SEC Country is examining each LSU position group following the Tigers’ spring as we await the start of fall camp.
Wednesday’s breakdown features LSU’s 2016 collection of defensive linemen.
You should already know: Davon Godchaux, Christian LaCouture, Frank Herron, Lewis Neal
Analysis: Numerous members of tested themselves out in different positions this spring.
Stud defensive lineman Davon Godchaux highlights one of the first chess pieces defensive coordinator Dave Aranda shifted, moving the 6-foot-4, 293-pound rising junior from tackle to a hybrid end/nose guard role in the 3-4 scheme.
Godchaux has started 20 consecutive games at defensive tackle, but already realizes some of the benefits of his new position and how the defense has thrived because of it.
“I want to play any position on the defensive line to show that our defense has come a long way from last year,” Godchaux told SEC Country this spring. “At times, it’s hard. It’s rough, but you’ve got to be a man and do all the dirty work. Coach (Ed Orgeron) put me up to the challenge. It’s going to be tough, grinding it out.”
Godchaux is one of three starters returning to LSU’s defensive front, along with tackle Christian LaCouture and defensive end Lewis Neal, who split reps with Frank Herron throughout the spring. Rising junior Greg Gilmore has also taken snaps as part of the defensive tackle rotation.
The deep and experienced collection of defensive linemen may be getting utilized at different positions, but the goal remains the same. Aranda is pushing for an attacking defensive front, which sets the foundation for the rest of the defense to wreak havoc.
“Our defense is going to change our style … part of the plan is getting the O-line thinking too much and getting some free (tackles for loss), some free plays,” said Godchaux. “We’re going to establish our dynamite defense, keep pushing and let everyone know that coming into the fall we’re going to have a dominant defense.”
Key question: Can some of LSU’s veterans thrive in their new roles? Godchaux is now a defensive end, while Herron and Neal are battling it out on the other side. Most players admitted that the spring started out as a transitional period, but most of the new concepts installed had become like second nature come the spring game.
Bottom line: Once the Class of 2016 defensive linemen arrive on campus, the Tigers will be exceptionally deep across the defensive line. Five-star Rashard Lawrence and four-stars Glen Logan and Edwin Alexander will join the defensive line group and provide depth at each spot along the front. Aranda will have an opportunity to mix and match to determine which position fits each prospect best, as well as catering a talented front seven to fit his system.