Glad to be back

LSU has had one of the nation's top defensive line units the last five years and is expected to be one of the best in America again for the 2008 season. Returning senior and two-year starter Tyson Jackson has been one of the leaders on that side of the ball and with spring practice winding down he feels good about where his defensive line colleagues are.

“We’re coming along great,” Jackson said. “Ricky Jean-Francois is coming off and on with us because he’s still participating in track right now. Kirston Pittman has a little bit of an injury, but besides that everything else is looking real good.


“We’ve got some young guys like Al Woods and Drake Nevis stepping up big at the defensive tackle position and we’re waiting on Charles Alexander to get healthy.  Me, Kirston (Pittman), Tremaine (Johnson), and Rahim (Alem) are doing pretty good at the defensive end position. So the defensive line as a whole is feeling pretty good right now.”


Spring practice concludes with the spring game this Saturday in Tiger Stadium.


While some might look forward to the spring game for that reason, Jackson is looking forward to using the game to refine some of his skills.


“I think there are a lot of things that I need to clean up with my technique and fundamentals,” he said. “I’m real excited to get out there against the 1’s on offensive line and tight ends and try to clean some of those things up.”


One problem that seemed to plague Jackson throughout the 2007 season was unnecessary penalties at critical points in games. He acknowledges that but doesn’t plan on letting that happen again in 2008.


“I just need to keep focusing on winning the game and cut out all the stupid penalties that I have been getting throughout the game,” he said.


As is often the case with extremely talented underclassmen, Jackson did have some thoughts of leaving school early last year to enter the NFL draft.


The former West St. John product discussed that possibility with his head coach and in the end he feels like he made the right decision.


“It (going pro) crossed my mind,” Jackson said. “Right after we played in the national championship game I sat down with Coach Miles to talk about my situation, and we just came to the conclusion that the best thing for me to do was to come back for my senior season. I think I made a good choice.”


Was there anything Coach Miles said he needed to improve on directly?


“No not necessarily,” Jackson said. “He just exposed me to a lot of things I didn’t know about the situation. He’s been in the NFL before with the Cowboys, so he knew more about the situation than I did. Once he started talking to me about it I just realized coming back to school would be the best thing for me.”


Returning for his senior year may be the best decision Jackson has made if he plays up to his potential in 2008 and the LSU nation is sure glad he made that call.


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