Why Noah Cain is a priority at RB for LSU

Remember the LSU mailbag? Multiply it by five. SEC Country’s LSU recruiting reporter Sam Spiegelman will answer reader questions Monday through Friday in a new segment called “LSU recruiting question of the day.” Feel free to join the conversation by tweeting your questions to Sam on Twitter ( @samspiegs). You can check our archive here.

I get what you’re saying, Corey. At this point in the calendar, with spring football just two weeks in and Chris Curry not even on campus yet, there are more questions than answers in regards to LSU’s backfield for 2018.

So far, all we know is that Nick Brossette is the presumptive starter. Through a handful of practices, coach Ed Orgeron has delivered praise to Brossette, sophomore Clyde Edwards-Helaire, mid-year enrollee Tae Provens and even Lanard Fournette. One-time fullback and H-back David Ducre is also taking reps as a tailback and 2018 signee Chris Curry, the highest-rated running back signee in LSU’s class, won’t arrive on campus until June.

In other words, the backfield is comprised of several talented running backs who each bring a unique skill-set to the table. Brossette is the veteran of the group, but he has almost no tread on his tires after backing up Leonard Fournette, Derrius Guice and Darrel Williams the past four years. Edwards-Helaire saw limited action last season, but generated a ton of buzz in fall camp and made a splash in the regular-season finale against Texas A&M. He’s drawn praise from Orgeron for his toughness early on this spring. So has Provens, a 3-star back from Alabama who possesses elite speed and could add a unique dimension to LSU’s running and passing game this fall.

Curry is notorious for his downhill running style. Ducre possesses a similar skill-set. It will be interesting to see how the backfield rotation shapes out when Curry arrives on campus in three months and can try to carve out a role for the season.

Anyhow, Tyrion Davis remains the lone running back commitment in LSU’s 2019 class. He committed last summer after picking up an offer from Tommie Robinson on his way back from an unofficial visit to Alabama. Linebacker signee Damone Clark picked up the phone and informed Davis that he had an offer, which resulted in an instant commitment.

At 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds, Davis is a bruising running back with great size. He’s physical and invites contact — like Curry — but has an even bigger frame to dish out punishment. That’s not to take away from his speed getting to the outside and ability to be effective in the passing game. He’s a well-rounded back that doesn’t need to come off the field, very much like Jeremy Hill was for LSU so many years ago.

LSU aims to take at least two or three running backs in its 2019 haul. Brossette and Ducre will graduate after the 2018 season, while Fournette, a junior, is also eligible to leave. That’ll leave a backfield of Edwards-Helaire, Curry and Provens, who have combined for 9 career rushing attempts.

So, it should not come as a surprise that Orgeron and Robinson want to add some major talent to their backfield in 2019. Louisiana is home to three of the nation’s top 15 running backs. Davis, a 4-star back from Baton Rouge, is the No. 15-ranked prospect at his position. Noah Cain, also from Baton Rouge, is ranked No. 2. John Emery Jr., who hails from outside New Orleans, is ranked No. 6.

In an ideal world, the Tigers would reel in all three of these Louisiana natives and add an influx of young talent to their roster. It seems more likely than not that LSU will be able to pull in at least two of the aforementioned three.

We broke down Davis’ game. Emery and Cain possess similar running styles. Both possess great speed and have the ability to run over would-be defenders. Emery is a dynamic three-down back that can run in between the tackles or out to the edge. He’s also a threat as a receiver. Cain has a little bit more power to his game and makes a living running north and south between the tackles. He’s also an elusive as a pass-catcher and can make defenders miss in the open field.

Both Cain and Emery, in addition to Davis, are priorities for this recruiting class. In an effort to replenish the backfield, the LSU coaches are looking for an elite haul of tailbacks that can play and split carries right away. Cain, Emery and Davis all bring different skill-sets to the table, but none is more significant than the other. It’s simply a matter of finding a way to convince three of the country’s best backs to all commit to one team.

To see prior answers to our Question of the Day,  we have you covered.

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