Spring fever: LSU

It didn't take John Chavis long to exhibit his "signature move" at LSU.

The former Tennessee defensive coordinator enjoyed tremendous success with the Vols transforming safeties into outside linebackers. The converts included Al Wilson, Eric Westmoreland, Anthony Sessions, Kevin Burnett, Ryan Karl, Nevin McKenzie and Adam Myers-White.

Thus, it comes as no surprise that one of Chavis' first moves as coordinator of LSU's defense was to switch 2008 starting safety Harry Coleman to outside linebacker.

Another Chavis favorite was making safeties out of cornerbacks. This group included Fred White, Julian Battle, Jason Allen, Antwan Stewart, Jonathan Hefney, Demetrice Morley, Eric Berry and Dennis Rogan.

Sure enough, the new Tiger aide switched LSU's Ron Brooks from corner to safety this spring.

Based on the spring game Chavis' changes seem to be working. The White (first team) limited the Purple (second team) to 52 rushing yards (2.3 per carry) and 119 passing yards en route to a 27-0 romp. The White intercepted two passes, with cornerback Patrick Peterson returning one 69 yards for a touchdown.

"I like the way the defense played," head coach Les Miles said. "They have the opportunity to be much better than they played today. Certainly they showed great potential."

LSU's offense has great potential, as well. The Tigers were limited by struggles at quarterback in 2008 but that problem appears to have been fixed. Flashy Jordan Jefferson highlighted a strong spring by completing 8 of 10 passes for 97 yards.

Jefferson has two star-quality weapons at his disposal in running back Charles Scott and wideout Brandon LaFell. Scott led all SEC backs with 18 touchdowns last fall and ranked fourth in rushing yards (1,174). He picked up where he left off in the spring game, carrying 11 times for 70 yards.

LaFell led the SEC in receptions (63) and receiving TDs (8) while ranking No. 2 in receiving yards (929). He caught five balls for 59 yards in the Purple & White Game. Also back is diminutive wideout Trindon Holliday, who must might be the fastest player in all of college football.

Bottom line: If Jefferson can fill the bill at quarterback, the talent-rich Tigers have a chance to contend for a BCS bowl bid in '09.


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