Four months ago, Grant Delpit was in high school.
On Saturday night, he started at safety in LSU's spring game.
No, that No. 9 wasn't Rickey Jefferson. It was the freshman standout.
"He had a great night," coach Ed Orgeron said. "Grant may start for us."
Delpit, wearing Jefferson's old number and playing his position, started with the No. 1 defense in place of the injured John Battle in the spring game. In just his second series, he had a pass breakup, leaping and swatting away a long attempt from Danny Etling. He also led the Purple team with four tackles, including three solo.
Delpit, an IMG Academy product who's from New Orleans and grew up in Houston, was a consensus four-star recruit. He was rated as high as the fourth-best safety in the nation. Within four months of his arrival — he came to Baton Rouge in January as a midyear enrollee — Delpit has made his mark.
"Grant has proved tonight he can make plays. We treated it as a preseason game. I wanted to see what the guys did underneath the lights," Orgeron said. "He did a tremendous job. Again, got to watch the film, but he’s a guy we may start. Also (freshman safety) Jacoby Stevens. He’ll have a shot there. We’ll be playing a lot of young guys on defense."
It was just a glimpse, really, a fleeting snapshot before the lightning began to menace Tige…
Delpit wasn't the only defensive back to excel. Kevin Toliver picked off Etling, jumping a slant route and corralling the short pass for the first turnover of the lightning-shortened spring game. Toliver played "good" Saturday and had a "good spring," Orgeron said.
Not all of the secondary spots are solidified, though.
The Tigers used several players at nickelback, including Xavier Lewis, Donte Jackson and walk-on Abraham Wallace. Orgeron said freshman Kary Vincent, arriving this summer, could see significant action there, too.
Andraez "Greedy" Williams saw time with the starters when Jackson shifted inside to cover the slot receiver.
"Greedy is going to be an excellent cornerback. Donte is going to be an excellent cornerback," Orgeron said. "One of those guys is going to have to play nickel for us. One of those freshman may play nickel, like a guy like Kary Vincent. We have a great class coming in. Can’t wait to put this team all together."
Delpit, though, stole the show Saturday. How was he able to rocket up LSU's depth chart so quickly?
"I believe he was well-coached along the way," Orgeron said. "He’s physical, very fluid. He’s a guy that can move back there. He’s a little bit like Jamal Adams, to be honest with you. I don’t know if we have another one like him. He has that type of talent."
Matt Canada didn't wait long.