All-LSU Team Of The Decade: Defense

Recruiting

Over the weekend, Dallas wide receiver Mike Davis, an LSU Commitment since February, took an official visit to Texas.  He received an offer from the Longhorns and decided to accept it.   Texas generally offers all of their in-state prospects very early, so when Davis did not receive one, he moved on and decided on LSU.  After an outstanding senior season, the Longhorns evaluated him again and decided they wanted him after all.  LSU’s dismal season on offense did not help matters.  Davis is a hell of a prospect and this loss stings quite a bit.  We’ll have to see who LSU ends up with at receiver before determining just how much the Tigers will miss him. 

LSU Football In The 2000s

In continuing with the “…of the decade” features I’m working on, below is Part 2 of the All-LSU Team of the Decade. 

DE
First Team
Marcus Spears – 152 tackles 34.5 TFL  19 Sacks – Spears was an easy choice.  A 3-year starter and 2-time All-SEC performer, Spears was a team leader and the ultimate LSU Tiger.  He returned an interception for a touchdown which proved to be the winning score in the BCS Title Game in 2003. He then decided to stay for his senior season where he had 17 tackles for loss with 9 sacks.  Spears ranks sixth all time at LSU in sacks and seventh in tackles for loss. 

Tyson Jackson – 119 tackles  26 TFL  18.5 Sacks – Jackson was a high level performer for three years.  Outstanding against the run, Jackson could also rush the passer quite well.  He was on the All-SEC Second team in 2006 and 2008. 

Second Team
Marquise Hill – 108 tackles 17 TFL 10 Sacks – Hill was a dominant force playing opposite Spears for two seasons.  He left early for his senior year or else he may be on the first team.  Hill was downright dominant in the 2003 BCS Title Game. 

Melvin Oliver –  164 tackles  25.5 TFL  20 Sacks – Oliver only started for two years but was still incredibly productive.  He ranks fourth all time at LSU in sacks.  With the opportunity to finally start, Oliver notched 11 tackles for loss and nine sacks.  A bit of a liabiilty against the run, Oliver really made up for it by getting after the quarterback. 

Also Considered
Jarvis Green – 80 tackles  10 TFL  5 sacks

DT
First Team
Chad Lavalais – 202 tackles  32.5 TFL  12 sacks – Lavalais was a very solid player for two years before blowing up in 2003 and becoming the heart and soul of LSU’s dominating defense.  With 16 tackles for loss  and seven sacks, Lavalais was nominated for several national awards. 

Glenn Dorsey – 179 tackles  27 TFL  13 sacks – Dorsey is probably the most decorated football player in LSU history and certainly this decade in winning the Bronco Nagurski Award, the Lombardi Award, the Outland Trophy, and the Lott TrophyEven while drawing the attention of every offense, Dorsey was still dominant in 2007. 

Second Team
Claude Wroten – 93 tackles  22.5 TFL  12 sacks – Wroten only played at LSU for two years but still matched the sack and TFL numbers of the other 4-year players on this team. 

Kyle Williams – 161 tackles  26 TFL  15.5 sacks – Williams was a three year starter and the unquestioned leader of the 2005 team.  He may have been LSU’s toughest player this entire decade and perhaps the most consistent too. 

LB
First Team
Bradie James – 376 tackles  25 TFL  11 sacks – James is LSU’s best linebacker in the past 20 years and would challenge for the MVP of this All-Decade Team.  James is second on LSU’s all time list in tackles, and his 154 tackles in 2002 is the single season school record.  Bradie was a two-time First Team All-SEC performer. 

Trev Faulk – 232 tackles  14 TFL  4 sacks – Faulk was the running mate with James and was also a tackling machine.  Faulk left early for the NFL, but still had a very productive career and rarely missed a tackle.  Faulk and James made each other better to form one of LSU’s best linebacking duos in school history.  Faulk was First Team All-SEC in 2001. 

Ali Highsmith – 159 tackles  17 TFL  8 sacks – Highsmith was a three-year starter and big time play maker from 2005 thru 2007, earning First Team All-SEC in 2007. 

Second Team
Lionel Turner – 238 tackles  19.5 TFL  8 sacks – Turner was a rock as LSU’s middle linebacker for two years.  He was very consistent and made a lot of plays behind the line.  His game clinching sack of Jason White in the BCS Title Game will be remembered by many for a very long time. 

