A sign of how good Landry has been in his Tiger career is that he started at safety as a freshman on the 2003 national championship team. He led the team in tackles that year and he's continued his stellar play in the secondary. Landry could have gone to the NFL last year and been a first round pick but decided to come back to school. LSU has reaped the benefits. He's totaled a team-high 68 tackles to go along with two interceptions. Landry is everywhere on the defensive side of the ball and his defensive coordinator thinks he'll soon be a Pro Bowl caliber player in the pros.
"I think LaRon Landry is a tremendous player and I think you're going to see him play in Hawaii some day," LSU's Bo Pelini said. "If he stays on task and keeps focused, which I know he will because of the tremendous young man he is, I think he'll be an All-Pro down the road. And if you talk to the scouts I think they'll say the same thing. Because not only is he a great athlete, he's tough, he has high character, he's intelligent, he's the total package. I've been lucky to have worked for him."
Landry isn't thinking about April's draft. He's focused on winning his last college football game in a LSU uniform.
"I never really look at it that way," Landry said about his playing well for the scouts. "My main focus on going into this game is going out there and playing with my teammates to the best of our ability. Just going out there and being dominant and come out (of this game) being victorious."
*On Saturday, the flow of praise was aimed directly at Tiger quarterback JaMarcus Russell. Sunday was the time for the LSU defenders to heap acclaim upon Notre Dame signal caller Brady Quinn. They didn't disappoint or come close to saying one negative thing about the Irish senior.
"He can do it all," defensive end Chase Pittman said. "He can throw. He can run. I don't think he likes to run, but when he has to he can. That's a problem. It looks like he leads really well. He's supposed to be a great leader. His coach said that he's the most valuable player on any team, so obviously they need him. Any time a coach says that about one player he must be really good."
"He's a total package of a quarterback," Landry said.
"We get an opportunity to play against a great player," defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey said. "I can tell my kids that I played against a Heisman Trophy candidate. It's another way to motivate us and for us to play hard."
*Dorsey sat on the elevated podium and just laughed. The junior defensive tackle was asked once again by a member of the media if he was going to jump to the NFL after the Sugar Bowl.
"I can't stop thinking about it because y'all keep asking me about," Dorsey joked.
Although he hasn't made a decision, there's no questioning his talent. Voted a first team All-American this season, Dorsey recorded 59 tackles on the year, good for third on the team. His presence inside draws double teams from opponents, which allows the outside defensive ends to go against one-on-one blocking. Tyson Jackson and Chase Pittman have combined for 14 sacks this season for LSU. The pressure is so good that the Tigers can apply heat with just their front four. Dorsey knows they'll need that pressure to slow down Quinn and the Notre Dame offense.
"They have a great scheme," Dorsey said. "They are a balanced team. They're going to come out and run and pass the ball. You can't focus on one aspect of their game. That's what makes them good. We're going to have to be on our A-game."
Dorsey will also be part of the front seven package to shut down Darius Walker. LSU is No. 14 nationally against the run. Last year in the Fiesta Bowl, Ohio State had the best run defense in the nation but Walker had his way with 99 yards and three touchdowns. Another challenge awaits the Irish back.
"He's a real shifty back," Dorsey said of Walker. "I have a lot of respect for him. He cuts well and runs hard. The defense is going to have our hands full. But we're up to the challenge and going to come out and play hard."
*Pelini on the best characteristic of the LSU defense: "The best characteristic of our defense is that we play with relentless effort. Even though we do a fairly good amount of things scheme wise, it's a very adjustable defense. It adjusts very well, very easily and it's simple for our players. Even though it's multiple for the offenses, it's simple for our players. And that's a key. There's not a lot of question in their minds about what they're being asked to do, so they're able to play fast. And you combine that with the athleticism that these guys have, that's why we've been able to be very successful."