Jackson, Beckwith To Stay for Senior Seasons

LSU junior defenders Tyson Jackson and Darry Beckwith will return to school for another season, head coach Les Miles announced on Monday.

Miles also said on Monday that senior defensive end Kirston Pittman will file an extension with the NCAA for another season of eligibility. Pittman, who graduated in December with a degree in general studies, missed all of 2005 and 2006 with injuries. The 2008 season will be Pittman's sixth year with the Tigers.

According to associate athletic director for student services Miriam Segar, LSU must file an extension with the NCAA to get Pittman's five-year clock waived, thus allowing an additional season of eligibility. Segar said the process could take three to four weeks once the paperwork has been filed with the NCAA.

All three players were starters for the Tigers in 2007, helping LSU to a 12-2 overall mark and the consensus national title. One week ago, LSU posted a 38-24 win over Ohio State to claim the BCS National Championship. LSU also claimed the AP national title, its first from the writers since the 1958 season.

"Anytime a player postpones making a significant amount of money to return to school for another year is a very personal decision," Miles said. "We were going to support these three players in whatever decision they made.

"As a coaching staff, we try to gather as much information as we can to help these guys make the best decision possible. We are obviously excited that they have decided to return to LSU for another season, not just because they are outstanding players, but they are quality young men with tremendous character who will be among the core leaders on next year's team."

As a junior in 2007, Beckwith started 12 games at middle linebacker and ranked fifth on the team with 65 tackles. He also recorded 6.5 tackles for losses, 1.5 sacks and intercepted a pass.

Jackson, a three-year starter at defensive end for the Tigers, had 36 tackles, 4.5 tackles for losses and 3.5 sacks for LSU in 2007. Jackson led the Tigers with 15 quarterback hurries and he batted down 10 passes.

Pittman, who saw his first action for LSU since the 2004 season, started all 14 games at defensive end in 2007, finishing with 68 tackles and team-highs of 13.5 tackles for losses and eight sacks. Pittman added 14 quarterback hurries and an interception for an LSU defense that ranked among the top 10 in the nation in several categories.

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