Tigers lose senior starter at defensive end
By JAMES MORAN
Tiger Rag Associate Editor
LSU’s front seven depth sustained two serious hits over the weekend.
Senior Christian LaCouture, a starter at defensive end, and sophomore Isaiah Washington, a backup to Arden Key to hybrid outside linebacker, both sustained injuries Sunday, according to multiple reports.
Both players suffered knee injuries, and The Advocate reported Monday that both appear to of the “significant” variety, placing LaCouture’s senior season in jeopardy.
The blow to the Tigers is two-fold. For one, LaCouture is one of LSU’s most seasoned defensive lineman and had slimmed down 12 pounds over the summer to better fit Dave Aranda’s 3-4 defense. He’s also the leader of a talented defensive front that projected as deep as any at LSU since 2011 or 2012.
As far as replacing LaCouture, a lot depends on 340-pound former Tiger Travonte Valentine, who told 247Sports Monday that’d he’d been cleared to begin practicing — a fact LSU has yet to confirm.
Assuming Valentine is fully eligible, he could play nose tackle and allow Davon Godchaux to slide over to the defensive end spot opposite Lewis Neal. That’d leave junior Greg Gilmore and true freshman Ed Alexander at nose tackle along with Valentine.
Washington figured to be the primary backup to Arden Key at the “buck” linebacker spot, a position group that works with the defensive linemen during practice. This leaves two true freshmen — Sci Martin and Ray Thornton — as reserves behind Key.