The complexion of LSU’s defensive line in 2021 completely changed with the respective announcements of every single starter deciding to take advantage of the NCAA’s additional year of eligibility and return to school.
The Tigers’ safety position also received a jolt of positive news Thursday evening when junior Todd Harris Jr. of Plaquemine declared on his Instagram account that he would return for this year’s upcoming season.
Simply put, Harris said: ‘Unfinished business. Let’s WORK’.
With Harris back – a 6-foot-1, 195-pounder – LSU’s secondary will have a familiar feel along with the return of arguably one of the nation’s top cornerback tandems in junior Derek Stingley Jr. and sophomore Eli Ricks.
That position group figures to adequately compliment a senior-laden interior line that is scheduled to include tackles Glen Logan and Neil Ferrell Jr., along with ends Ali Gaye and Andre Anthony.
Harris finished as LSU’s seven-leading tackler in 2020 with 30 total stops, 20 of which were unassisted. He was also one of four players with more than one interception with a pair of picks, including one in the Tigers’ 53-48 victory to close out the season against Ole Miss.
Harris, a former four-star recruit out of Plaquemine High School, played predominately on special teams in all 13 games as a freshman with four tackles before moving to a more prominent role on defense as a sophomore with 31 tackles and four pass break ups in 11 games.
He suffered a season-ending knee injury in LSU’s third game of the 2019 national championship season against Northwestern State and had three tackles.
Harris’ return helps offset LSU’s loss of JaCoby Stevens to the NFL Draft and bolsters a position that includes the return of junior Maurice Hampton Jr. (27 tackles in 8 games), safety Cameron Lewis (8 tackles in 9 games) and sophomore Jordan Toles (4 tackles in 8 games).
The Tigers also signed two of the nation’s top high school safeties in Sage Ryan of Lafayette Christian Academy and Derrick Davis Jr. of Monroeville, Pa., the latter which has enrolled in school and is going through the team’s offseason workouts.