Welcome everyone to the latest edition of the LSU Tigers position preview! We finally flip over to the Tigers on defense this week and focus in on the big hosses in the defensive line.
There’s quite a bit of depth between the trenches on the defensive side of things as opposed to LSU’s issues at the O-Line. Without further ado, let’s dive into the preview of the defensive line.
There are a few names worth noting that are no longer wearing the purple and gold. The two biggest have to be Lewis Neal and Davon Godchaux.
Both of these players accounted for 122 total tackles last season. While that doesn’t sound like much when you look at the amount of total tackles from the entire team, it looks a lot better when you look at the amount of tackles that the returning players had in 2016. Both of these players had almost twice as many tackles as four players that had at least some playing time.
These two will be huge departures, but there are plenty of players on the roster that can fill that void.
Looking first at the defensive tackles, there’s two players that come to mind when you think about potential defensive line starters and that is Greg Gilmore and Ed Alexander. Gilmore looks like a no-doubter after starting all 12 games last year and amassing 34 total tackles and a sack. Alexander should follow up a solid campaign as a true freshman where he played in all but one game in 2016 and racked up 13 total tackles.
A healthy Chrisitan LaCouture heading into his final season is going to be an impact player for the defensive line. He suffered a knee injury back in August and having him healthy would do wonders for this front seven.
Another player to look out for senior Frank Herron, his numbers may not have been as big as Neal’s was last season, but his effort as a defensive end should be an even bigger deal as he’ll have a major role for this team.
Also, be on the lookout for Frank Herron and Rashard Lawrence to fill out the defensive end position with the experience these two bring to the table.
The Other Guys:
While the defensive end position has some solid depth, defensive tackle has a chance at real depth depending on what happens in the next few weeks. Breiden Fehoko, a transfer out of Texas Tech is going to be a player to keep an eye on the rest of camp and could see a lot of playing time this season to help rotate defensive players in and out.
Another player that has a lot of question marks in terms of his future with LSU is Tyler Shelvin. The former Pio is currently awaiting news from the clearinghouse about his grades. According to Ed Orgeron it will probably be another week before news comes out about the defensive tackle. If he can get on the field for fall camp, he will have to fight for a role on this team because of the amount of time he lost.
The Tigers will continue to be solid between the trenches, but the biggest question of it all is the depth at the position. While there’s a good bit of experience at the frontlines, how certain are you that the younger players will be able to rotate in and out to keep the more experienced guys fresh?