4 LSU football spring game breakout candidates for 2024

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With spring games rapidly approaching, college football team practices are in full swing across the country, giving coaches and fanbases an outlook of what’s in store for their respective programs ahead of the 2024 season.

Of course, the beauty of spring ball is that it allows new up-and-coming talent to emerge and fight for a starting spot ahead of September. With that being said, today we will turn to the SEC and break down the top breakout candidates for LSU football this spring.

April 13 marks the third LSU football spring game with head coach Brian Kelly at the helm and there's a lot of anticipation to see how a handful of veterans and transfers make an early impact.

1. Garrett Nussmeier, QB

A year ago today, there were whispers that if Jayden Daniels did not improve in 2023 following a rather mediocre 2022 campaign, Garrett Nussmeier, who dazzled in the bowl game victory over Purdue to close out the 2022 season, would be the favorite to replace him. But that obviously didn’t quite pan out. Daniels elevated his game to insane levels this past year while leading FBS quarterbacks in nearly every statistical category and becoming just the third Tiger to ever win the Heisman Trophy. 

Having said that, Nussmeier has been patiently waiting for his time to come as the starter and is the clear-cut favorite to finally inherit that role.

Touted for his cannon of an arm, Nussmeier will feature one of the best deep balls in the country next season and is already making waves in spring practice. The in-state product will also have a great nucleus around him in Baton Rouge in 2024 to help him unlock his full potential.  

For starters, the offensive line should remain one of the nation’s best. The unit, who ranked 12th among Power Five teams in pass-blocking efficiency and was one of 12 semifinalists for the Joe Moore Award last season, is returning four of five starters up front. Headlining the bunch is left tackle Will Campbell, who is tasked with protecting Nussmeier’s blindside and will look to make an even bigger splash in his senior campaign after not allowing a single sack across 731 snaps in 2023. 

While the wide receiver room will need to reload (more on this later), the talent level is still there and if history has told us anything, the Tigers have no issue developing superb pass-catchers.

Nussmeier is currently taking the first-team reps in practice, which comes at little surprise considering his upside and tenure. While there’s always a chance he could be pushed by either redshirt freshman Rickie Collins or Vanderbilt transfer AJ Swann for the starting job, it’s a safe bet to pencil him in as the next man up in the Bayou.

Nussmeier will be the most intriguing player to watch in the spring game and will give Tiger fans a glimpse of how he’s improved developmentally entering his redshirt senior year.