Cameron Vaughn – 239 tackles  14.5 TFL  6 sacks – Vaughn was a three year starter at LSU and was very solid.  His size and athletic ability stood out on the field. 

Darry Beckwith – 189 tackles  11.5 TFL  4.5 sacks – Beckwith may have been better as an outside linebacker, but he moved to the middle midway through his career.   He was still very solid, though not quite the play maker he was on the outside.  Beckwith was Second Team All-SEC in 2007 and 2008. 

Also Considered
Jeremy Lawrence – 131 tackles  12.5 TFL  5 sacks
Perry Riley – 180 tackles  13 TFL  2 sacks

CB
First Team
Corey Webster – 115 tackles  16 INT  51 Pass Break-Ups – You won’t find many cornerbacks better that Webster this decade in the entire conference, much less at LSU.  Webster shares the school record for interceptions in a single game with three.  He is tied for second for the school record in interceptions in a season with seven.  He did that twice.  And he’s second in school history in interceptions for a career.  Opposing offense had to plan an entire game plan around Webster’s ability to shut down an opposing receiver.  A converted wide receiver, Webster was First Team All-SEC in 2003, 2004, and 2005. 

Patrick Peterson – 88 tackles  3 INT  16 Pass Break-Ups – Peterson has only started one full season at LSU, and he wasn’t even terribly productive in terms of interceptions.  But the league has already taken note of his ability and like Webster, opponents game plan away from him.  His impact on the game is not seen in the number of interceptions or pass break-ups but rather his ability to take away an opposing receiver.  It may be a stretch to put him here ahead of the other guys, but the fact is that I’d want him on the field ahead of the guys I’ve got on the Second Team. 

Second Team
Travis Daniels – 110 tackles  2 INT  37 Pass Break-Ups – Daniels got tested often in 2003 and 2004 as teams threw away from Webster, but he routinely answered the call.  Starting a few games at free safety, Daniels was a very solid tackler and was strong in run support. 

Chevis Jackson – 142 tackles  8 INT  36 Pass Break-Ups – Jackson started for three seasons at LSU and was First Team All-SEC in 2007.

Also Considered
Jonathon Zenon – 89 tackles  9 INT  25 Pass Break-Ups

S

First Team
Laron Landry – 315 tackles  16 TFL  12 INT – Landry was a rare four year starter at LSU.  Even more rare was that Landry was All-SEC for all four years, twice on the second team and twice on the first team.  Landry ranks seventh all time at LSU in tackles and is tied for third in career interceptions. 
Craig Steltz – 184 tackles  7 TFL  11 INT – Steltz was only a full-time starter for one season, but that season resulted in a spot on the First Team All-American Team.  He made a number of big plays in LSU’s 2007 national championship season, including three interceptions against Mississippi State. 
Second Team
Jesse Daniels – 183 tackles  11 TFL  4 INT – Daniels started for three years alongside Laron Landry and was a sure tackler.  He played a big role in some of LSU’s best defenses in history. 
Ryan Clark – 186 tackles  8 TFL  5 INT – Clark was a good tackler and big hitter, though he was often victimized in the passing game.  His sure tackling was much needed on LSU’s 2001 SEC Championship Team. 
Also Considered
Chad Jones – 156 tackles  6.5 TFL  5 INT
P
First Team
Donnie Jones – 42.05 career average – Jones was a four year starter as LSU’s punter and was awfully productive. 
Second Team
Patrick Fisher – 44.52 career average – Fisher only started for one season, but it was a darn good one.  He hit some real boomers and was a weapon for the 2007 national championship team. 
Return
First Team
Skyler Green – 13.82 punt return average 4 TDs  20.84 kickoff return average – Green was electric as a punt returner, taking four punts back for touchdown over his career.  His punt return for a touchdown against Auburn in 2005 proved to be critical in that game. 

Second Team
Domanick Davis – 12.93 punt return average  2 TDs  22.14 kickoff return average – Davis was one of LSU’s best all-purpose players of all time, and he was incredibly consistent returning punts.  Having to follow Kevin Faulk as LSU’s punt returner was no easy task, but he did a great job. 
Also Considered
Trindon Holliday
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