LSU’s defense will have total makeover

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Attrition is normal in college football. Every year players transfer for more playing time, and underclassmen leave for the NFL Draft. It’s normal. Talented players only expect to be in college three years, and given any decent draft grade, they will jump the NFL in a heartbeat.

But LSU’s 2012 attrition isn’t exactly normal. It’s a mass exodus of sorts. The Tigers are losing eight underclassmen to the draft, including six starters on defense.

Bookends Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery will enter the draft. That was expected, but neither had the kind of season they were hoping for. Both only combined for 12.5 sacks. All-American linebacker Kevin Minter also had a monster year, too, and he will take his game to the next level. Minter finished third in the SEC with 130 tackles, averaging 10 tackles per game. All-American safety Eric Reid will be a big-time NFL safety, and he’ll show up well in the NFL Combine. We expected these four to jump to the next level.

However, tackle Bennie Logan and corner Tharold Simon are also leaving early. Logan is a solid player, but he certainly didn’t have the kind of ‘wow’ year we all expected, with 45 tackles and just two sacks. Simon is a bigger corner, and he should project well at the next level. But not many saw him leaving after his first year of starting.

Punter Brad Wing and running back Spencer Ware are the two non-defensive players leaving, to bring the total to eight players.

Junior safety Craig Loston is apparently still weighing his options, but he’s the last player on defense who could leave.

The Tigers’ defense will have a totally different look in 2013, with six starting jobs open and defensive staples for the last three years noticeably absent. We know LSU has recruited well, and there are several talented players ready to step into these roles in 2013.

Do I need to remind you that losing six starters doesn’t mean much because Bama lost six of them in the 2012 draft?

Photo Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-US PRESSWIRE

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