It’s not often that you lose the SEC’s leading tackler — and the nation’s second-leading tackler — and feel good about where your current linebacker group stands, but that’s a testament to LSU’s depth at the position.
Even with Damone Clark moving on, the Tigers return a talented and experienced group headlined by Mike Jones Jr., Greg Penn III and Micah Baskerville. Add in an exciting true freshman in five-star recruit Harold Perkins, and you have the makings of a very deep unit.
Despite the lack of general preseason hype surrounding this team, several of its position groups have received high praise from national publications. And in a recent ranking of SEC linebacker corps from On3’s Jesse Simonton, LSU came in third after Alabama and Georgia (unsurprisingly).
The Tigers are slightly inexperienced at linebacker after losing 135 tackles from Damone Clark last season, but their unit doesn’t lack upside or numbers. Senior Micah Baskerville is a solid starter inside, while Greg Penn III, Phillip Webb and 5-star freshman Harold Perkins Jr. were all top recruits who will push for snaps this fall. LSU’s LB room would be buoyed if former Clemson transfer Mike Jones Jr. can stay healthy and live up to his recruiting billing.
The Tigers have had some defensive woes over the last two seasons and will now be on their third defensive coordinator in as many years in Matt House. However, between what could be an elite defensive line, a secondary filled with experienced transfers and a deep linebacker group, this could be the season where LSU gets back to the hard-nosed defensive football the program is known for.
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