After making a splash in 2013 as a true freshman, Christian Lacouture is back for more as a sophomore this fall.
Below, in this exclusive Q&A with TSD, the projected starting defensive tackle dives into where things stand after a busy summer at LSU. LaCouture also speaks to getting back into the swing of things Monday at camp, growing into a leader and being part of a DT brotherhood.
Ben Love: How were summer workouts for you and how you do feel you got better over the summer?
Christian LaCouture: It was great. I thought we did some great things with the staff helping us out. Week in and week out we did some great things all summer long, and we’re looking forward to Fall Camp.
BL: Did you have an emphasis this summer, whether it be cutting weight, getting quicker, anything specific like that?
CL: I was trying to focus on everything – working on the bags, trying to get quick feet, working on explosion coming off the ball, weight room, just really catching up on everything and making sure everything’s all good.
BL: What is an updated height and weight on you?
CL: We did a physical yesterday, and I believe I was 6-5 and 302 pounds, I think. I just want to stay right there. I felt good coming off the ball today.
BL: Brick Haley told me earlier this summer that you can be one of the leaders of not only the defensive tackles this year, but the entire defensive line. How does that happen for a sophomore and what is it about you that makes people gravitate toward you?
CL: I try not to talk, just prove things out on the field. I’m a hard-working guy. I come from a hard-working family. I dedicate my play to my family. And then Coach Brick, the best defensive line coach in the country, he pushes us every day and just tries to make sure we get better every day. Coach [John] Chavis, Coach [Les] Miles, they’re always trying to make us better, too, and I’m just thankful for that. But like I said, I’m just really trying to be a non-talker out there. I just want to prove on the field what I can do.
BL: Describe the relationship between you and Quentin Thomas.
CL: He and I were the guys last year that came in for Freak and Ego. He’s a hard-worker, too. He’s a guy I can always count on. He’s someone that I’ll look to at times this year to help me out, and the same thing for him with me. It’s just a brotherhood, the defensive line, that’s what we are. That’s like my family. I love them to death, and if they need anything I’ve got their back.
BL: What are his strengths at the position?
CL: He’s been here for a while. He knows his plays. He comes off the ball great, and he’s really a great technician. I know if I need anything that he’ll help me.
BL: How important are those redshirt freshmen at defensive tackle this year? And do you see one or two of those guys that started to show this summer that they’re ready?
CL: Yeah, but then again today is only day one. Some of those guys are practicing this afternoon anyway. But Frank [Herron] did some great things this morning, coming off the ball real hard and just showing great intensity. [Davon] Godchaux did some great things, too, this morning. But it’s just day one. We’ll only improve from here. We’re looking forward to this season.
BL: Is it more difficult for a new defensive tackle coming in to learn how to play the run or the pass?
CL: Well looking at the SEC, it’s primary run. I know A&M has a West Coast-style with Johnny Manziel and the same thing coming up this year. But you’ve really got to stop the run first and then you convert to pass. If you can’t stop the run, they’ll just keep running the ball and just keep scoring touchdowns. Around here we stop the run and then we’ll convert to the pass if we have to, but our primary thing is to stop the run.
BL: With such a young and new group at defensive tackle, is this going to a big yelling year for Coach Haley?
CL: (Laughs) I guess it just depends on how the play goes down. Like I said before I feel like he’s the best defensive line coach in the country. If he feels like we messed up, he’ll definitely get on us. At the same time everything we do great, he’ll praise us for that. But he doesn’t mind getting on us if it’s our fault. If we don’t get the job done, that’s our fault. So he continues to just try and make us the best that we can be.