LSU’s highly-anticipated football season gets underway March 7 with the start of spring practices.
Each day, SEC Country will take a look at one key position group on the LSU roster and analyze the talent returning, the departures and the new additions while providing expert analysis on the most prominent storylines to keep an eye on.
The spring football preview series will continue weekdays through March 4.
Defensive backs coach: Corey Raymond
Key returners: Tre’Davious White, Kevin Toliver II, Donte Jackson
Other returners: Dwayne Thomas, Ed Paris, Devin Voorhies
Newcomers: Saivion Smith, Kristian Fulton, Andraez Williams
Outlook: LSU boasts one of the most talented collections of cornerbacks in the country. But even with the program’s reputation as the “DBU” of college football, there are no guarantees when it comes to this unit.
Headlining the returning starters are White and Toliver, who could be a formidable one-two punch again in 2016.
White’s career resume includes 34 starts at cornerback and being named a Thorpe Award semifinalist after recording 44 tackles and seven pass breakups in 2015. White, who had been projected as a sought-after NFL prospect, opted to return for his senior season and should be a focal point of new coordinator Dave Aranda’s defensive scheme.
His secondary mate, however, continues to recover from a shoulder procedure. Toliver contributed immediately as a true freshman last season, but will sit out all of spring practices while he rehabs the injury.
That opens the door for Jackson to see some spot action in his stead.
Jackson recently ran the 60-meter dash for the LSU track team and distinguished himself as the fastest college football player in that setting. This spring, we’ll find out whether the sophomore’s speed can translate into a larger role in the Tigers’ secondary.
Expect Smith to also see reps at cornerback and nickelback. The true freshman and former four-star prospect is an early enrollee and will have a chance to show off his talents during spring practice.
The nation’s No. 5 cornerback, Smith should battle it out for a role in the defensive backs rotation immediately alongside his more veteran counterparts.
The same will likely be the case for Fulton, a five-star prospect out of New Orleans that is also likely to crack Raymond’s lineup.
One of the top high school cover cornerbacks in Louisiana the past two years, Fulton should see time right away in a variety of situations. Of course, a lot will depend on quickly the true freshman will adapt to the collegiate level.
Here’s a look at our past and upcoming previews:
- Quarterback an area of stability entering 2016
- Heisman Trophy hopeful headlines talented backfield
- Newcomers aim to make instant impact at wide receiver
- Last year’s surprise the clear-cut tight end
- Competition expected along the offensive line
- Defensive front boasts strengths in numbers
- Freshmen look to find roles in linebacking corps
- March 3: Depth, youth a theme at safety