Virtually everyone is changing roles on the LSU football team’s front seven.
Some of the changes are small. Davon Godchaux, for example, is moving from defensive tackle to defensive end, a slight adjustment in stance and style.
Some changes are bigger. Tashawn Bower is moving from defensive end to outside linebacker, a more significant move forcing him into pass coverage.
And then there’s Corey Thompson. He’s moving into the front seven from the secondary.
“It’s a transition,” Thompson said last week in his first interview since the position change.
Thompson moved from safety to outside linebacker during the offseason. That’s where he’ll line up in Saturday’s spring game in Tiger Stadium — 15 yards closer to the line of scrimmage than he normally plays.
The Texas native made the decision to switch positions, he said, as a way to potentially get more playing time. LSU is returning all but one starting defensive back, and the Tigers need linebackers in new coordinator Dave Aranda’s 3-4 scheme.
The 6-foot-2, 222-pounder took the plunge.
“I felt like it would give me a chance to see … a chance to really show my versatility,” said Thompson, who took over as LSU’s starting safety late last season in the nickel and dime packages. “Moving to a 3-4, we’re pretty thin at linebacker so I thought, ‘You know, maybe I can go down there and make an impact.’ ”
Thompson is playing LSU’s F-linebacker position, the same one Bower was moved to this spring. What’s the F-linebacker? It has more linebacker qualities than LSU’s other outside linebacker position, Buck. The Buck is more of a standup defensive end, a position that Arden Key and Isaiah Washington are playing.
“You blitz, stop the run, cover the tight end,” Thompson said in explaining F-linebacker role.
The role isn’t completely new for him. Safeties occasionally dropped down near the line of scrimmage in LSU’s Mustang package, a six-defensive back, passing defense the Tigers used often under former coordinator John Chavis.
Jamal Adams mostly served as the Mustang’s drop-down safety, but Thompson played in that role as a high schooler in Missouri City, Texas. He was the drop-down safety in his high school team’s 4-2-5 scheme.
“It’s not really that much of a big adjustment,” he said, “but it’s kind of different when you’re always down there banging heads.”
Pinky toe injury sidelined Magee
A pinky toe injury did in Adrian Magee last season, he revealed in his first interview since August.
Magee, a 6-4, 325-pounder from Franklinton, suffered the injury during preseason camp and was redshirted last year as a freshman.
“I went to take a step and try to explode through somebody, and I guess I got on my toe and it popped,” he said.
He broke the tip of the pinky toe, something that came with playful criticism from teammates.
“Some of them called me a girl,” he said with a smile.
Magee is working as LSU’s second or third option at left guard, practicing behind Will Clapp, now out for spring with a sports hernia, and Garrett Brumfield.
Student day at practice
LSU is inviting students to attend football practice at Tiger Stadium on Thursday for a fifth straight year, the school announced.
Students will also be able to tour LSU’s locker room at Tiger Stadium before practice at 2:30 p.m. Students must enter through the Jeff Boss Locker Room, located on the north side of Tiger Stadium. Practice begins at 3:30, and students can participate in several drills on the field after practice at about 5:30.