After an ACL injury ruined his senior year at Plaquemine High, defensive tackle Davon Godchaux was on the field for LSU’s season-opener and went on to start 10 games. One of the big surprises for LSU last year, Godchaux is healthy, experienced and confident this year.

LSU fans probably didn’t expect to see you last year after hurting your knee in the first game of your senior year. What was it like coming back so quickly and contributing as a true freshman?

It was hard not being able to play my senior season, but it was very hard getting ready to come in here and trying to rehab to get in shape. It was tough, but I had to do it because I knew I wanted to play.

How hard was it to get back to where you were for that first game at LSU, just 344 days after surgery?

It’s tough coming in and grinding every day. There were days when I was off and didn’t have to do ACL training, but I would go in anyway and do it to get my flexibility back. It’s a tough process.

What were your expectations?

I never had expectations of coming in my freshman year and starting. I had expectations of playing, but when Quentin Thomas went down (torn biceps), it was my job to get that starting spot.

Christian LaCouture, your running mate at defensive tackle, said you were a little lost early last summer. How did you catch up?

I guess people weren’t expecting anything from me, but that’s what made me fight harder. Christian took me under his wing and taught me the play book, so when I came in, I didn’t have to think where to go. All I had to do was go in and play.

When did you realize you could really have an impact last season?

I felt like I was ready to play and the coaches needed me to play early, so I jumped in and played against Wisconsin. After that game, I said, ‘Hey, I can play with these guys.’ I was nervous when I went in, but after, it I felt like I could play with the big boys.

You committed before you were injured, but coach Les Miles honored the offer. How did that feel?

Yeah, they stuck with me, and I appreciated that. I talked to coach Miles after I got hurt, and he was honest with me. He said, ‘I’m going to stick with you. You’re my guy, and I’m going to stick with your scholarship.’

LSU will play some 3-4 under Kevin Steele after being a four-man front under John Chavis. What do you see from that?

We’re ready to see, but it’s going to be interesting. The first few games should be a big test for us to see how good our defense really is. We’re looking forward to that.

Sheldon Mickles

Say what?

“First day in pads. A nice, hot day. (Did) some ‘Big Cat.’ Some initiation of what is our culture. Tough, hard practice.”

— Les Miles, on LSU’s one-on-one contact drill, “Big Cat,” that freshmen experienced Monday for the first time.

Roster report

OUT: DE Tashawn Bower (undisclosed).

Next three up

TUESday: Practice, 3:45 p.m.

WEDNESday: Practice, 8:35 a.m.; 3:45 p.m.

THURSDay: Practice, 9:15 a.m.