Departed tailback Clyde Edwards-Helaire was LSU’s Mr. Everything.
He ran the ball, he caught passes, he blocked blitzing defenders, he returned kicks. And he did all of it at a high enough level to earn himself a first-round draft pick by the Kansas City Chiefs.
It’ll take a lot to replace his production on and off the field, but the good news is the Tigers have plenty of options at their disposal this fall. Here are the four names to keep an eye on when the season finally kicks off.
Meet the Man
Year: Sophomore Hometown: Baton Rouge Major: General business Height:6-1 Weight:232 Number:3
Davis-Price enters the season as the leading rusher among the returning running backs, having appeared in every game in 2019 minus the national championship. Tiger fans saw glimpses of the local’s rare combination of size and speed in flashes last year, including standout performances against Florida, Northwestern State and Mississippi State. “TDP” enters 2020 as one of the favorites to earn the starting job in the season opener.
Year: Sophomore Hometown: St. Rose Major: Interdisciplinary studies Height: 5-11 Weight: 215 Number: 4
Arguably no tailback on the team has more raw potential than Emery. The former five-star product ranked as the No. 2 running back and No. 13 overall player in the country coming out of Destrehan High. But he hasn’t quite been able to put it all together at the college level. Emery is fast, evasive and super athletic, with a surprising amount of power. He’s the lightning to Davis-Price’s thunder and is a prime candidate for a massive breakout season this fall.
Curry’s situation is a bit of an odd one. After LSU inked two elite running backs in the 2019 signing class, some thought Curry’s future looked bleak. He didn’t appear much throughout the season but continued working hard in practice. Curry ultimately earned the starting job in the College Football Playoff Semifinal against Oklahoma when Clyde Edwards-Helaire was injured, running for 90 yards on 16 carries. He’s a hard-nosed, downhill runner who not only doesn’t shy away from contact, but prefers to inflict pain on opponents trying to tackle him. He mirrors his game after longtime NFL tailback Marshawn Lynch—hence the “Baby Beast Mode” nickname—and will certainly battle Davis-Price and Emery for the starting role.
While it may feel like an already crowded backfield with the three more experienced runners ahead of Bradford, the incoming four-star recruit offers a little something the others don’t with his elite-level speed. Bradford averaged a whopping 9.2 yards-per-carry his senior year of high school, blazing past defenders on countless big runs. He may not be in pole position to win the starting job as he adjusts to the college game, but Bradford’s big-play ability will surely net him some opportunities throughout the season.