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Thursday, March 12, 2009
LSU's front four on defense will have a new look

Posted by's Chris Low

Few teams in the country have been able to boast the kind of defensive line talent LSU has put on the field in recent years.

  Crystal LoGiudice/US Presswire
  LSU has high expectations for Chancey Aghayere.

But this spring, there are more than a few question marks for the Tigers up front defensively. Gone are four seniors, including All-SEC defensive end Tyson Jackson, and junior tackle Ricky Jean-Francois, who left early for the NFL draft.

That doesn't mean the talent well has run dry. It's just that some new faces will get a shot up front, and that starts this spring.

In particular, first-year defensive coordinator John Chavis is anxious to get a look at the four defensive linemen the Tigers redshirted last season. One of those, Chancey Aghayere, was rated by Scouts Inc. as the No. 3 defensive end prospect in the country when he came out of Garland, Texas, last year.

The other three defensive linemen the Tigers redshirted last season were ends LaVar Edwards and Chase Clement and tackle Cordian Hagans.

"There are some young guys who haven't played yet, but they're very talented," Chavis said. "It's up to us to develop that talent."

This will also be a big spring for senior tackle Al Woods and junior tackle Drake Nevis. They need to prove that they can be consistent performers at this level. The Tigers got good news during the offseason when tackle Charles Alexander was granted a sixth year of eligibility, and they also return senior Rahim Alem at end. Alem was third in the SEC last season with eight sacks.