LSU hauled in a highly acclaimed Class of 2016 signing class, which includes five early enrollees.
Two of those early enrollees — linebacker Devin White and cornerback Saivion Smith — proved to be early standouts on the defensive side of the ball this spring, leading LSU coach Les Miles to praise them during the SEC football spring media teleconference on Thursday.
“A couple of freshmen came in and did very well,” Miles said. “It looks like a couple of those guys on defense will play.”
White, who was regarded as the nation’s No. 5 athlete in the Class of 2016, signed with the Tigers with the expectation he would eventually join their backfield.
After realizing the depth LSU boasted at that position, White switched over the defensive side of the ball, filling in at linebacker in place of an injured Kendell Beckwith.
In doing so, the 6-foot-1, 258-pounder impressed Miles and first-year defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, giving the team a new weapon in the linebacking corps to trot out for the 2016 season.
“Devin White went from running back to linebacker, and he just looks like he’s going to be playing very quickly,” Miles said.
Smith cracked LSU’s cornerback rotation early on with Tre’Davious White battling an injury and sophomore Kevin Toliver II out for the entirety of the spring.
Donte Jackson also missed a good portion of the spring season due to academic issues, which thrust Smith into a more prominent role during practice and the spring game.
But the nation’s No. 5 cornerback in the Class of 2016 played up to the challenge.
“He’s long, athletic and very capable there as well,” Miles said of Smith.