Entering into his fourth season as a member of head coach Les Miles’ staff, Peveto assumes those new duties along with Doug Mallory and he welcomes the challenge that awaits him.
“It’s an honor to be coaching at LSU,” Peveto said. “Having the chance to become co-defensive coordinator makes the opportunity all the more special…….It’ll be a new experience for me, but one I welcome. I enjoyed my previous duties, but the chance to move up and get back into defense full time is exciting for me. To get that opportunity at a place like LSU is something every young coach dreams of.”
Ensuring that having another strong linebacker corps will play a vital part in keeping the Tigers strong defensively and will be a priority for Peveto, who previously served as special teams-coordinator and linebackers coach.
“When I got here in ‘05 we had three seniors, who had played a lot of football,” Peveto said. “We lost two outstanding linebackers in Ali Highsmith and Luke Sanders from last year’s team that played a big part in our success. We’ll be young this season, but will have as talented a linebacking group as we’ve had.”
Leading the group will be Darry Beckwith, a 6-1, 230-pound senior.
The three-year starter is coming off a solid junior campaign in which he recorded 65 tackles, six and one-half of them resulting in lost yardage.
A second-team All-Southeastern Conference selection, Beckwith started 12 games and helped anchor a defense that played a prominent role in LSU winning the SEC Championship and National Championship game. His crucial pass interception halted a late-game drive that kept Tennessee from completing a possible, game-tying score and preserved the Tigers’ SEC title victory.
“Darry has been a great player for us in the past,” Peveto said. “We’re counting on him to continue doing a tremendous job providing us with leadership on and off the field. The thing that I’ve been the most proud of him was the leadership he’s taken in making it his defense and his team.”
“Sheppard is an extremely, good player and probably our most improved linebacker,” Peveto said. “He had a great spring and first five days so far, and keeps getting better and better. Riley is another very athletic player, who played well for us on special teams as a freshman. Cutrera has played well and we look for him to continue doing so. Those four guys will be our core at linebacker.”
Peveto will handle the sideline duties in sharing his co-coordinator post with Mallory, who will work upstairs in the press box.
Peveto feels that the situation will work to everyone’s advantage.
“Doug’s been in the press box for three years and that’s worked out well,” Peveto said. “He’s done a great job of calling the game and seeing things. But, don’t let him fool you because he can get excited over the headset.
“I get to be on the sideline where I’m more comfortable. I’ve always liked being in the flow of the game where I can look the players in their eyes and feel the emotion.”
Facing five opponents that run some sort of spread offense, that utilizes four or five wide receivers will pose a challenge for the Tigers but not one that LSU can’t deal with.
“We’re a match defense with four on the line, three linebackers and four deep backs,” Peveto said. “We’ll match the offense’s speed so that we do a great job of not letting ourselves get beat. We’re going to get the match ups that we need.
“The great thing is that our first four opponents run the spread. It’ll be tough to get ready for, but I rather that then having to do it for one game during a week in the middle of the season.”
“We’ve had great defensive linemen here for a long time,” Peveto said. “You can never replace someone like a Glenn Dorsey. He was one of the most decorated football players in LSU history and greatest to ever play the college game. But, if you look back you’ll see that we had to play without him and some of the other important guys that were out. You don’t replace them, but we feel good about our depth, talent and the way the guys are working.”
“Steltz was an outstanding player and when he went down in the national championship game I didn’t want to watch. You want that guy on the field every chance you have. But, Harry Coleman went into that game and we didn’t miss a beat. He’s had a great spring and we’re excited about him playing well this season.”
Like Peveto, the Tiger defense must believe in not letting opportunities that knock go unanswered or backing down from a good challenge to be successful this season.
If they do have their moments where they need a refresher then the right man will be roaming the sidelines to give them that reminder.