Believe it or not that there have been years where LSU did not have one version of ZOD (or sometimes TWO) flanking the outside at the DB position. Sometimes we developed a ZOD (Greedy Williams and Mo Claiborne). Other times the gamut of recruits provided a true diamond in the rough (Rashard Robinson for a cup of coffee). What we are ABSOLUTELY not used to is seeing since Corey Webster stepped on campus is what we saw in the Texas Bowl to end the season. We somehow made Kansas State look like it had talent on the perimeter (as well as at the QB position), because we were that out of sorts and that outmanned in the secondary. This level of play cannot occur if we have bowl plans, even with a pretty talented D Line and “show me what you got” LB crew. This is why it was so important to land a talent like Jarrick Bernard Converse.
Bernard-Converse was a 3 star safety out of Evangel in Shreveport. My goodness the battles that used to come out of that specific school. LSU lost that battle to Oklahoma State. He was the 88th ranked safety and the 47th ranked player coming out of the state of Louisiana. And like many other Louisianimals, all he did was turn that into 47 starts and an ACADEMIC All Big 12 selection his final two years in Norman. I usually downgrade a Big 12 Defensive Award, but digging into their history, OSU had a STOUT defense last year. 3rd down conversion rate, scoring and sacks all were near the top of the national rankings out of a 4-2-5 defense. It shows they trusted him to make plays, and he delivered with 11 pass break ups
SENIOR SEASON (2021 at Oklahoma State)
51 tackles, 1.5 sacks and had 11 passes defended. First Team Academic All Big 12
JUNIOR SEASON (2020 at Oklahoma State)
A first team Academic All-Big 12 honoree for the second straight season … Tied for the team lead with 7 passes broken up … 32 tackles
SOPHOMORE SEASON (2019 at Oklahoma State)
54 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2.0 tackles for loss, an interception and five pass breakups
FRESHMAN SEASON (2018 at Oklahoma State)
59 tackles, 49 solo
We have been spoiled as LSU fans in terms of having our own definition of “Lock Down”. I don’t think Jarrick fits that bill (but man o man please prove me wrong). I do think he is an absolute upgrade from where we finished last year. And so many signs point to our defense being versatile without leaving our boundary corner on a island at all times. If he can stay sticky with the assigned Wide Recievers he faces, and allow our LBs and D Line just one more second of reliable coverage then we have hit a home run with his services from the transfer portal. I think he has that ability in him.
High End: Elevates his draft status. Pulls off enough plays against top end talent to earn a 2nd day draft spot. Shows his experience on the field and prevents busted assignments (ALL ACADEMIC). Earns enough of a reputation to make an offense plan for the other side of the field.
Low End: he starts on a defense that makes us all scared to see the QB throw the ball deep
Realistic: Adapts to the new system well. Gleans from his experience to prevent explosive plays. Gives up conversions, but is in the vicinity to stop the damage. Proves reliable enough for Maason Smith to have an All America because our back end Coverage can hold for 3 seconds