This is a countdown to LSU's preseason camp, which begins Aug. 4. We're asking and answering a question each weekday until drills begin:
Question: Who starts at nose tackle?
Parties involved: D-line coach Ed Orgeron, Davon Godchaux, Christian LaCouture, Rashard Lawrence, Edwin Alexander, Travonte Valentine, Greg Gilmore
The scoop: Godchaux ended spring practice as the Tigers' nose tackle in the new 3-4 defense. Midway through spring practice, Godchaux and LaCouture swapped roles. LaCouture, the nose to begin spring, moved to defensive end.
That was the first sign of indecision at that position, a key spot in defensive coordinator Dave Aranda's new scheme. In the spring game, Godchaux and LaCouture both played the nose tackle position. Specifically, LaCouture played the nose in LSU's passing downs, in which just two defensive lineman have their hands on the ground. But Godchaux played the position the majority of the time.
Still, no one seems to have the spot locked up, and D-line coach Ed Orgeron said earlier this week that the position is "wide open." Several freshmen could be in the mix as well, including Edwin Alexander and Rashard Lawrence and, potentially, Travonte Valentine, the 340-pound former Tiger trying to work his way back to LSU.
There are others. Greg Gilmore spent most of the spring as the No. 2 nose tackle and saw time in the spring game in that position with the No. 2s.
Our prediction: Godchaux will start the season as the Tigers' nose tackle, but think of this position as a two- to three-man job. It will be a rotating spot.
It's possible that Godchaux will slowly move into a more pass-rushing role on the outside as a defensive end. Some of the freshmen mentioned above could step up as key nose tackles late in the year. Aranda hinted to that last week.
Dave Aranda doesn’t need a massive, quick-footed, 340-pound nose tackle in his defense, he says.
- Thursday: Who starts at left tackle?
- Friday: Who starts at nose tackle?
- Monday: Who plays cornerback when Tre White is at nickel?
- Tuesday: What freshmen will make the biggest and quickest impact?
- Wednesday: How will the offense change?