There have been a few surprises in camp so far. Some players have come out of nowhere to get in the mix for playing time.
The biggest surprise of camp has to be Kirston Pittman (no relation). He's the last remaining player to have actually been a contributor to the 2003 national championship team. He was a defensive end and a pass-rushing specialist on that team, recording 15 tackles with 2 sacks. He earned Freshman All-SEC honors backing up Marquis Hill.
In his sophomore year, he continued as a pass-rushing specialist playing behind Melvin Oliver, and had another fairly productive year. But then the injuries came, and Kirston Pittman didn't play a down in either 2005 or 2006, taking a redshirt in one of those years. He was then pretty much written off by the casual fan, who expected nothing more than spot-duty for him if he could get himself healthy.
Well, instead of spot duty, he appears to have beaten out Rahim Alem and Tremaine Johnson for the starting job at right defensive end. He's reportedly been spending a lot of time in the backfield in practice. As an unlikely link to the 2003 team, he should provide leadership and experience.
Who knows, he could maybe even apply to get a medical redshirt for the 2006 season and return next year as well.
The other big surprise of camp has been quarterback Andrew Hatch, who transferred to LSU from Harvard. That's right. Harvard. He was recruited to a couple Division I schools but chose to go to Harvard instead, but decided to leave Harvard to walk-on at LSU.
It sounds like he's impressed coaches enough to let him slide into the #3 quarterback role, allowing the coaches to redshirt Jarrett Lee if they choose. Hatch will likely never play a meaningful down at LSU, but if he can be an adequate emergency QB, it will pay dividends down the road by giving Jarrett Lee an extra year of eligibility.
Hatch is, by eligibility, a sophomore.