Sam Spiegelman/SEC Country
LSU running back Derrius Guice is optimistic about the state of the LSU offense heading into the 2017 season

Bayou Bengal Briefing: Updates from 3 of LSU football’s running backs

Nick Suss

LSU football is in the news every day, and the Bayou Bengal Briefing is here to keep you updated with the latest headlines five mornings a week. Join us every Monday through Friday for the biggest news on Tigers football, recruiting, baseball and more. Enjoy!

News on the running backs front

With all the focus on the LSU football team’s quarterbacks and wide receivers this offseason, it seems like we’ve forgotten where the Tigers’ bread is buttered. Let’s remedy that this morning and lead off by talking about the historic strength of LSU’s offense: running backs.

As should surprise no one, the head honcho of the running backs still is Derrius Guice, coming off his SEC-leading 1,387 rushing yards in 2016. And Guice had some positive thoughts about the outlook of the 2017 Tigers when he met with the media Tuesday, saying:

“We’re looking pretty solid on offense. That’s the biggest change from this offseason for the new year. Everyone’s really buying into it and perfecting it. We’re still installing. It’s camp. But I love to see us come together closer as a team and really buy into it as a team and learn it and perfect it. And I think we’re getting good at that.”

But Guice wasn’t the only running back talking or being talked about Tuesday. Reserve Nick Brossette, a junior, told me that he was limited in LSU’s first fall scrimmage with a minor back injury. And Guice became yet another in the long line of LSU football players and coaches to rave about freshman back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, telling the media, “The whole team hates him” right now.

Earlier in the fall, coach Ed Orgeron described Edwards-Helaire as “the biggest surprise of camp.”

Fine, let’s talk about the quarterbacks for a minute

As it’s been doing all fall, the LSU football team released a practice highlights video Tuesday. (Practices will be closed until Aug. 21.) This one isn’t that much different than the ones of the past few days, with the notable exception of the focus it put on quarterbacks.

The last half of the highlights from Tuesday are all quarterback related, with heavy emphasis on freshmen Lowell Narcisse and Myles Brennan. And it is worth noting that Narcisse appeared to be practicing without a brace on either knee.

This is a welcome sign for Narcisse, who, despite being labeled as a “dual-threat quarterback,” tore both of his ACLs in high school, the latter forcing him to miss his senior season. If Narcisse is clear to move without a brace, that’s a great sign for his ability to compete for a starting job in 2018.

As for LSU’s starting quarterback in 2017 …

Some weird Danny Etling news

LSU’s incumbent and presumed future starting quarterback Danny Etling spoke with the media Tuesday and answered plenty of actual football questions. But as SEC Country’s Alex Hickey chronicled, Etling also answered some that were downright bonkers.

Etling was asked whether he preferred having his hands on Will Clapp’s or Lloyd Cushenberry’s butt, a question which gave him the opportunity to rag on his good friend Clapp. And he also laughed about an And The Valley Shook article that proclaimed him the SEC’s most attractive quarterback.

Now, it’s not the responsibility of the Bayou Bengal Briefing to grade quarterback sexiness. I’ll leave that up to you. But I can tell you that Etling’s teammates have been ribbing him relentlessly about the existence of this article.

Sounds like jealousy to me.

In LSU baseball news

The LSU baseball team released its full schedule for the 2018 season Tuesday, headlined by season-opening series versus Notre Dame and Texas. But to me, the most notable part of the schedule was the team that wasn’t there: Florida.

Don’t get me wrong: I know the SEC draws up its scheduling in advance, and there’s no way the conference could’ve known LSU and Florida would face each other in the 2017 College World Series finals. But there should be an emergency plan in place (not the first time I’ve written that about LSU and Florida, zing!) in case two teams need a rematch.

Depriving LSU and Florida fans of a regular-season rematch of the CWS finals is just wrong. If anything, I’d argue these teams should be natural rivals in baseball as they are in football and, as such, should play each other every year. But that’s a stretch.

Elsewhere in LSU baseball news, outfielder Brennan Breaux announced his intent to transfer Tuesday. You can read about that by clicking here.

Analyst analysis

Orgeron added another coaching analyst to the staff Tuesday, hiring longtime NFL receivers coach Jerry Sullivan to assist wide receivers coach Mickey Joseph, per a report from The Advocate. Sullivan has worked as the wide receivers coach for the Chargers, Lions, Cardinals (where he was also offensive coordinator), Dolphins, 49ers and, most recently, Jaguars. He is 73 years old.

Sullivan joins Greg McMahon as a former NFL coach and coordinator hired as a consultant for the LSU coaching staff. These coaches cannot coach players directly, but they are allowed to advise coaches, who can use that advice to coach the players.

Another day, another list

NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks posted his list of the five best running backs in college football Tuesday, in which Guice came in at No. 2 behind Penn State’s Saquon Barkley.

There really isn’t a right answer in picking between Guice and Barkley. Barkley rushed for more yards (1,496) and touchdowns (18) than Guice (1,387, 15) in 2016, but Guice dwarfed Barkley’s yards-per-carry mark, 7.58 to 5.50. That said, defenses treated Barkley as the feature back all along, while Guice didn’t start getting A1 treatment until late in the season.

Unless an unforeseen candidate emerges late, these two are expected to be the first two running backs drafted in 2018. And they’re two of the favorites to win the 2017 Heisman Trophy.¬†But which one is better? I can’t tell you. Not yet, at least.

Today in made-up holidays

According to the folks at NationalDayCalendar.com, Wednesday is “National Book Lovers Day.” Five days a week, I use this section of the Bayou Bengal Briefing to reference old television and movie clips. But since Wednesday is National Book Lovers Day, we should reference a book, right?

Nah, let’s just reference a TV clip about a book lover and call it even. Cool? Cool.

As a glasses-wearer with a bookshelf, this one hits home hard for me. As a person who laughs at hammy acting, this is one of the silliest Twilight Zone clips ever to me. Either way, hope you enjoyed it.

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