LSU’s defense is facing a difficult and possibly uncertain outlook this spring as it was reported earlier Thursday that cornerback Maurice Hampton entered the transfer portal.

Now a report has surfaced from Brody Miller of The Athletic that starting linebacker Micah Baskerville is not with the team or enrolled in school, after confirmation from an LSU spokesperson.

Miller noted that Baskerville, who became a steadying force the second half of LSU’s season, could still return. Baskerville appeared in 8 games last season, and among returning defenders, he had the second-most tackles in the 2020 season. Baskerville also started in 4 games last season.

Linebackers were already going to be a position of concern entering the 2021 season. Last year’s disappointing 5-5 campaign saw the Tigers finish at or near the bottom of the SEC in several defensive categories. Damone Cox is the top returning tackler in 2021, but he struggled at times, and had just two games of double-digit tackles in 2020.

Baskerville led the team with 6.9 tackles per game last season and replaced Clark in the starting lineup in the fourth game against South Carolina. His improvement correlated with LSU’s positive gains on defense late in the season.

Being without Baskerville this spring as the defense installs Daronte Jones’ new system leaves LSU with a lot of question marks at linebacker.