LSU football 2015 depth chart projections — Part 5: Defensive backs


The LSU football team is well-known for its exceptional play in the defensive secondary, and the 2015 season will be no exception.

Next: Part 1: QB's, RB's & WR's

Next: Part 2: TE's, FB's & OL

Next: Part 3: Defensive line

Next: Part 4: Linebackers

As always it seems, the LSU Tigers are going to be led on defense by an elite secondary. This year they boast arguably the most complete one for the Bayou Bengals since the 2011 team lost in the BCS National Championship.

The team will feature an abundance of talent in the secondary, but a combination of young stars looking to make an impact and experienced upperclassmen are what sets this LSU secondary apart from their counterparts of recent years, and places them amongst the best in the nation.

Here is the outlook at defensive back for the Tigers:

Starting Cornerbacks: Tre’Davious White and Ed Paris

Backups: Dwayne Thomas, Kevin Toliver II and Donte Jackson

Tre’Davious White will look to build off of impressive freshman and sophomore campaigns, while Ed Paris will be relishing the opportunity to step into the spotlight.

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Paris may have been overshadowed by a future NFL cornerback in Jalen Collins last year, but this season the former top recruit will be able to show why LSU took a chance on him. Rashard Robinson started six games last year, and was expected to take over the starting job, but academic troubles led to him being removed from the program. Robinson is reportedly looking to re-enroll at LSU, but would not join the team until the 2016 season, leaving big shoes for Paris to fill, as well as his reserves.

Dwayne Thomas is an extremely talented player that can fulfill multiple roles for the Tigers, but his biggest asset to the LSU football team is as a nickelback. He became known for his big-play potential and ability to blitz off of the edge, but a torn ACL cut his sophomore season short last year.

Thomas’ healthy return will be crucial for the Tigers in 2015, but even if he is hindered by his injury, LSU will still have plenty of help at the position.

The long-awaited arrival of high-profile recruits Kevin Toliver II and Donte Jackson will provide plenty of excitement for fans and depth in the secondary. Local product Russell Gage could also turn some heads, but he will probably need to wait until more of his teammates move onto the NFL before he is given his chance to shine.

Starting safeties: Jamal Adams and Jalen Mills

Backups: Rickey Jefferson and Dwayne Thomas

Safety will probably be the biggest strength of the LSU Tigers this season, thanks to a lethal combination of a savvy veteran and an extremely talented true sophomore headlining the starting lineup, as well as two players with potential futures in the NFL coming off of the bench.

Jamal Adams made the SEC’s All-Freshman team last year after earning the starting strong safety spot, but he will have much bigger goals heading into the season. Jalen Mills on the other hand, will be somewhat of a rarity for the LSU football team; a senior leading the secondary.

Sure, Craig Loston, Ron Brooks and Ronald Martin come to mind when I look back on the recent LSU seniors to make an impact in the secondary. None of them, however, equal the contributions or NFL-readiness that Mills brings to the table for his final run with the Tigers.

Thomas and fellow junior standout Rickey Jefferson will not start, but both should expect significant playing time. The pair has seen limited action due to having multiple NFL prospects ahead of them on the depth chart, but 2015 will be the season where both players begin to make their case to join a long legacy of LSU defensive backs in the league.

Next: SEC football: Top 5 head coaches

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