ORLANDO, Fla. — LSU made a concerted effort during December’s inaugural early recruiting period to shore up the depth along its offensive and defensive lines.
The Tigers signed four offensive and eight defensive linemen. Eight is great, as far as defensive coordinator Dave Aranda is concerned.
“I’m excited about the people coming in,” Aranda said Friday. “Physical, big, explosive guys. That’s needed. And we’ve got some edge rushers as well. You look at Travez Moore and Jarrell Cherry, guys we can put on the edge and set edges and win one-on-one in the pass rush.
“I feel like the depth on the D-line we’ve had this year has been very apparent in the way we’ve played. When we haven’t had depth, it’s also been very apparent. To be able to build our front is important, and I give Coach O (Ed Orgeron) a lot of credit.”
Aranda, who is wrapping up his second season at LSU, said he likes size on the inside and agility on the outside when it comes to his front seven.
“You build it inside out, so the guys on the inside are big, explosive people, and then once you move on out, you get more speed and length,” he said. “On the inside it’s got to be push, it’s got to be knock-back. I think we’ve got some guys who fit that. Then you look on the outside, and we’ve got some length. It’s exactly what you want.”
ORLANDO, Fla. — Matt Canada would "love" to be at LSU next season, he said, and he has not spoken with anyone at the university about his future.
Aranda mum on staff replacement
Aranda said there hasn’t been much talk leading up to the bowl about finding a new staff member for the defense.
Defensive line coach Pete Jenkins is returning to retirement after coming out of retirement at Orgeron’s request last season. Outside linebackers coach Dennis Johnson is moving over to replace Jenkins, but a potential replacement for Johnson’s position group remains to be seen.
“I think that will be (discussed) after the bowl game,” Aranda said. “There hasn’t been a lot of talk about that.”
This will be the 12th meeting between the Fighting Tigers and the Fighting Irish, a series that began in 1970 with a 3-0 Notre Dame victory in South Bend, Indiana.
Notre Dame leads the all-time series 6-5, including a 31-28 win in their most recent meeting: the 2014 Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tennessee. LSU leads 2-1 in bowl games against Notre Dame, winning 27-9 in the 1997 Independence Bowl and 41-14 in the 2007 Sugar Bowl.
The schools have not played each other in the regular season since 1998. Orgeron is 0-1 against Notre Dame. While serving as interim head coach in 2013 at Southern California, the Trojans lost 14-10 to the Irish.
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