Thursday, December 10, 2009

New Offensive Coordinator? All-LSU Team of the Decade - Offense

Coaching Rumors

While it seemed like a done deal that Tyke Tolbert would be LSU's next wide receivers coach, reports surfaced Thursday night that Florida wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales would be joining LSU's staff.   It's still a little unclear whether Gonzales will be coming as an offensive coordinator or as a wide receivers coach.  For now, it appears that he'll be the receivers coach and that Tyke Tolbert may not be a part of the staff after all.   I was excited about Tolbert, but not about the fact that we had to wait three weeks before he could start.  I like that Gonzales can potentially get on the road recruiting immediately. 

Gonzales has been Florida's wide receivers coach since 2005, and he's also the Gators' recruiting coordinator.  I'm excited since Gonzales found creative ways to get Percy Harvin involved in the Gators' offense, and I hope that translates into more production from Russell Shepard. 

Here is a link to Gonzales's bio.

LSU Football In The 2000s

Since it's the end of the decade, I decided to take a look back at LSU football during the 2000s.  I'm putting together several lists that I think you'll all like, and they could be the topic of some debate.  The first thing I put together was my All-LSU team of the decade.  I start with the offense today, and I'll follow up with the defense on Monday.  Here goes:


First Team

Rohan Davey - 255 of 426 (59.8%) 3,924 yards 25 TDs 11 INTs - Picking the QB for these teams most difficult. Russell's stats stand out and Mauck and Flynn both have national championship rings, but I went with Davey due to his incredible presence and leadership ability. He led the comeback win in the 2000 Peach Bowl. His performance in the program changing win against Tennessee in 2000 stands out as well as his record setting performance against Alabama in 2001. He owns the single game and single season record for passing yards. When it came down to it, he would be the guy I'd want leading my team.

Second Team
Jamarcus Russell - 493 of 797 (61.8%) 6,625 yards 52 TDs 21 INTs - It's hard to ignore Russell's numbers. Russell's 2006 season may have been the best single season by a QB in LSU history. He tied the school record for TDs in a season with 28 and is second all time in TD passes. Russell often did things that made fans slap their foreheads, but he also had a number of comeback wins and huge plays. He was first team All-SEC in 2006. His teams won 11 games and finished in the Top 5 both years as a starter.

Also Considered
Matt Mauck - 310 of 529 (58.6%) 3,831 yards 37 TDs 18 INTs
Matt Flynn - 245 of 437 (56%) 3,096 yards 31 TDs 13 INTs

First Team
Jacob Hester - 1,780 yards 20 TDs 4.89 YPC - Hester was a multi-purpose fullback for three years before winning the tailback job and becoming the heart and soul of the 2007 national championship team. His consistency in short yardage situations and around the goal line made him a fan favorite.

Charles Scott - 2,317 yards 32 TDs 5.46 YPC - Scott's 2008 season was the single best season by a Tiger running back this decade. He ends his career with a 5.46 YPC average, which is the best in LSU history by any back with at least 400 carries. That's remarkable. His 32 career touchdowns rank fourth all time in LSU history. He was also a great team leader.

Second Team
Joseph Addai - 2,549 yards 18 TDs 5.29 YPC - Addai was only the premier back for one season, his senior year in 2005. However, he was a big part of LSU's running game in 2003 and 2004. He was LSU's most versatile back this decade, able to both juke and run over the opposition and he was a great receiver out of the backfield. His 2,549 rushing yards are the most by any LSU back this decade, and that ranks fifth all time at LSU. His 5.29 YPC is third all time.

Lebrandon Toefield - 2,149 yards 26 TDs 4.15 YPC - Toefield was the main runner for three straight seasons at LSU although an injury shortened his 2002 season. In 2001, the Teaux Truck tied an SEC record with 19 rushing touchdowns, which is still an LSU record. His 2,149 yards ranks eighth all time at LSU.

Also Considered
Justin Vincent - 2,021 yards 17 TDs 4.95 YPC
Keiland Williams - 1,699 yards 17 TDs 5.68 YPC
Domanick Davis - 1,782 yards 17 TDs 4.55 YPC

First Team
Josh Reed - 159 catches 2,867 yards 17 TDs - Reed's career stats are actually a little better but this represents what he did this decade. He was a two-time All-SEC performer and he won the Biletnikoff Award in 2001 as the nation's best receiver. Reed is a no brainer for a spot on the first team.

Michael Clayton - 182 catches 2,582 yards 21 TDs - Clayton ranks second all time in receptions, fourth in yards, and third in touchdowns in LSU history. He was the team's leading receiver and team leader on LSU's national championship team. Clayton was the ultimate team player at LSU, willing to hold for kicks, play special teams, and even play some safety. Clayton was All-SEC in 2002 and 2003 and was a Freshman All-American in 2001.

Dwayne Bowe - 154 catches 2,409 yards 26 TDs - Reed and Clayton were no brainers, but the decision to put Bowe on the first team was a little more difficult. Brandon Lafell's stats measure up, but I went with Bowe because he was the unquestioned go-to guy while he was on campus. He made a ton of big plays. His 26 TDs are the most in LSU history. He's also sixth in LSU history in receptions and receiving yards.

Second Team
Brandon Lafell - 170 catches 2,430 yards 24 TDs - Lafell's numbers match those on the first team, and he still has a bowl game left to play. Lafell was perhaps LSU's most complete receiver this decade with the exception of Clayton. He ran great routes and could get open with ease. He could go over the middle. He was also a great deep threat. He was plagued by drops at times during his career, which is his only negative. His 170 receptions currently rank second all time at LSU. He ranks fifth in yards and second in touchdowns.

