RB Justin Vincent

2003 Statistics

Coach: Nick Saban
39-13, 4 years
2003 Record:13-1
at Arizona WON 59-13
at Mississippi State WON 41-6
at South Carolina WON 33-7
at Alabama WON 27-3
at Mississippi WON 17-14
vs. Georgia WON 34-13
Oklahoma WON 21-14

2003 Final Rankings
AP-2, Coaches-1, BCS-2

2004 Outlook

To say Nick Saban has turned LSU around would bring new meaning to the word understatement. Saban deserves to be the highest paid coach after bringing a national championship to a program that had back-to-back losing seasons before his arrival. No one really saw LSU coming last year. His recipe for waking the sleeping giant has been well-publicized: build a fence around recruits in-state, which he has done from day one, and the main reason he left Michigan State. The 2004 class was another success and ensures an endless supply of talent on the Tigers' depth chart. The biggest challenge will be keeping an experienced group motivated after reaching the pinnacle; but if anything, the taint of the BCS controversy should help this group strive for an attainable perfect season. If the Tigers are undefeated after the visit to Gainesville, running the table will be a very real possibility because they have no glaring weaknesses. Depth and experience at every position means the burden falls on QB Marcus Randall. He has too many weapons not to have the offense among the best in the country. As long as he doesn't try to win games as he did in 2002 when he struggled to a 2-4 record and a 7-5 TD/INT ratio, the offense should score enough to have a chance in every game. Defensively, the front seven will still scare teams, thanks in part to the freedom provided by such a veteran secondary to load up against the run. No opposing receiver should expect a 100yd game. Counters and play-action to neutralize the Tigers' speed will be the mode of attack for teams trying to control the clock and keep the scores low, but eventually, teams will get themselves into near impossible third-and-long situations with these tested veterans. Though a repeat might require two wins over Georgia again, the Tigers have a championship caliber defense and a potentially unstoppable offense and will not be overmatched in any game.

When you lose 12 seniors and three early NFL draft entrants and still could have more raw talent on the field this time around, you have officially joined Miami and FSU in the "don't rebuild, reload" club of college football. Welcome to Baton Rouge, where a national championship has garnered the Tigers one of the top recruiting classes and elevated the program to a status it hasn't seen since the days of Billy Cannon. Going into Death Valley is again a feared trip for opposing players and not just their fans.

LSU managed to deter Nick Saban from the NFL with an extension through 2010, stabilizing the coaching staff and ensuring the Tigers will be back among the nation's elite. A veteran O-line and secondary and the fastest skill players in the country make it hard to find weaknesses on a team that has every reason to believe it can repeat as national champion. Hopefully, this time, it can be without any controversy as the championship they desire is an away game in Miami, if earned.

Projected 2004 record: 8-3
QB - 4 DL - 4
RB - 5 LB - 4
WR - 4 DB - 4.5
OL - 4.5 ..

Passing: Marcus Randall, 40-25-1, 403 yds., 2 TD

Justin Vincent, 154 att., 1001 yds., 10 TD

Receiving: Skyler Green, 48 rec., 519 yds., 5 TD

Scoring: Justin Vincent, 10 TD, 60 pts.

Punting: None

Kicking: Ryan Gaudet, 7-12 FG, 36-38 PAT, 47 long

Tackles: LaRon Landry, 80 tot., 54 solo, 3.5 TFL

Sacks: Marcus Spears, 6 sacks

Interceptions: Corey Webster, 7 for 60 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Skyler Green, 9 ret., 20.9 avg.

Punt Returns: Skyler Green, 25 ret., 18.5 avg., 2 TD’s


CB Corey Webster

Dwayne Bowe caught two touchdown passes, one each from quarterback Marcus Randall and running back Alley Broussard, as the White squad rolled to a 22-3 win over the Purple team before 10,194 fans here Saturday in Tiger Stadium. The White team never trailed in the contest as they capitalized on a safety early in the first quarter when deep snapper Ben Wilkerson snapped the ball over the head of punter Patrick Fisher, who was then tackled in the endzone. From there, the White team only needed five plays to score again, this time on a 30-yard pass from Randall to Bowe, for a 9-0 advantage. Chris Jackson added a 22-yard field goal four minutes later for a 12-0 advantage for the White squad. The White team extended its lead to 15-0 early in the second quarter on a 26-yard field goal, which was setup by a 41-yard reception by Corey Webster from Randall. The Purple cut the deficit to 15-3 at halftime on a 28-yard field goal by Ryan Gaudet. The key play in the Purple drive was a 36-yard catch-and-run by Joseph Addai. After a scoreless third quarter, the White squad put the game out of reach early in the fourth quarter when Broussard found Bowe with a 20-yard halfback pass. The one-play, eight-second drive was setup when Keron Gordon returned an interception 36 yards to the Purple 20-yard line.


