Former Nicholls State defensive back Darren Evans announced Tuesday evening that he has transferred to LSU.
Starting nickel safety Kary Vincent announced in August he was opting out of the upcoming season, and, last week, LSU coach Ed Orgeron said he was looking to use the team's final scholarship spot of the 2020 recruiting cycle to boost depth in the defensive backfield.
"We're looking for players right now, obviously," Orgeron said. "We have some needs. ... We're looking for a cornerback, and I think we're going to use it on a cornerback. It should be happening soon."
Evans, a 6-foot-3, 180-pound Baton Rouge native, started in all 14 games at cornerback for Nicholls State in 2019, and he was named second team All-Southland Conference in 2018.
Evans started at corner in 32 total games at Nicholls, and he recorded 100 tackles, four interceptions and 27 pass breakups in his three-year career in Thibodaux.
"They say Home is where the heart is," Evans posted Tuesday afternoon on Twitter.
They say Home is where the heart is 💜💛 pic.twitter.com/xLi37Is9uZ— Darren Evans (@Uknwdee) September 8, 2020
It is not yet certain whether Evans will compete immediately at nickel safety or cornerback for LSU.
Cordale Flott started as a true freshman at nickel against Ole Miss last season, and, when Vincent announced his decision, Orgeron said Flott and five-star freshman Elias Ricks were both in line to replace Vincent at nickel safety.
Orgeron has appeared to back off on Ricks as a certain option at nickel, describing the California native to reporters Tuesday morning as someone who will likely be a rotational player in 2020.
"You will see a lot of Elias this year," Orgeron said. "As a starter, maybe not as a starter, but definitely in the rotation playing a lot. We feel he will be an outstanding player for us."
Orgeron has said Flott could be LSU's main option at nickel, but it's possible that the 6-1, 165-pounder starts at cornerback opposite Derek Stingley.
When preseason camp began, Orgeron said Flott was starting at corner after "a tremendous summer" and could play either corner or nickel safety. Flott played in 13 games in 2019, and he recorded 15 tackles and four passes defended.
Since then, Orgeron has named other potential options at nickel safety, although they are less likely.
Orgeron said sophomore cornerback Jay Ward is a "guy that's coming on," and he mentioned starting safety JaCoby Stevens could play the position, although the senior will mostly be used in his traditional roles.
LSU's defense is expected to field five defensive backs often, because most teams in the Southeastern Conference run some form of spread offense. The Tigers have converted to a 4-3 scheme in defensive coordinator Bo Pelini's first year back with the program, and Orgeron said they have been practicing in a base front, especially in short yardage situations.
Stevens and sophomore Maurice Hampton are seemingly locks at LSU's two traditional safety positions, and Orgeron has often praised true freshman Jordan Toles, who signed as the nation's No. 5-ranked safety according to 247Sports.
Cameron Lewis, a 6-1, 195-pound senior, also remains an option in the secondary. He played in 15 games in 2019, while recording 20 tackles, a half-sack and two passes defended.
Former starting free safety Todd Harris is still recovering from the knee injury that, in the third game of 2019, knocked him out for the season. Orgeron said Tuesday that he's not full speed yet, "but he's getting close."
The Tigers roster has plenty of young, unproven talent.
Redshirt freshman Raydarious Jones played in four games last season, and true freshman Dwight McGlothern, the nation's No. 20 corner, is expected to see playing time this year.
Still, the nickel safety will be a crucial position in 2020, and LSU has just picked up another option with Evans while Pelini and the coaching staff still look to lock down its second starting corner.