HOUSTON — K’Lavon Chaisson may be rated as the nation’s No. 7 weak-side defensive end, but let the record show that the uber-athletic pass-rusher envisions playing linebacker at the next level.
Chaisson made that abundantly clear when discussing his potential fit at LSU.
The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder out of Houston is being courted as a stand-up outside linebacker in the Tigers’ newly implemented 3-4 defense.
That’s what first-year LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda has in mind for Chaisson, who made no secret that it’s also the role he’s coveting.
“Basically, they want me to play a stand-up linebacker role in the 3-4 scheme. I’m the guy they’re looking for basically,” Chaisson said to SEC Country on Sunday at Nike’s The Opening regional event in Houston.
LSU extended an offer Chaisson’s way last June, but the addition of Aranda to the Tigers’ coaching staff has increased both sides’ interest tremendously.
The four-star pass-rusher visited Baton Rouge, La., for Junior Day in late February to get a firsthand look at the defensive changes being installed.
Since then, Chaisson has conducted some research of his own, watching film of Aranda’s old Wisconsin defenses to see how he might be utilized if he pledges to the Purple and Gold.
“I went there a few weeks ago to talk about the new defensive scheme,” Chaisson said. “He’s (Aranda) talking some good stuff about the position they want me to play — as a stand-up linebacker. I really like their defense, too.
“Mainly, everytime we talk it’s about this new (defense) and that it fits me perfectly. It’s exactly what he did as the Wisconsin defensive coordinator, and I like what they’ve got going on.”
In his own film study, Chaisson realized that Aranda’s linebackers rarely have a slow game.
In fact, the defensive coordinator prefers to dial up blitzes almost every other play, which is an attractive opportunity for the reigning All-State selection.
“(The linebackers) aren’t sitting out there in space like it’s boring,” Chaisson explained. “He’s sending them out on blitzes 40 or 50 percent of time, rushing and getting to the quarterback, and that’s really what I like to do.
“(Aranda) has given another boost to love LSU even more. Coach (Les) Miles is fun to be around, and now to hear that they’re now getting a defense that you want, I mean. …”
Chaisson said he’s a fan of the new-look LSU defense, but there are other factors that remain in play.
Chaisson’s father, Kelvin, played collegiately at Baylor. There’s no question the Bears are also one of Chaisson’s top schools.
Chaisson’s former teammate at North Shore High School (Houston) is Eric Monroe, one of the safety signees in LSU’s 2016 class.
However, Texas’ No. 16 prospect denied that his ties to the in-state power — or the fact that one of his teammates is off to LSU — will make any sort of impact in his recruitment.
Instead, he named two factors of the utmost importance, which is why he knows that LSU will be one of his top schools.
“No. 1 is defense,” Chaisson explained. “I’d like to play linebacker. Also, coaching stability. They can’t tell me one thing and then when I get there, you’re not there anymore.
“(LSU) is a top school,” he added. “I don’t know what number, but they’re a top school.”