By Mican Neese
LSU lost three major defensive leaders to the draft: Devin White, Greedy Williams, and John Battle. Thankfully though, LSU has three athletes ready to step up, grab the torch, and assume key roles in our 2019 defense.
Devin White to Jacob Phillips
Devin White was a purple and gold legend. Or maybe, the young Jacob Phillips will fill his role and make us forget number 40. Last year with Devin White stealing the spotlight, we only got to see glimpses and flashes of Patrick Queen and Jacob Phillips who lined up alongside him. But when we did it was pretty for Phillips. His sideline to sideline speed might remind you of a bigger, older linebacker. He’s an athlete that has been waiting for his time to shine and to show his talent. His speed will get him where he needs to be on the field and his aggression will rack up his tackles. He might even be a weapon in coverage if LSU uses their dime and quarter packages which feature six and seven defensive backs. What will Aranda not do with him?
Greedy Williams to Derek Stingley
Greedy Williams was a dark horse who strutted in as a redshirt freshman and was an immediate gamechanger. He drew quick comparisons to past DBU legends and was a projected top ten pick for the next year. The next year we realized how much we needed him when we didn’t sign a single cornerback. He stepped in to be a leader for a struggling secondary and continued to be an even better lockdown corner. He left a little early but maybe it was just in time. There’s a new stud in town who will make a debut completely opposite of the surprising Williams who came in with zero hype. LSU expects him to be a Greedy in his true freshman year. If he does fulfill expectations he will light a fire under this defense. He’ll be surrounded by an even better defense than years past and will get to lead one of the program’s best ever.
John Battle to JaCoby Stevens
John Battle was a stable piece in a patchwork secondary last year. He was a five year veteran who was a much-needed leader in the secondary. He is know getting a shot at his dream in the NFL and leaving a huge spot to fill at safety. Who to step up, but JaCoby Stevens. He’s already proved that he can be the next man up when he needs to be. When John Battle was battling with his one health JaCoby Stevens jumped into his spot and immediately sacked Jake Fromm on one of his only plays that game. His aggression will be key at the position. He won’t be waiting on the deep pass. Aranda will use him like a Jamal Adams to wreak havoc in the backfield as well as for the deep pass. He’s a ball hawk above everything else and we’ll see him come alive.