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 plays cornerback when Tre White is at nickel?
Parties involved: Tre White, Donte Jackson, Kevin Toliver, Saivion Smith, Ed Paris, coach Corey Raymond
The scoop: During the spring, LSU's staff moved Tre White from cornerback to nickelback. What's that mean? White moves from covering the outside receiver to covering the slot or inside receiver.
We write much more about that here, after conversations with White, secondary coach Corey Raymond and defensive coordinator Dave Aranda. White will still play the wide cornerback spot in LSU's base 3-4 defense (with four defensive backs), but he'll move inside when the Tigers are in a five-defensive back set (its primary defensive set over the last few years).
So, let's get to it: Who replaces White, opposite presumed starter Kevin Toliver, at the wide cornerback in the nickel and dime (six DB set)?
The top candidate is Donte Jackson, the speedster who evolved late last year into LSU's starter at nickel. During spring, Raymond called Jackson, Toliver and White his three starters, but Jackson missed most of spring practice while academically ineligible. Coach Les Miles says he'll be eligible to start preseason camp.
Freshman Saivion Smith, a highly touted prospect out of Florida who enrolled in January, played the wide cornerback role in the nickel in the spring game. Participating with the first string, Smith entered the spring game in LSU's nickel package. White slid to the nickel, and Smith replaced him.
Ed Paris is the veteran of the group, a junior who's played in a reserve role the last two years. He started at cornerback in the spring game with Toliver (injury) and Jackson out. The Tigers also signed two more cornerbacks in the 2016 class: Kristian Fulton, arguably the state's most sought-after talent, and Greedy Williams.
This is a countdown to LSU's preseason camp, which begins Aug. 4. We're asking and answering…
Our prediction: Jackson begins the season as LSU's starter out wide in the nickel and dime sets, but don't sleep on Smith, the talented freshman.