The LSU Linebacker “Makeover” Is On


Most LSU fans are thinking Quarterback right now, after all the Tigers just landed a new QB transfer bringing up memories of Zach Mettenberger’s great LSU run.

Or they might be thinking Running Back, looking forward to a possible Heisman campaign by Leonard Fournette.

If they are thinking about LSU Linebackers, they might still be remembering the draft and how Kwon Alexander got lucky landing with the Bucs.

LSU Football Coaches are looking ahead though, and they are completely reshaping their defensive plan and roster for the future. The first real public talk about a possible shift came with the hiring of new Defensive Coordinator Kevin Steele.

It made sense, after all Steele was hired from the coaching staff at Alabama and they have run a 3-4 defense for years. There was no confirmation of the speculation initially, and since LSU has the personnel for a 4-3 the talk died pretty quickly.

It is now obvious that LSU is making the switch, and sooner rather than later. was the first to report on the defensive shift in an article, where they pointed out that LSU is making some interesting moves on the defensive line.

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  • Maquedious Bain, a 300 pound Defensive Tackle spent the spring working out as a Defensive End.

    He is currently suspended but there’s a good chance he’ll be back and lining up at the 5 technique. LSU also recruited 300 pound Defensive Tackle Glen Logan as a Defensive End.

    Defensive Ends in the 3-4 alignment tend to be bigger and heavier like 4-3 Defensive tackles, and making Bain and Logan Defensive Ends works perfectly in a 3-4 alignment.

    High school linebackers are taking notice. LSU lost a couple of starters to the NFL draft and already needed linebackers for depth.

    Now they need 8 LB’s on the 2 deep chart instead of 6 and the field is wide open for freshman to come in and play immediately, a huge plus on the recruiting trail.

    This is paying real dividends.

    LSU is on a hot streak of signings of Linebackers and Defensive Ends who project as 3-4 players. The streak (of signings and of good news) is also hitting campus this week, with reports that Arden Key has been cleared by the NCAA to enroll at LSU and start classes.

    Key was one of the real gems of last springs recruiting class. The main knock on him was his size, he was a bit light for a traditional 4-3 DE but he is close to where he needs to be to hold down the Will spot in a 3-4 defensive alignment.

    Key in retrospect looks like the new prototype of players LSU wants on the edge in their defense.

    Rahssan Thornton and Andre Anthony are both listed as DE’s and both weigh in the 215-230 range, as does LB Erick Fowler, an edge rush specialist. All are speed players who will be natural fits in an aggressive 3-4 defense.

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    Rahssan Thornton in particular is an intriguing athlete.

    A relatively unknown 3 star player when LSU signed him recently he has already been promoted to 4 star status and added to ESPN’s Top 300. Expect other major services like Rivals and Scout to follow suit in their next updates.

    LSU is in the hunt for DE’s Patrick Bethel, Emmitt Gooden and Brian Burns, and has another in state DE commitment from Caleb Roddy of Destrehan.

    They are also aggressively recruiting LB’s Ben Davis, Keion Joyner, Michael Divinity, Jeffery McCullough and Tim Hart. Gooden is the only player on that list who weighs more than 250 pounds.

    The switch is on, LSU is a 3-4 team and they are recruiting the kind of specialist players who thrive in that system. After years of playing the 4-3 base, this might worry some LSU fans.

    I have 2 words for those fans: Dome Patrol.

    Older Saints fans all remember how exciting the aggressive blitz happy dome patrol teams were to watch.

    Knowing Les Miles he is looking for the same kind of fast, powerful, hard hitting athletes to fill out his roster on the defensive side of the ball. It should be something to see when it arrives, and right now that is looking more sooner than later………

    Next: LSU Lands QB Transfer Danny Etling