Sam Spiegelman/SEC Country
Freshman K'Lavon Chaisson hasn't played as much during Arden Key's re-emergence.

LSU Fan Question: Why haven’t we seen more of K’Lavon Chaisson lately?

Alex Hickey

SEC Country reporter Alex Hickey will answer your LSU Tigers sports queries each weekday in our LSU Question of the Day. Join the conversation by sending your questions via Twitter to @SECCountryLSU, @bigahickey or by email to Alex at alex.hickey@coxinc.com.

LSU Question of the Day: Friday, Nov. 10

Today concludes our first week of the LSU Question of the Day and also serves as an important reminder: we have to do this again next week, so start thinking of some more questions. This feature is all about empowering you, Joe (or Jo) Fan. Seize the day!

This one comes from Jake Higginbotham via Twitter:

Are we seeing less of K’Lavon Chaisson because Arden Key is on the field more, or is he just not where he needs to be player-wise to see the field more?

This is a very natural thing to wonder about.

Chaisson was on the field a lot early in the year, yet his playing time has tapered off considerably as the season has progressed. That’s the opposite of what you would expect to see from a freshman. But as you’ve already hit on, Jake, there’s a good reason for that.

After missing LSU’s first two games and sometimes looking slow or lackadaisical in others, Arden Key has been a force to be reckoned with since the fourth quarter of the Auburn game. And given that he plays the same position as Chaisson, the freshman is the one on the bench. It’s not that he’s not good enough to cut it — it’s just that Key is  better right now. He’s also way more fit than he was when he first came back, cutting down on the need to sub him out of games.

Chaisson’s situation is not unlike the one facing freshman cornerback Kary Vincent Jr. Vincent was LSU’s primary nickelback earlier this year. But the re-emergence of Kevin Toliver as a viable starting outside corner gave LSU the luxury of moving Donte Jackson into the nickel.

Chaisson and Vincent are good enough to be on the field. But defensive coordinator Dave Aranda has found something better.

Of course, there are packages in which the Tigers can use both Key and Chaisson at the same time. But senior Corey Thompson has done such a good job at LSU’s other outside linebacker spot that they haven’t needed Chaisson as much for that “Cheetah” set.

I wouldn’t worry about Chaisson. He’ll have plenty of big moments in the next couple of years — and maybe even a few the rest of this season, too.