M. Randall, 23-9-0, 131 yds.
M. Flynn, 28-12-1, 112 yds.
J. Russell, 21-9-0, 128 yds.


J. Vincent, 7 att., 38 yds.
S. Carey, 7 att., 38 yds.


D. Bowe, 5 rec., 93 yds., 2 TD
S. Green, 4 rec., 36 yds.
J. Addai, 3 rec., 66 yds.


J. Daniels, 6 tackles
T. Daniels, 6 tackles

M. Oliver, 3 sacks for 27 yds.

OFFENSE: Devery Henderson-WR, Stephen Peterman-OG, Rodney Reed-OT, Eric Edwards-TE, Matt Mauck-QB (NFL), Michael Clayton-WR (NFL)
DEFENSE: Bryce Wyatt-DT, Chad Lavalais-DT, Eric Alexander-SLB, Adrian Mayes-WLB, Jack Hunt-SS, Randall Gay-FS, Donnie Jones-P, Marquise Hill-DE (NFL)

Matt Mauck's early departure might have lowered offensive expectations for some, but those aware of the Tigers' depth at QB understand how much more versatility now exists at the position. Senior Marcus Randall has bided his time since starting six of the last seven in 2002 - he is now ready to lead. His athletic frame makes him one of the SEC's most dangerous scramblers, and he is a threat to throw on the run. He'll have defenses guessing, but to stay on Saban's good side, Randall will have to keep his pass efficiency rating (158.63) high or give sophomores JaMarcus Russell and Matt Flynn a chance to prove why they were two of the top recruits in 2002. Russell has it all: pro-style technique, a big arm, 6'6" size and 4.7 speed; Flynn has the best deep ball of the bunch and a track record of accuracy. Either way, physically, the Tigers can't lose. With that kind of talent, Randall must prove he can run the SEC's top scoring offense as Mauck did, for he'll be kept on a short leash.

Running Back
No team in America can match the abundance of riches in LSU's backfield. Their tailback-by-committee formula will be scrapped if sophomore Justin Vincent shows that his stretch run was no fluke. Back-to-back 100yd games closed out the championship run and proved Vincent thrives on the big stage. His preposterous 6.5ypc results directly from his ability to run inside and outside with equal effectiveness. The powerful back's soft hands make him a safety valve for Russell and will keep Vincent on the field in third-down situations. The only question is endurance, a question Vincent won't have to answer with junior Joesph Addai and sophomore Alley Broussard behind him. Addai has explosive speed, great vision, and, like Vincent, is a receiving weapon out of the backfield. Broussard, the top back in Louisiana in 2002, finds himself third on the depth chart. But, with his punishing style and 4.5 speed, he would start almost anywhere else. Former TE David Jones will use his size to beat out blocking specialist Kevin Stoltz at FB. It smells like magnolias in Baton Rouge.

Wide Receiver
The receiving corps will remind Tiger fans of the backfield going into 2003: one proven star and some of the best young talent in the SEC. The star is junior All-America candidate Skyler Green, whose breakaway speed is unrivaled. The loss of the 21 TDs between Devery Henderson and Michael Clayton means that Green must pick up the scoring load, which shouldn't be too difficult considering how many touches he'll get. Green can line up anywhere and is always a threat for a reverse as his 24yd TD in the Sugar Bowl proved. The only thing the sure-handed receiver lacks is size, something a pair of 6'3" leapers can more than make up for. Redshirt freshman Amp Hill has the strength and size to fill Clayton's void on deep jump balls; sophomore Dwayne Bose is the Tigers' most physical receiver. Adding depth are two of the nation's best recruits in Early Doucet and Xavier Carter, who boasts one of the fastest high school 40 times ever. Learning the offense and gelling with Randall will be the obstacles for this speedy but inexperienced group. 6'5" Keith Zinger and 6'4" Demetri Robinson offer big targets at TE, and will get LBs and safeties cleared from both underneath and in the middle, especially if Saban can make defenses respect them early on.

