LSU football positional breakdown for the 2015 season

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Oct 25, 2014; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; Mississippi Rebels running back Jaylen Walton (6) fights off LSU Tigers linebacker Kendell Beckwith (52) as he carries the ball in the first half at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

The LSU football team has found its most reliable player at middle linebacker since Kevin Minter in junior Kendell Beckwith. While Minter’s first team All-American status will be difficult to repeat, Beckwith is the type of player that is capable of doing so.

He managed to put up impressive numbers last season, despite only starting seven games. In 2014, Beckwith recorded a stat line of 77 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and an interception returned for a touchdown.

As a result, he has been named to the preseason watch list for the Dick Butkus Award, given to the nation’s top linebacker. He is also an early candidate for the Bronco Nagurski Trophy, honoring the defensive player of the year in college football.

In addition to Beckwith, the linebacker corps features several talented and experienced players. Seniors Lamar Louis and Deion Jones are expected to start at outside linebacker, with Duke Riley and Ronnie Fiest providing a veteran presence off the bench.

LSU’s new defensive coordinator Kevin Steele is a linebacker specialist, something that will help the unit not miss a beat with the departure of John Chavis.

Next: Defensive Backs