This is part of a 10-part series counting down to the start of LSU's preseason camp July 31. One part is being published each day from July 21 through July 30.
DE Frank Herron
Pushing whom: Christian LaCouture and Rashard Lawrence
The scoop: LSU's three defensive line positions — two ends and a nose guard — will feature a rotating group of as many as eight players. The Tigers are deep enough, despite their youth, to rotate two to three players at each spot. Herron, a fifth-year senior, is expected to see the most playing time of his career. Yes, Lawrence, a sophomore, beat him out during the spring, but don't write off Herron. In LSU's speed rushing package, Herron and Lawrence could be on the field together as the only D-linemen.
CB Andraez Williams
Pushing whom: Donte Jackson, Kevin Toliver and Kristian Fulton
The scoop: There's no guessing here. Coach Ed Orgeron earlier this summer told The Advocate that Williams is, right now, in LSU's starting rotation in the secondary. Jackson has moved, for now, to the nickel role. When in that five-DB set, Williams replaces Jackson on the outside as a cornerback, a spot that many penciled in for Saivion Smith, before Smith announced his transfer this spring. While Williams is indeed pushing for significant playing time, he'll be pushed in camp by rookies like Jontre Kirklin and Kary Vincent.
OLB/DE Ray Thornton
Pushing whom: Arden Key, Andre Anthony and Corey Thompson
The scoop: A chiseled redshirt freshman from Texas, Thornton was one of a handful of stars in spring practice. He's versatile enough that the Tigers have him playing two positions: the buck (a hybrid end/outside linebacker role) and the F-outside linebacker spot. Expect coordinator Dave Aranda to move him all over the field, using his athleticism in the pass rush, pass coverage and even run-stopping on the edge. With Key potentially out, Thornton could be the first man up in replacing him.
- July 21: Three offensive starting battles
- July 22: Three defensive starting battles
- July 23: Three defensive rookies you should know
- July 24: Three offensive rookies you should know
- July 25: Three defensive seniors to count on
- July 26: Three offensive seniors to count on
- July 27: Three defensive reserves pushing to play
- July 28: Three offensive reserves pushing to play
- July 29: Strongest and weakest position groups
- July 30: Three bold predictions