Sam Spiegelman/SEC Country
Former 4-star wide receiver Mannie Netherly will move to cornerback in 2018.

LSU makes roster move to reinforce its thin secondary

Nick Suss

LSU football is in the news every day, and the Bayou Bengal Briefing is here to keep you updated with the latest headlines five mornings a week. Join us every Monday through Friday for the biggest news on Tigers football, recruiting, baseball and more. Enjoy!

Switching sides

Talking with former LSU running back Jacob Hester on 104.5 ESPN Radio Baton Rouge on Monday night, LSU defensive backs coach Corey Raymond revealed an impending position change for the spring.

According to Raymond, LSU will move redshirt freshman wide receiver Mannie Netherly to cornerback this spring to fortify an otherwise thin position group. A former 4-star wide receiver from Crosby, Texas, Netherly took his redshirt in 2017.

At 6-foot-3 and 194 pounds, Netherly is longer than most cornerbacks, but his athleticism makes him a natural candidate to switch. Netherly is no stranger to versatility either; he played quarterback his senior year of high school after playing receiver successfully his sophomore and junior seasons.

MORE: Sign up here to get this roundup in your inbox Monday through Friday

That said, Netherly would’ve likely been overlooked had he stayed at receiver. With the arrival of incoming freshmen Terrace Marshall Jr., Ja’Marr Chase, Kenan Jones and Jaray Jenkins, not to mention the newfound eligibility of Texas Tech transfer Jonathan Giles, LSU’s wide receiver room was only going to get more crowded in 2018. And cornerback is a position where LSU is shorthanded, with only five scholarship players at the position.

Will Netherly end up establishing himself as a playmaker on defense? Only time can determine that. This is a tough transition that players can’t make on athleticism alone. But the move makes sense for LSU. Take a player who won’t play and give him a chance to, all while fortifying a weak spot. Logically, it’s a win-win.

Elsewhere in DBU stories

Monday was rife for stories about LSU’s secondary. First, SEC Country’s Alex Hickey wrote about the potential of moving a safety to cornerback, something that is still a possibility but might not be as necessary 24 hours later.

Later, I took a deep dive into the numbers to see if LSU’s cornerback situation is as dire as it’s been made out to be. As it turns out, there’s notable statistical proof to the idea that LSU has the most productive returning secondary in the SEC. LSU might be thin in the back end, but the starters who are coming back were among the SEC’s best in 2017 at breaking up and intercepting passes.

Talkin’ ’bout the NFL draft

The NFL draft isn’t until the end of April, but there’s never a shortage of news, especially when you have as many prospects heading to the league as LSU does. Here’s a couple of storylines you might’ve missed from Monday:

Checking in with the ‘croots

We’re already deep in the throes of the 2019 recruiting cycle, with LSU targeting some of the biggest names in the country. In case you missed anything, here’s a smattering of the biggest LSU recruiting stories from Monday:

In LSU basketball news

The LSU basketball team hosts Vanderbilt at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center at 8 p.m. CT on Tuesday. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network and available for stream through WatchESPN.

With a win, LSU could ensure that it will finish the 2017-18 season with at least a .500 record, something first-year coach Will Wade described as his No. 1 goal for Year 1 of his program. But don’t confuse that with Wade being content. Or with him looking ahead to something greater. Which he proved he certainly isn’t in a press conference on Monday.

Today in made-up holidays

According to the folks at, Feb. 20 is National Love Your Pet Day. Which begs the question: What are people doing every other day of the year?

I don’t know many people who have pets and are like, “Ugh, this thing again.” If you have a pet, chances are you like it. So, why do we need this holiday? It’s like National Remember To Eat Day or National Jump When You Hear a Loud Noise Day. It kinda seems inevitable.

But anyway, if you have a pet, love it. But only for one day, I guess.

Miss a previous edition of the Bayou Bengal Briefing? Find every one of SEC Country’s daily LSU football columns right here.