While LSU will enter the 2018 season with notable holes in the roster, the unquestioned strength of the defense will be its line. Nobody would know that better than Pete Jenkins, the man who coached the unit the past two seasons.
“Those three guys, you can go to war with those three guys,” Jenkins said of projected starters Rashard Lawrence, Breiden Fehoko and Ed Alexander.
Lawrence enters his junior season in Baton Rouge with bouquets of preseason awards being heaped upon him.
“Listen,” Jenkins said. “Do you realize how good that kid played last year as a true sophomore? And, he had a high ankle sprain in the first quarter of the first game. The guy is maybe as tough a guy as I have had in 52 years. He may be as tough a human being as I’ve ever seen.”
The ankle injury cost Lawrence three games during his sophomore campaign, yet he still finished with 32 tackles, which trailed only seniors Christian LaCouture and Greg Gilmore among the defensive lineman.
“I think he is destined to be one of the top guys that ever played (at LSU) and a class human being,” Jenkins said.
Starting opposite Lawrence will be Fehoko, the Texas Tech transfer who sat out the 2017 season due to transfer rules, but made his impact felt on the practice field.
“(LSU fans) are going to like what they see,” Jenkins said of Fehoko. “He is special, boy, I’m telling you. A big, strong guy that is a good football player and an even better person. He’s typical of a lot of the Polynesian kids I’ve coached. He’s as gentle as he can possibly be off the field and he gets on the field and he hits another whole gear and becomes another whole person.
“I think he’s going to be terrific. I really do. I’m very, very fond of him as a person and I think the Tiger fans will love the way he approaches the game.”
During his two seasons in Lubbock, Fehoko played in 20 games and accumulated 38 tackles.
The third member of the triumvirate is Alexander, the 6-foot-3, 339-pound junior nose tackle who will replace the departed Greg Gilmore at nose tackle.
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