Q&A: LSU DB coach Corey Raymond

Hear from the coach behind LSU's most talented position group.

Q: Do you consider the LSU secondary to be as strong as most everyone expects it to be?

“Guys got to keep working. To keep that strength, you have to work at it and do all the little things that make you better. They’re doing it so far, and they have to continue working hard.”

Q: What's changed for the defensive backs in Kevin Steele's defense?

“It’s the same. Nothing changed. We just work hard at learning the defense.”

Q: How do Kevin Toliver and Edward Paris compare to each other?

“They’re both talented guys, one’s just taller than the other. They’re similar in that they want to be good and do the right things to be good. That’s why they’re both going to do well for themselves in the future.”

Q: Kevin Toliver was committed so long and never seemed to waver from it. Just how rare is that in today's age of recruiting?

“It’s very rare. We got him here, so it’s now about developing him to become the player we think he can be.”

Q: How beneficial was it for him to have been able to participate in spring practices?

“It was very big for him. It’s paying dividends. He was going against Jazz Ferguson, and Coach O said Jazz is going to be a good freshman. I reminded him that Kevin’s a freshman too, and he said ‘I forgot because he’s been here so long.”

Q: When you first evaluated Donte Jackson, did you see him as a corner or instead as someone that would play offense?

“I saw him as a corner, a guy that can do a lot of different things. He’s just a great athlete. We’re lucky to have him on defense with us.”

Q: What improvements does he still have to make as a corner?

“He just needs to keep developing. He hasn’t played the position every day, but he’s getting better. He’s come lightyears away from where he has been, and he’s going to pay dividends for us.”

Q: Who are your nickel and dime backs at the moment?

“We’ve got Jalen Mills. We have Dwayne Thomas back. We have great guys that can do a lot of different things for us.”

Q: Could Xavier Lewis potentially fit into that role during his career, and what have you seen from him thus far?

“He could wind up getting in the rotation for us. Xavier’s doing well for a freshmen. He’s competing and doing what he’s supposed to do.”

Q: What does it mean for you that the No. 18 jersey went to a defensive back in Tre'Davious White?

“It means something. It shows what everyone thinks of the group. Hopefully we continuously have a guy with No. 18 in our group. In order to be that, you have to be a good person on and off the field. That’s what we’re stressing. When you’re a good person off the field, on the field is easy.”

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