LSU’s highly-anticipated football season gets underway March 7 with the start of spring practices.
Each day, SEC Country will take a look at one key position group on the LSU roster and analyze the talent returning, the departures and the new additions while providing expert analysis on the most prominent storylines to keep an eye on.
The spring football preview series will continue weekdays through March 4.
Tight ends coach: Steve Ensminger
Key returners: Colin Jeter
Other returners: Dillon Gordon, Foster Moreau
Newcomers: Jamal Pettigrew
Outlook: The tight end is usually a forgotten position in the LSU offense.
But as the offense transforms in 2016, could the tight end make a re-emergence?
If so, this year’s LSU team has a weapon equipped to do just that.
Rising senior Colin Jeter made the leap last season in place of an injured Dillon Gordon. The 6-foot-7, 244-pound transfer from Kilgore College finished fifth on the team in receiving with 12 grabs for 132 yards and a touchdown, and did so in nine starts.
Cam Cameron has not traditionally incorporated the tight end, but Colin dispelled the notion that one cannot thrive in the Tigers’ offense. Entering 2016, Jeter has a grasp on the starting job and could wind up being a prominent role player in LSU’s red-zone offense.
It’s sometimes rare to lose a job to injury, but that’s exactly the case with Gordon.
A New Orleans area native, Gordon was the Tigers’ three-year starter at the position before Jeter’s emergence. However, the 6-foot-5, 308-pounder served more as a sixth offensive lineman than a tight end.
Gordon’s 2016 campaign remains up in the air. Coach Les Miles called Gordon’s chances of gaining a fifth year of eligibility at “50-50” after a ruptured Achilles tendon forced him to miss the final six games of the 2015 season.
While an argument can be made that Gordon should be cleared by the NCAA to receive a fifth year of eligibility, his status remains uncertain at this point.
Until then, Gordon’s blocking duties fall onto rising sophomore Foster Moreau.
The Jesuit High School (New Orleans) product appeared in 11 games as a true freshman and started in three of them.
Much like Jeter, the 6-foot-5, 261-pound Moreau boasts the ability to stay in-line and block as well as be a receiving threat. It’ll be interesting to see how Cameron can carve out a role for Moreau going forward.
The same can be said for Jamal Pettigrew.
The four-star tight end of out of St. Augustine High School (New Orleans) could see the field immediately. At 6-foot-6 and 229 pounds, Pettigrew is a matchup nightmare at either tight end or split out wide, and the LSU coaches told him as much while Alabama and Florida made their push for him.
With that unique combination of size, speed and catching radius, Pettigrew figures to be a part of a revamped tight end collection next season. LSU has a lot of talent to work with; it’ll just be a matter of putting it all together.
Here’s a look at our past and upcoming previews:
- Quarterback an area of stability entering 2016
- Heisman Trophy hopeful headlines talented backfield
- Feb. 26: Competition expected along the offensive line