LSU rising junior Ed Paris is getting the first-team reps in place of injured starting cornerback Kevin Toliver, and mid-year enrollee Saivion Smith is currently a backup cornerback the Tigers will “rely on,” LSU secondary coach Corey Raymond said Monday while watching the team’s pro day.
“We’re getting better,” Raymond said about his defensive backs group. “We’re going to have a lot of depth. When we get healthy, we’re going to be much better.”
Donte Jackson, who missed the Tigers’ last spring practice, is suffering from a hamstring strain, Raymond said, but he should return at some point during the spring. Safety John Battle is healthy after successful shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum, but he won’t rejoin the team during spring.
Toliver is also out for the spring after a previously reported shoulder surgery. That’s leaving Paris to run opposite Tre’Davious White at cornerback, Raymond said. Dwayne Thomas, meanwhile, will be LSU’s “jack of all trades,” playing safety, cornerback and nickel, the coach said.
Smith, a highly touted defensive back from Florida, has been turning heads as a backup cornerback.
“He’ll be one of the guys we’re going to rely on,” Raymond said.
Louisiana first, says Orgeron
Ed Orgeron, the program’s new recruiting coordinator, isn’t changing LSU’s recruiting philosophy, he said Monday.
“Same way we always did: Go get the best players available. Start with Louisiana first. Do a very thorough job in Louisiana and branch out from them, specific needs. Make sure we do a great job of evaluating talent.”
Orgeron, also the school’s defensive line coach, replaced Frank Wilson as recruiting coordinator. The former Southern Cal recruiting coordinator spoke publicly for the first time since the move Monday at LSU’s pro day.
“Honored to represent LSU,” he said. “I’m glad Coach (Les) Miles thought of me that much (for) that position. I’m looking forward to it.”
Gordon expects waiver in ‘2-3 weeks’
Tight end Dillon Gordon said Monday that he expected to receive his waiver from the NCAA in about “two to three weeks,” but Miles has doubts about that time frame.
The school requested a fifth-year of eligibility for the 310-pound run-blocking senior from Edgard.
Gordon missed the final six games of last season after rupturing his Achilles tendon. Miles said Gordon could join LSU during spring practice if the NCAA grants him the fifth year of eligibility before spring drills end with the April 16 spring game.
“I don’t know if he’ll receive that information quickly enough,” Miles said.
Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter @RossDellenger.