Saivion Smith yanked down D.J. Chark, tossing the LSU receiver out of bounds for a short gain.
Dee Anderson raced untouched down the middle of the field, hauling in Danny Etling’s pass around the 20 yard line and scoring seconds later.
LSU’s mid-year enrollees made their respected splashes in Saturday’s spring game in Tiger Stadium, drawing roars from the announced 21,000 in the stands and praise from coaches afterward.
“Saivion Smith came in so ready to play,” coach Les Miles said after the Purple beat White 17-7.
Smith, a four star signee from Florida, seems to be ahead of the five other mid-year enrollees. He played on LSU’s starting defense, entering as a cornerback in the Tigers’ five-defensive back nickel set.
A caveat: LSU played without three projected starting defensive backs, including cornerbacks Kevin Toliver and Donte Jackson and safety Rickey Jefferson. Still, for a guy who’s been on campus less than four months, Smith was handed a big role.
There’s a reason behind that, defensive coordinator Dave Aranda said, and it’s not necessarily about athletic ability.
“Saivion is very football intelligent, understands the game, has really good questions,” Aranda said. “He’s got all of the skills in the world. He’s got length, toughness, all of those things he has, but what makes him special is he loves football and wants to know football more and more.”
Anderson played on LSU’s second string offense and finished with two catches for 80 yards – one that 70-yard bomb from Etling.
A caveat: It came against LSU’s second-string secondary, one that included about three walk-ons.
Still, Anderson seems to be ahead of, even, some veterans, but he’s clearly trailing the likes of Malachi Dupre, D.J. Chark and Jazz Ferguson, the first-string’s starting trio of receivers.
Devin White, a mid-year enrollee from North Webster, played the middle linebacker position with LSU’s second string defense. In just a few weeks on campus, the four-star product, originally signed as a running back, has surged up the depth chart.
The 6-1, 255-pounder appears to be the immediate backup to Kendell Beckwith.
“He’s definitely a competitor,” Beckwith said.
LSU true freshmen aren’t allowed to speak with reporters.
“He really came in and he came in on a mission,” Beckwith continued. “He’s really shocked me, done good, plays fast, plays physical. Only thing he’s got to do is continue to grow, and he’ll be a great player.”
Receiver Stephen Sullivan and outside linebacker Michael Divinity, the two other mid-year enrollees, both played on LSU’s third-string units. Sullivan did not have a catch with the third-string receivers, and Divinity served in the F-linebacker role with the third-string defense.
Meanwhile, Smith starred in his first spring game. He entered the game as a wide cornerback in LSU’s five-defensive back set, replacing Tre’Davious White. White played the nickel position, moving inside to cover the slot receiver.
“He’s another good one,” Aranda said of Smith.
Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter @RossDellenger.