Unlike in years past, LSU has major questions in the defensive secondary. There isn’t a guy that stands out as much as in years past. At the safety position, there are LSU veterans Jay Ward and Major Burns that’ll have to step up as big leaders. Luckily, they’ll have some help from an SEC veteran: Arkansas transfer Joe Foucha (pronounced foo-shay).
247 Sports ranked Foucha a 3-star recruit and the 41st-best safety in the nation coming out of McDonogh 35 High School in 2018. Though he got an offer from LSU, he decided to sign with Chad Morris at Arkansas (those were the days). After four seasons at Arkansas, Foucha decided to transfer to LSU along with top transfer target Greg Brooks, whom Saltzman previewed Tuesday.
2018: 9 games played, 1 start, 141 defensive snaps (192 total), 11 tackles (6 solo)
2019: 12 games played, 12 starts, 853 total plays (defense and ST), 87 tackles (44 solo), 1 INT, 1 FR, 4 PBUs
2020: 10 games played, 8 starts, 633 defensive snaps, 60 tackles (18 solo), 3 TFLs, 1 sack, 2 INTs, 1 FF, 1 FR, 3 PBUs (earned SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Week for performance October 3 against Mississippi St.)
2021: 13 games played, 13 starts, 72 tackles (32 solo), 7.5 TFLs, 1.5 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FF, 5 PBUs
Foucha is 5’11” and 208 lbs. He’s a physical presence on field, and as you can see in his film, he’s got a nose for the ball. He started at free safety at Arkansas and that’s likely going to be his spot at LSU. His speed is definitely going to make him an asset in pass coverage, and he can play special teams if needed. He’s got two years of eligibility thanks to the Covid year, but he’s probably going to use just one of them.
High End: He absolutely balls out and is a stud in the secondary, starting all 12 regular season games. His physicality becomes a major weapon, he picks off a crucial pass or forces a key fumble and he eventually becomes a high day 3/low day 2 draft pick.
Low End: He doesn’t cut it as a starter and plays mostly special teams.
Realistic: Foucha’s shown that he is one of the better free safeties in the SEC over the past three seasons, so it’s not unreasonable to expect that at LSU. He may not be lights out, but he should produce quite well and make a solid impact.
He’s playing close to the ceiling of many free safeties in the Power 5 already, it’s reasonable to expect to see more of that this season.