Editor’s note: As LSU prepares for what should be a promising 2016 campaign, expectations are sky-high as the team returns 18 starters and the nation’s third-ranked recruiting class.
Over the next few weeks, SEC Country will take a closer look at LSU’s 25 most important players who will determine whether this upcoming season will be a success or letdown.
No. 10: Kendell Beckwith
Most would have presumed that Beckwith would be preparing for training camp instead of fall camp.
However, the standout linebacker opted to delay his NFL career and return for his senior season. In doing so, LSU retained its defensive captain.
The 6-foot-2, 252-pound Louisiana native is coming off yet another impressive campaign in which he finished second on the team in tackles with 84. That production includes 10 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, 3.5 sacks and a pass breakup.
More importantly, Beckwith’s return to the Tigers defense leaves him as one of the few seniors on the unit, especially for a linebacking corps that should be otherwise comprised of sophomore Arden Key, first-time starter Duke Riley and converted safety Corey Thompson.
Beckwith was a semifinalist for both the Bednarik and Butkus awards in 2015, honors allotted to college football’s top defensive player and top linebacker, respectively. That goes to show how critical Beckwith’s return will be for the continued success of the LSU defense, especially as it converts to a 3-4 scheme under first-year defensive coordinator Dave Aranda.
Some inexperienced bodies are being thrust into new, important roles, so keeping Beckwith’s steady presence in the middle is huge for LSU.
Coming Tuesday: The new left tackle
- No. 25: Danny Etling
- No. 24: Kristian Fulton, Saivion Smith
- No. 23: Devin White
- No. 22: Tyron Johnson
- No. 21: Rashard Lawrence
- No. 20: Donte Jackson
- No. 19: Colin Jeter
- No. 18: Trent Domingue
- No. 17: Corey Thompson
- No. 16: Kevin Toliver II
- No. 15: William Clapp
- No. 14: Rickey Jefferson
- No. 13: Ethan Pocic
- No. 12: Christian LaCouture
- No. 11: Derrius Guice
Sam Spiegelman covers LSU football recruiting for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play in Tigers Stadium.