Favorite primed to be a force in the SEC

Defensive tackle Marlon Favorite has the largest number on LSU's 2006 squad and played in only three contests in 2005. But that doesn't mean No. 99 won't be a feared name in the minds of offensive coordinators across the SEC.

"Marlon Favorite has really stepped up, and he's a much better football player than he was last year and he's getting better every day," Bo Pelini said, LSU's defensive coordinator. "I really like what I've seen from Marlon in the first seven practices."


Favorite will finally receive his chance to shine in Death Valley with the departure of three starters from the defensive line. With Claude Wroten, Melvin Oliver and Kyle Williams now playing in the NFL, Favorite has moved up on the depth charts since spring practice, and could be a major contributor in 2006.


"The guys that left last year, Claude Wroten, Melvin Oliver and Kyle Williams, they really laid down a foundation for us," Favorite said. "Now it's our time to step up and take over the defensive side of the ball."


Listed as LSU's No. 2 left defensive tackle behind Glenn Dorsey going into fall camp, Favorite says he is hungry for action this upcoming season. He played in three games in a backup role on the defensive line in 2005 in wins over Vanderbilt, North Texas and Miami, and redshirted for the Tigers as a true freshman in 2004.


Traditionally, LSU's defensive line has been an anchor for the LSU defense because of talent and player rotations during the game. Because of player rotations, many youngsters get onto the field and gain enough experience to contribute.


With the continued absence of incoming freshmen Al Woods from fall camp because of the NCAA Clearinghouse and Charles Deas not qualifying academically, Favorite's role could continue to escalate as camp continues.


"We have been improving as a team," Favorite said. "On a personal note, I feel like I've gotten a lot better. It's been a long ride. I'm just looking forward to this season and the first game."


Favorite is not only excited about receiving ample playing time, but also the chance to play against former friends and colleagues from high school. He says it should be fun to line up against guys he's already played against as a prep star or at summer camps.


 "A lot of these guys I played against in high school," Favorite said. "This is a great conference to play in if you are looking for competition."

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