Editor’s note: As LSU prepares for what should be a promising 2016 campaign, expectations are sky-high as the team returns 18 starters and the nation’s third-ranked recruiting class.
Over the next few weeks, SEC Country will take a closer look at LSU’s 25 most important players who will determine whether this upcoming season will be a success or letdown.
No. 11: Derrius Guice
It may not even be up for debate — Derrius Guice is the best backup running back in the SEC.
The sophomore just happens to play behind a Heisman Trophy favorite in Leonard Fournette, but that certainly doesn’t take anything away from Guice’s potential to be a home-run threat each and every time he touches the football.
Guice managed 263 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries through the first five games of the 2015 season. The Baton Rouge native broke out for a 161-yard performance in LSU’s rout of South Carolina, which marked a career-best for the running back and etched him in the record books for gaining the sixth-most yardage yielded by a true freshman.
The Catholic High School product matched the impressive start with an even more impressive finish. He broke loose for 73 yards in the regular-season finale against Texas A&M, which salvaged Les Miles’ job. In that tilt, Guice rumbled for a 50-yard kickoff return to help put his team on top.
Guice will continue to handle kickoff return duties while also spelling Fournette in the backfield, giving LSU a uniquely dangerous one-two punch.
Guice spent much of this spring working out with Fournette as he tries to mirror his game after one of the best in the nation and, of course, one of the best do ever do it for the purple and gold.
Under first-year running backs coach Jabbar Juluke, Guice is expected to have an expanded role this season, so there will be more opportunities for Guice to try and show off his special abilities.
Coming Monday: The quarterback of the defense
- No. 25: Danny Etling
- No. 24: Kristian Fulton, Saivion Smith
- No. 23: Devin White
- No. 22: Tyron Johnson
- No. 21: Rashard Lawrence
- No. 20: Donte Jackson
- No. 19: Colin Jeter
- No. 18: Trent Domingue
- No. 17: Corey Thompson
- No. 16: Kevin Toliver II
- No. 15: William Clapp
- No. 14: Rickey Jefferson
- No. 13: Ethan Pocic
- No. 12: Christian LaCouture
Sam Spiegelman covers LSU football recruiting for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play in Tigers Stadium.