Offensive Line
While Rodney Reed will be missed, the line that allowed only 13 sacks will again be among the nation's best. Junior tackle Andrew Whitworth started every game and combines one of the SEC's biggest frames with surprising quickness and great technique. The former All-SEC freshman's team-high 17 pancake blocks should grab him preseason attention along with senior Ben Wilkerson. Already known as the quickest and most dominating center in the SEC with an uncanny ability to make checks at the line, Wilkerson should be an All-American, and already is a great leader for this unit. Guard may be the weakest position for the Tigers but Rudy Niswanger adds experience and versatility, and junior Terrell McGill, a starter heading into 2003, is a powerful run-blocker and a perfect compliment to this well-balanced line. Averaging over 310lbs and loaded with depth and an outstanding recruiting class, the line won't be an area of concern.

Inexperience is the only thing preventing these Tigers from matching the consistent, record-setting productivity of Matt Mauck and Co. Marcus Randall will thrive under offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher, whose schemes depend on balance. The powerful line gives the Tigers the option to run Vincent, Addai and Broussard until defenses load up the box, opening up the middle of the field. Safeties will have to be so cautious because of the Tigers' speed that Green will shred defenses on slants and crossing routes. On those rare occasions when opponents generate pressure on Randall, his running ability and uncanny pocket-presence will oft turn nothing into something to ultimately keep the chains moving. The sooner the young talent can gel and learn to play Saban's mistake-free football, the sooner the Tigers will return as the tops of the SEC in scoring offense.


C Ben Wilkerson


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Marcus Randall-Sr (6-3, 215) JaMarcus Russell-Fr (6-5, 222)
Matt Flynn-Fr (6-2, 218)
FB Kevin Steltz-Jr (5-11, 260) David Jones-Jr (6-4, 260)
RB Justin Vincent-So (5-11, 190) Joseph Addai-Jr (5-11, 210)
Shryone Carey-Sr (5-6, 185)
WR Skyler Green-Jr (5-10, 180) Amp Hill-Fr (6-3, 190)
WR Dwayne Bowe-So (6-3, 202) Craig Davis-So (6-3, 185)
Bennie Brazell-Jr (6-1, 170)
TE David Jones-Jr (6-4, 260) Keith Zinger-So (6-5, 260)
Demetri Robinson-Sr (6-2, 260)
OT Andrew Whitworth-Jr (6-7, 310) Pharis Hodges-So (6-6, 340)
OG Terrell McGill-Jr (6-4, 325) Brian Johnson-So (6-4, 307)
C Ben Wilkerson-Sr (6-4, 290) Doug Planchard-So (6-3, 290)
OG Rudy Niswanger-Jr (6-5, 290) Peter Dyakowski-So (6-4, 300)
OT Nate Livings-Jr (6-5, 313) Brandon Washington-Jr (6-4, 302)
K Ryan Gauden-So (5-10, 165) Chris Jackson-So (5-11, 175)
Dwayne Bowe....Bo
Ryan Gaudet....Go-day
Rudy Niswanger....Nis-wang-er
Joseph Addai....uh-Die
Bennie Brazell....Bra-zil
Shryone Carey...Shry-own
Peter Dyakowski...Die-ah-cow-ski
Demetri Robinson....Duh-mee-tree



Defensive Line
The Tigers won't match the dominance of the line on which every starter had at least four sacks. But they will remain the most athletic front-four in the SEC. The graduation of All-everything Chad Lavalais passes the torch to junior DE Marcus Spears, who himself has NFL scouts drooling at his speed and prodigious wing span. This Louisiana Spears has more talent than Britney and runs down QBs (19 hurries) as easily as he bats down passes. Sophomores Carnell Stewart, a converted tackle and run-stopping specialist, and Sean Merrill, a true speed rusher, combine to match Spears' versatility at the other end. Junior DT Kyle Williams returns as the most intense competitor of the group but the question remains whether he was a star in the making or merely Lavalais' sidekick. 2002 All-SEC freshman Melvin Oliver and his lighting-fast first step will help Williams inside. The group will still get pressure without a blitz and will still shut down the run (69.7ypg); only the most spoiled fans will be disappointed with the relatively slight drop-off. Rest assured, core Tiger devotees, for the line's impact will be the same, regardless.

