No defensive backfield in all of college football is as well-tooled as the Tigers' secondary. With a pair of preseason all-American cornerbacks in Corey Webster and Travis Daniels and a freshman all-American safety in LaRon Landry, quarterbacks will be fit to be tied come this fall when they try and penetrate one of the most talented group of defensive backs in America.
"It makes it a lot easier playing with two seniors that are real good at their position," Landry said.
While Travis Daniels and Webster are no strangers to the game, people still might find themselves reaching for the program asking, who is that No. 30. Landry came on the scene last season when Travis Daniels moved to cornerback after an injury opened up the spot opposite of Webster.
While many were skeptical of Saban playing a true freshman at such a vital position, the head coach had informed everyone the confidence he had in this young talented former quarterback from Hahnville High School.
Saban rolled the dice and cashed in big time as Landry produced one of the most inspiring performances in LSU history.
In his first year on campus, Landry was named First-Team Freshman All-America in 2003 as well as being a Second-Team All-SEC pick by the Associated Press. He started 10 games as a true freshman, playing a key role in LSU's run to the national title. Landry recorded 80 tackles and became the first freshman to lead the Tigers in tackles since 1990 when Anthony Marshall had 90 stops from the safety position.
"I really didn't expect to make the improvement and have the success that I had so quickly," Landry said of his freshman campaign. "I just tried to play my hardest and the best things worked out."
With fellow safety Jack Hunt now graduated from LSU, he must act like a veteran and take friend and roommate Jessie Daniels under his wing as Jessie Daniels takes over the strong safety position.
"Jessie doesn't really have a lot of experience," Landry said. "We were roommates last year so we really talked a lot. He and I are a lot alike, the only thing that I have more experience game-wise. But as far as the playbook goes, he is s smart guy and will do fine with it."
With Landry, a sophomore, and Jessie Daniels, a redshirt freshman, just who will be making the calls?
"We both have to communicate to know who is doing because if you do not it can get confusing," Landry said. "We all have to be on the same page even though we each have a different job to do. We still have to communicate because that is the most important thing in the secondary.
"There isn't just one signal caller," Landry said. "Everybody made calls (last year) from time to time, but it is all about communicating. But Jack he was a big key on the defense knowing the plays. He was like a coach on the field."
Now a veteran of the ball club, Landry is enjoying the fact he has a firm grasp in the system as he watches other freshman struggle trying to learn what is going on.
"It seems a lot clearer after going through an entire season including the spring and now the summer," Landry said. "Now the younger guys are in the same position I was and now I look back and they are in the same position I was in back then.
And what exactly is Landry's favorite thing to do? No doubt – blitz.
"The blitzes are easy because they are fun to me," Landry said. "It is basically just we are running to the ball. But I got a lot of help from Jack (Hunt). We spent a lot of time talking and he helped me understand them and made it a lot clearer and easier to understand."
Landry now one of the old guys
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