Summer Top 50 - No. 11 Christian LaCouture

In the final spot before TSD's top 10 comes junior defensive tackle Christian LaCouture, a physical presence in the middle of LSU's D-Line.

HOOVER, Ala. – Because everyone loves to rank things, and because summer is the best time to argue and debate, TSD is spending the coming weeks through the end of July rolling out its top 50 LSU football players for the coming season.

Many are seasoned veterans and a select few are new to the roster, but all 50 Tigers figure to make an impact on the gridiron in 2015.

So we hope you enjoy this list, updated once each weekday and compiled by the TSD staff of Ben Love and Hunter Paniagua (who, naturally, had disagreements of their own along the way).

Today the countdown arrives at a talented, experienced junior at No. 11, defensive tackle Christian Lacouture.

REASON FOR OPTIMISM


Considering the position he plays, and how tough it typically is to get on the field there early, LaCouture is a very experienced player. The 6-foot-5, 300-pound defensive tackle produced for LSU as a true freshman and a season ago started all 13 games, serving as the bedrock on the interior of the Tigers' defensive line.

LaCouture registered 40 tackles in 2014, adding to his production haul four tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. He got off to a good start this spring with new position coach Ed Orgeron, too, solidifying a starting job next to sophomore stud Davon Godchaux.

Potentially boosting LaCouture's value is the move LSU may be making from a 4-3 base to a 3-4, which it's easy to assume would leave LaCouture as the man in the middle with Godchaux's ability to slide out to defensive end.

STILL LEFT TO PROVE


There isn't a ton of depth at defensive tackle this year, especially with the recent departures of Trey Lealaimatafao and Travonte Valentine. So LaCouture will have to continue to show durability, as he and Godchaux have only one projected rotational player to rely on with any experience - Quentin Thomas.

He'll also have to be the predominant run-stopping force on the inside for Coach O. LaCouture has shown the ability to be tough and take on blockers, but that task will be even taller this fall, more so if the 3-4 comes into vogue quickly under new coordinator Kevin Steele.

Overall critiquing LaCouture's LSU career to this point is akin to nitpicking some, as he's been dependable as a young player at a tough position. But he'll have to elevate his game to another level in 2015 as both starters at defensive end from last season are now in the NFL.





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