Early Doucet - 160 catches 1,943 yards 20 TDs - Doucet had to learn the wide receiver position during his first two seasons at LSU while he played behind Dwayne Bowe and Craig Davis. Once he got the hang of it, he was awfully good. Without an injury during his senior season, he may be LSU's al time receptions leader. He ranks fifth in LSU history in receptions and fourth in touchdowns.

Devery Henderson - 81 receptions 1,335 yards 19 TDs - Henderson's stats don't match up with that of Craig Davis, but I can't get past the numerous big plays Henderson made during his career. The Bluegrass Miracle. The Game winner at Ole Miss in 2003. He's made several. Remember that Devery was a running back in 2000 and 2001 before moving to wide receiver. Some may disagree with this choice, but I put Dev here instead of Buster.

Also Considered
Craig Davis - 141 catches 2,117 yards 7 TDs
Terrance Toliver - 79 catches 1,160 yards 7 TDs

First Team
Richard Dickson - 89 catches 945 yards 10 TDs - Dickson was an easy choice. A three year starter and All-SEC performer, Dickson has been consistent and has played well in big games. Strictly a receiver when he arrived to LSU, Dickson developed into a good blocker and a complete tight end. He'll be sorely missed when he's gone.

Second Team
Robert Royal - 40 catches 564 yards 6 TDs - Royal was one of the best receiving tight-ends in the SEC during his time at LSU. He was a key weapon in one of the best offenses in LSU history in 2001. And who can forget his big catch on the first play of overtime against Tennessee in 2000?

Also Considered
Eric Edwards - 29 catches 349 yards 6 TDs

First Team
OT - Andrew Whitworth - Whitworth was a four year start at left tackle, he won a national championship, and he was an All-SEC performer for two years. He's one of the best offensive linemen in LSU history.

OT - Ciron Black - Like Whitworth, Black started at left tackle for four years, he won a national championship, and he was an All-SEC performer for three years.

OG - Stephen Peterman - Peterman showed up to LSU as a tight end. Then, he played some defensive end. He finally settled in at offensive guard and was 1st Team All-SEC in 2002 and 2003. He was possibly the toughest lineman LSU has had this decade.

OG - Herman Johnson - Johnson was a three year starter for LSU and was All-SEC in 2007 and 2008. While a tad too slow to play offensive tackle, he moved to guard and became dominant. He helped pave the way for the two best seasons by LSU running backs this decade (Hester in 07, Scott in 08).

C - Ben Wilkerson - Wilkerson took over the starting center job midway through his true freshman season. As a senior, Wilkerson won the Rimington trophy as the nation's best center.

Second Team
OT - Rodney Reed - Reed was a rock at right tackle for several years and was a team captain for the 2003 national championship team.

OT - Nate Livings - Livings played several positions on the line, starting at right guard on the 2003 national championship team. He then moved out to right tackle in 2004 and 2005.

OG - Rudy Niswanger - Niswanger was a jack of all trades for LSU. At one point in his career, he played center, guard, and tackle...and he was solid at each. He finished his career at center, but he flourished as an offensive guard.

OG - Will Arnold - Arnold may have been LSU's best interior lineman this decade but injuries hampered and cut short his promising career. He made 2nd team All-SEC in 2005 and 2006.

C - Bret Helms - Helms was probably the most overlooked offensive lineman this decade. A three-year starter, Helms never made any All-SEC teams but the word around practice was that LSU's coaches thought he was the Tigers' best lineman.

First Team
Colt David - David is LSU's all time leading scorer and he was 1st Team All-SEC in 2007 and 2008. And who can forget his touchdown on the sweet fake field goal against South Carolina in 2007?

Second Team
John Corbello - A bit shaky early in his career, Corbello developed into a very dependable kicker who had good range. He had three kicks of over 45 yards in the 2001 SEC Championship Game.

Also Considered
Chris Jackson


Rusty Shackleford said...

While the Slant is certainly entitled to its opinion, and given the fact that the majority of the Football in the 2000s is spot on, I would normally be inclined to let a disagreement concerning subjective rankings slide. However, considering the magnitude of the homerism, I feel it necessary to speak up. Putting Rohan Davey ahead of Jamarcus Russell is asinine and absurd. Had Jamarcus been hyped for it in the preseason, he would have been a finalist for the 2006 Heisman trophy, and may have even won it. Just because Rohan was the quarterback when you were in college doesn’t make him the best quarterback of the decade. Don’t get me wrong, I hated Josh Booty too, and I was there in person to watch Rohan Davey clean up in the second half of the Peach Bowl and cap the season that launched LSU football to the excellence we’ve seen this decade. But … Jamarcus Russell was the best college quarterback LSU has had in decades. Now, Jamarcus Russell is (thus far) a terrible terrible terrible NFL quarterback, but that has nothing to do with his LSU career. I wonder if your list would be the same if the Raiders (with Jamarcus at the helm) were 13-0 this season and coming off of a Superbowl win.

Rusty Shackleford said...

Also, was Jacob Hester really the best running back we've had this decade? It's not that I disagree with the Slant, it's just that with all of the good running backs I thought we have had, it's just ... well ... disappointing.

Saturday Night Slant said...

QBs were certainly the most difficult to make a decision on. If someone argued that Flynn and Mauck should be the two on this team, I wouldn't argue a whole lot. Davey is not without merit though. He holds the single season record for passing yards in a season and led a record setting offense. He was an incredible team leader, and his efforts helped LSU finally reach a BCS bowl game and become a Top-10 program. I submit that without Rohan Davey's performance in 2001, Jamarcus Russell would not have considered attending LSU.

As for Hester, I say that YES he's one of the two best we've had this decade.

How do you know when I went to college?

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