Senior MLB Lionel Turner might as well have his own whistle and clipboard after making all the defensive calls for the nation's top scoring defense. He's a coach and a leader in the middle, not to mention one of the SEC's hardest hitters. Turner will stay on the field in every package and deserves to be included in discussions of the best LBs in the country. The instinctual Cameron Vaughn plays inside and out and adds a speedy cover man on the weakside. Senior Kenneth Hollis, a coveted juco transfer, fills the role as a primary run-stopper, though the strong-side position will more likely be filled by sophomore Alonzo Manuel. A converted DE, Manuel bucks the trend of defensive players moving up to linebacker (from safety) and brings 6'3" 230 size to toughen the unit, assuming he continues to mature at the position.

Defensive Back
Without question the secondary will be the strongest defensive unit as the Tigers return three seniors as well as sophomore starter LaRon Landry at free safety. CB Corey Webster will battle for the Thorpe Award and is known as the playmaker in their secondary. His long arms and leaping ability make it impossible to beat him with jump balls, a big reason he led the team with seven INTs. Fellow senior CB Travis Daniels proved he was up to the task when teams threw away from Webster, breaking up a team-high 26 passes. Having two shut-down corners allows nickelback Ronnie Prude to show off his toughness and play almost as a safety, pairing with sophomores Landry and Jessie Daniels for a very physical secondary. Landry has great ball-awareness to go with some of the best athleticism in the country, while the other Daniels, Jessie, brings his former RB mindset and 4.5 speed to punish receivers in the middle. There simply are no holes here.

As with the offense, the bar has been raised with expectations of finishing first in the SEC in scoring, total defense and sacks; and given the talent and Nick Saban's wizardry, these goals might not be as unrealistic as they seem. Had it not been for Arkansas' garbage time TDs, no team would have even scored 20 on the Tigers. No SEC team rivals their defensive speed, and with Spears, Turner and Webster, every unit has a leader and an All-American candidate. The linebacking corps might not be spectacular, but with the Tigers' secondary, they won't have to be. While this defense won't have the luxury of catching teams off guard again, Saban will make the adjustments to utilize his depth and keep the Tigers among the nation's elite. Even though, there should be little drop off from last years domination.


DE Marcus Spears


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Marcus Spears-Sr (6-6, 290) Alonzo Manuel-So (6-4, 260)
DT Melvin Oliver-Jr (6-3, 280) Carnell Stewart-Fr (6-5, 300)
DT Kyle Williams-Jr (6-3, 288) Claude Wroten-Jr (6-3, 315)
DE Kirston Pittman-So (6-3, 238) Brian West-So (6-4, 270)
SLB Ali Highsmith-Fr (6-1, 225) Dominic Cooper-Fr (6-4, 220)
MLB Lionel Turner-Sr (6-2, 235) Kenneth Hollis-Jr (6-1, 235)
WLB Cameron Vaughn-Jr (6-4, 225) Dorsett Buckles-Sr (5-10, 220)
CB Corey Webster-Sr (6-0, 180) Ronnie Prude-Sr (5-11, 176)
CB Travis Daniels-Sr (6-1, 175) Mario Stevenson-So (6-2, 195)
SS LaRon Landry-So (6-2, 180) Craig Steltz-Fr (6-2, 195)
FS Jessie Daniels-So (5-11, 195) Daniel Francis-Fr (5-11, 175)
P Patrick Fisher-Fr (6-0, 240) Chris Jackson-So (5-11, 179)
Kirston Pittman....Ker-ston
LaRon Landry....Luh-ron
Claude Wroten....Wrote-in


The optimist sees two talented sophomore kickers who have been in pressure situations and both boast a 47yd long. The pessimist sees field goal percentages of 58.3 and 62.5 from Ryan Gaudet and Chris Jackson respectively. Game situations will determine this battle but expect the blue-chipper Jackson to beat out the walk-on Gaudet in the end.

The loss of Donnie Jones, one of the best punters in the country, creates an opening for highly-touted sophomore Patrick Fisher who averaged 48yds per punt in high school. It's his job to lose. Net punting again should rank in the top 20.

Return Game
The nation's most explosive and leading punt returner is back in Skyler Green (18.5 per return, two TDs), guaranteeing the Tigers will win most field position battles. Green will try to be the iron man on kick returns as well, but if it takes away from his performance at receiver, 5'6" Shyrone Carey's shifty, "Kevin Faulk" running style will take away some of the burden. With so much speed, the Tigers won't search long for playmakers.


