LSU football: 5 players flying under the radar in 2015

4 of 6

Sep 7, 2013; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; UAB Blazers quarterback Austin Brown (11) is sacked by LSU Tigers defensive end Lewis Neal (92) in the fourth quarter at Tiger Stadium. LSU defeated UAB 56-17. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Lewis Neal

Lewis Neal is a player that, despite never having started a game, could become one of the stars of the LSU defense this season.

The junior defensive end has established himself as a starter in 2015, and with Maquedius Bain’s decision to transfer leaving the Tigers with little depth up front, Neal’s role for the upcoming season has become even more crucial.

He has bounced back and forth between defensive end and defensive tackle throughout his first two seasons with the program. And although Neal is penciled in at defensive end, he will certainly see some action on the interior line as well. His ability to play both positions is a major asset for a team that is extremely thin on the defensive line.

Neal emerged as one of the breakout players of LSU football’s spring camp, where he earned the Alvin Roy Fourth Quarter Award for outstanding performance in the offseason program, as well as the Newcomer Award and Coaches Award.

He will have large shoes to fill, with 2014 starters Jemauria Rasco and Danielle Hunter departed to the NFL, but Neal’s development this offseason is a testament that he is the type of player that can fill this void. If he is able to do so, it will go a long way in easing LSU’s worries on the defensive front.

Next: Josh Boutte