The 2016 season for the safety position in Baton Rouge was glorious, to describe it in one word. Led by stars Jamal Adams and Tre’Davious White, the Tigers were loaded at safety. With both Adams and White headed to the NFL, a new set of players will have to step up and follow in the footsteps of two great Tigers players. LSU has depth at the position for 2017. Starting with John Battle, the Tigers have players at safety who can lock down receivers and soar for interceptions.
LSU does have a few incoming freshmen who could contend for playing time at the position as well. New signees Todd Harris, Grant Delpit, and JaCoby Stevens could all see valuable playing time this season. Though these guys are freshmen, their skill sets are undeniable and cannot be overlooked by roster-worthy guys. The Tigers have talent all over the board at every position for 2017. Safety is one of the dominant positions that the Tigers stacked up on during recruiting for the season.
With that said, let’s take a look at the overall evaluation of the starters and backups from last year. Also, the players who can contend for this season at safety in Baton Rouge.
LSU Tigers Safeties Evalation
Jamal Adams was arguably the Tigers’ best safety in 2016. Adams is expected to be a first round draft pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Throughout last season, Adams piled up only one interception, but did record 76 tackles including the Tigers’ bowl game against Louisville. Though his interception numbers were’t impressive, Adams was an absolute stud at the position during his career at LSU.
Tre’Davious White emerged as the team’s second best safety in 2016. White ended the season with two interceptions last season, one of those which went for a touchdown early in the season against Wisconsin. He piled up 35 total tackles, well behind Adams in that stat.
Overall, these two star-studded safeties played dominant all season and left their mark on the program. For Adams and White, they receive a grade of an A-. Had either of them tallied more interceptions, this grade would have been an A+.
JaCoby Stevens is a freshmen who can come in and play right away should he create a good work ethic within Dave Aranda‘s system. Stevens will have to take the step of learning the defensive scheme before earning a starting position. He can play lockdown at his respective spot and could be an elite safety within a few seasons.
John Battle is the likely starter for the Tigers at safety in 2017. With White and Adams both gone, Battle is next on the roster fighting to take over in the deep field for LSU. He will enter the spring game as the primary starter, and that should not change through the season.
Grant Delpit is another freshmen who can come in and play right away. Though he isn’t being highly raved about, Delpit has the skill set to be a talented college safety and could contribute heavily for the Tigers when he sees the field.
Todd Harris is the final player who can commit to playing the safety position next season. The coaches are raving about Harris and he has a tremendous skill set that sets him apart from the other safeties. Should he start, Harris will likely play alongside Battle and that position could be lights out in 2017.
For the new guys, they receive a grade of a B+. Not knowing how they will perform in a new look defense will determine their true worth. It will also determine just how good these safeties really are. April 22 is just around the corner.