenders. Finally, true freshman Caden Durham helped comprise LSU’s fifth-ranked 2024 signing class. Durham does not avoid contact between the tackles, despite his 10.4 100-meter speed. With little information available regarding Emery’s injury recovery, it’s a challenge to predict his role in the 2024 offense. What we do know is that the Tigers needed more than what they had in his absence to get through the most physically demanding conference schedule they’ve ever had.

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