POSITION: Defensive tackle
Highlights: LaCouture enters his second season as a full-time starter after opening all 13 games a year ago for the Southeastern Conference’s top-ranked defense. The junior anchors the middle of the LSU front four along with sophomore Davon Godchaux, giving the Tigers one of the top defensive tackle tandems in the league. LaCouture has played in all 26 games since joining the program in 2013 and has 51 tackles for his career — including 5.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. He moved inside to tackle after the four-star prospect came out of high school as the 14th-ranked defensive end in the nation by 247 Sports and Scout.com.
Strengths: LaCouture has been praised by coaches for his strength and aggressiveness, which has drawn comparisons to former LSU standout and current Buffalo Bills star Kyle Williams. A team leader on the defensive side of the ball, LaCouture plays with a lot of fire and emotion — especially when he’s asked to pressure the quarterback. Yet, he’s shown he can hold his own in controlling the middle of the line of scrimmage against the run — which is a key for any defense up the middle. “I feel like my strengths are in attacking the line of scrimmage and just having a relentless motor,” he said.
Must continue to: Work on perfecting his technique against the run and the pass. LaCouture said it’s important to work on his craft and try to get better on the field and in the film room. “You’re never going to be perfect, so you just try to benefit and learn something from everything you do every day,” he said. “I think I can learn a lot from Coach ‘O’ (Ed Orgeron) and from watching the film.”
Projection: After earning a starting job in spring ball in 2014, LaCouture will be the incumbent at left tackle and line up in the Tigers’ four-man front next to Godchaux, who started 10 games as a true freshman a year ago. While they’re nimble and quick enough to get after the quarterback, their main job will be to stuff the middle against the run and help get offenses into obvious passing situations.
“He’s in the green (noncontact jersey), but he’s the most violent green player I’ve ever seen. You can’t keep him out of there … he’ll hit you. It’s like, ‘I thought you were hurt.’ It’s ‘Yeah, I was.’ ”
— Les Miles, on Lamar Louis still trying to compete while he nurses a strained pectoral muscle.
LIMITED: LB Lamar Louis (strained pectoral).
Next three up
FRIday: Practice, 9:05 a.m.
SATURDAY: Scrimmage, 6 p.m. (Tiger Stadium).
SUNday: Fan Day, 5 p.m. (No practice).