LSU defensive back Ed Paris (21) reacts in a drill, Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at LSU football practice. Defensive back John Battle (26) is in background.


This is a 12-part daily series counting down the days until LSU football begins spring practice on March 11. 

Days until spring: 10

Combined number of college seasons for Ed Paris and John Battle: 10

These two LSU defensive backs begin their fifth year of eligibility this season, both veterans who were part of the 2014 signing class. Mostly because of injury, they have stuck around the program longer than most, and they're expected to significantly contribute this year.

First, though, think about how long they've been here. Battle and Paris have been part of the program longer than eight of LSU's 10 on-field coaches, including head coach Ed Orgeron. They were freshmen with guys like Leonard Fournette and Davon Godchaux, a pair of players entering Year 2 in the NFL. 

They aren't short on experience, something that is sure to help a somewhat loaded safety position.

Like he was last season, Battle figures to occupy the starting position opposite soon-to-be sophomore Grant Delpit. Battle, one of the team's most vocal leaders in 2017, fought through injury for much of the year. A disappointing redshirt junior season led to his decision to remain for a fifth year, something the NCAA granted him last summer. He was given a redshirt for a freshman season in which he played in one game.

Paris, before his season-ending knee injury in September, rotated with Delpit. His role isn't as clear, but the former corner is staying at safety despite a thin cornerback position, assistant Corey Raymond said in a radio interview last month.

Behind Battle, Paris and Delpit are a group of young guys. The most experienced is redshirt sophomore Eric Monroe, who saw time last season when Paris suffered his injury in practice after Game 3. Two freshmen last season who saw spot duty, JaCoby Stevens and Todd Harris, are behind Monroe. There is also redshirt sophomore Cameron Lewis, a versatile player who moved to corner at least briefly last year.

Countdown to LSU spring practice 

Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter, @RossDellenger.