LSU Fan Question: Why haven’t we seen more of K’Lavon Chaisson lately?
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LSU Question of the Day: Friday, Nov. 10
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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.