Marcus Randall
has been the most impressive QB this spring. The battle for back-up is extremely tight. In terms of who made the most progress, the edge goes to Matt Flynn over JaMarcus Russell. Both are right on Randall's heels. It would not be surprising to see either garnish serious playing time by the second or third game...You know the backfield is deep when Alley Broussard and Barrington Edwards are fighting for the fourth spot in the TB rotation. With that said, Joseph Addai has seen considerable action at slot receiver in shotgun formations. Justin Vincent is head and shoulders above everyone...Big recruit WR Amp Hill is still slowed by an ACL injury from a year ago. He has taken it slow this spring but should be ready for August. Bennie Brazell has not appeared this spring due to his role on the LSU nationally-ranked track team...TE David Jones is quietly beginning to increase his pass catching skills. His competition, Demetri Robinson, has some doubt surrounding his future with the team due to some minor rule violations. His status will be determined before August camp begins...Rodney Reeds departure at tackle has been solidified by 2003's starting left guard Nate Livings. Terrell McGill steps into Livings’ void and all-purpose 6th-man Rudy Niswanger appears to have nailed down the right guard position left open by Peterman.


DT Brandon Washington has been moved to OT and the switch looks permanent. Talk about the move revolves around coaches possibly opening the door for some true freshman to come in and see PT immediately. Washington was in a heated battle early in the spring with JUCO transfer Clause Wroten and heralded recruit Carnell Stewart for Lavalais' starting job. Wroten's play this spring makes him the odds on favorite to win the job...Sam linebacker finds several players working with the first team in an attempt to replace the departed Eric Alexander including redshirt freshman Darius Ingram and junior Kenny Hollis. Igram has bulked up to 232 pounds. However, freshman Ali Highsmith, who signed with Miami in 2003 but failed to get academically eligible, enrolled at LSU in January and is currently penciled in as the starter at SLB...All-American CB Corey Webster has spent some time this spring at wide receiver as well as corner. Coaches chose to utilize both Webster and Ronnie Prude at WR in order to preserve depth. JUCO transfer Mario Stevenson is competing with Prude for the nickel corner position. The starter will likely not be named until the season opener. Former pro baseball player Joe Lawrence has worked his way into the rotation at strong safety. Reports say Lawrence is an exact replica of former starter Jack Hunt. Keron Gordon worked at the other safety spot and is another player that has really come on and made a bid for playing time.

It's likely that Ryan Gaudet and Chris Jackson will again split time with the kicking duties as they did a year ago. Saban tends to use the player he feels has the hot foot at that moment...If a "most improved" award were given for the spring it would go to JUCO transfers DT Claude Wroten and DB Mario Stevenson.

WR - Dwayne Bowe
DT - Claude Wroten
LB - Ali Highsmith

Joseph Addai . . . . uh-Die
Patrick Babinecz . . . . Bab-i-neck
Blain Bech . . . . Besh
Andre Boagni . . . . Bo-ayn-ee
Dwayne Bowe . . . .Bo
Bennie Brazell . . . .Bra-zil
Alley Broussard . . . .Al-ee Brew-sard
Jimmy Courtenay . . . .Court-uh-nay
Steve Damen . . . .Day-men
Leo Deselle . . . .Dis-el
Josh Dicharry . . . .Dish-ar-ee
Barrett Dupuy . . . .Doo-pwee
Peter Dyakowski . . . .Die-uh-cow-ski
Ryan Gaudet . . . . Go-day
Gino Gambelluca . . . .Gam-buh-lou-kuh
Keron Gordon . . . .Kuh-ron
Kory Hebert . . . .A-bear
Devery Henderson . . . . Dev-ree
Marquise Hill . . . .Mar-keese
LaRon Landry . . . .Luh-ron
Chad Lavalais . . . .Lav-uh-lay
Jason LeDoux . . . . uh-doo
Alonzo Manuel . . . . Man-you-ul
Steve Mares . . . . Mar-ez
Matt Mauck . . . .Mawk
Patrick McGibboney . . . . Mc-Gib-on-ee
Terrell McGill . . . . Tuh-rell
Rudy Niswanger . . . .Nis-wang-er
Brandon Nowlin . . . . Now-lynn
Tyler Olivier . . . . O-liv-ee-a
Kirston Pittman . . . .Ker-ston
Lester Ricard . . . .Ree-card
Demetri Robinson . . . . Duh-mee-tree
Jarvus Ryes . . . .Rise
Jerry Sevin . . . .Say-van
Bradley Sowa . . . .So-uh
Jason Spadoni . . . .Spuh-doe-nee
Garrett Wibel . . . .Why-bul
Torran Williams . . . .Tore-un
Jonathan Zenon . . . .Zee-non

Coaching Staff
Stacy Searels . . . .Sir-uhls