We are counting down the five spring position battles to watch starting Monday and ending on Friday, a day before LSU starts spring drills.
- Danielle Hunter: The athletic and rangy Hunter started all 13 games last season, surging into a starting spot toward the beginning of the 2013 season. Hunter, a junior who left early for the NFL Draft, had a team-best 13 tackles for loss last season and finished third in overall tackles.
- Jermauria Rasco: Rasco seemed to have the best motor of any player on last season’s defense. He was a two-year starter who finished last year first on the team with four sacks and fifth on the team with 71 tackles. He exhausted his eligibility.
- Tashawn Bower, junior: Bower, a former four-star recruit from New Jersey, played in every game last season and recorded 16 tackles. He was the immediate backup to Rasco, but he was challenged for playing time last year by a pair of freshmen.
- Sione Teuhema, sophomore: A three-star 2014 signee, Teuhema played in nine games last year, entering as a defensive tackle in the Tigers’ Mustang package. He’s tall and lean, but seems to thrive as a pass rusher.
- Deondre Clark, sophomore: One of the biggest gets in LSU’s No. 2-ranked 2014 signing class, the four-star prospect played in 12 games last season and was listed as the immediate backup to Hunter. At 6 foot 4, 245 pounds, Clark is the biggest defensive end participating in spring drills.
- Lewis Neal, junior: Neal played in all 13 games this season, but much of it came on special teams. He was moved from defensive end to defensive tackle during fall camp before returning to the position late in the season.
- One of the top contenders to replace both Hunter and Rasco might not arrive until fall camp. LSU’s top-10 signing class of 2015 included four star signee Arden Key. For now, though, Bower and Clark seem to be the favorites to secure the starting roles, but LSU has a new defensive line coach in Ed Orgeron. He may have other plans.
Five Spring Position Battles To Watch