DB LaRon Landry

2005 Statistics

Coach: Les Miles
11-2, 1 year
2005 Record: 11-2
at Arizona State WON 35-31
at Mississippi St. WON 37-7
at Vanderbilt WON 34-6
at Alabama WON 16-13 (OT)
at Mississippi WON 40-7
vs. Georgia LOST 14-34
vs. Miami FL WON 40-3

2005 Final Rankings
AP-6, Coaches-5, BCS-12

2006 Outlook

LSU returns a total of just 10 starters (five on each side of the ball). Few teams can survive that kind of attrition and remain at an elite level – but the Tigers are in that group.

The Tigers boast an embarrassment of riches at quarterback – there aren’t many places where winning 17 of your 19 starts doesn’t guarantee you job security – but if JaMarcus Russell isn’t completely healthy or struggles early, Matt Flynn (or Ryan Perriloux) could get a shot at driving the well-oiled machine that is the LSU offense. Bet on Russell to come out firing by the 16th when they visit Auburn. Many weapons are still there and loaded (backfield and receiving corps), with experience and (in some cases) world-class speed. Quick strike is an understatement for how they will hurt foes, so plan trips to the fridge during commercial breaks, or miss the highlight reels LSU is soon to produce. Questions abound on the offensive line, with three starters gone. The old O-line coach in Les Miles has the guys to plug the gaps up front, and that variable will dictate whether LSU dominates or eventually outscores opponents.

Less experience can be found on the Tiger defense, where the holes are bigger, especially in the middle of the front seven. The most important players on the team might not be Russell, Dwayne Bowe, LaRon Landry and Alley Broussard – instead, another SEC West crown (or more) might hinge on the play of lesser-known guys like Glenn Dorsey, Luke Sanders, Herman Johnson and Jonathan Zenon. A No.3 overall ranking won’t be seen, but intimidation (especially in the DBs) will occur early and often if foes are not circumspect in their game plan.

The new 12-game schedule affords LSU eight games in its cushy Tiger Stadium digs – but the four road dates are at Auburn, Florida, Tennessee and Arkansas, so it will be earned if they succeed at those top ten levels in which Tiger fans are used to seeing their guys. Still, keep in mind that the Tigers were undefeated on the road last season (5-0), and with each trip away from Baton Rouge sandwiched in between a pair of home games, preparation won’t be an issue. El-Les-U will be a prohibitive favorite in all eight games at home, with Alabama’s trip to Tigertown Nov. 11 being the closest thing to a big “Death Valley” test. No losing seasons since last millennium/century will continue.

Projected 2006 record: 11-1
QB - 4.5 DL - 3.5
RB - 4.5 LB - 3.5
WR - 5 DB - 4.5
OL - 3.5 ..

Passing: JaMarcus Russell, 311-188-9, 2443 yds., 15 TD

Justin Vincent, 121 att., 488 yds., 5 TD

Receiving: Dwayne Bowe, 41 rec., 710 yds., 9 TD

Scoring: David Colt, 4-5 FG, 45-46 PAT, 57 pts.

Punting: Chris Jackson, 59 punts, 41.5 avg.

Kicking: David Colt, 4-5 FG, 45-46 PAT, 57 pts.; Chris Jackson, 10-19 FG, 30 pts.

Tackles: Ali Highsmith, 75 tot., 36 solo

Sacks: Ali Highsmith, 4 sacks

Interceptions: LaRon Landry, 3 for 42 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Shawn Jordan, 2 ret., 11.0 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Jacob Hester, 1 ret., 11.0 avg., 0 TD


WR Dwayne Bowe
OFFENSE: Kevin Steltz-FB, Joseph Addai-TB, Shyrone Carey-TB, Skyler Green-WR, Bennie Brazell-WR, David Jones-TE, Andrew Whitworth-OT, Rudy Niswanger-C, Nate Livings-OG
DEFENSE: Melvin Oliver-DE, Claude Wroten-DT, Kyle Williams-DT, Kenneth Hollis-SLB, Cameron Vaughn-MLB, Ronnie Prude-CB

Under center, most teams would be happy choosing between a quarterback whose last start turned into the most lopsided bowl win in school history and the former No. 1 high school prospect in the nation. But LSU is not most teams, so barring injury, junior Matt Flynn and redshirt-freshman Ryan Perriloux (respectively) will begin the season signaling plays for junior JaMarcus Russell, who has a 17-2 mark in his career as a starter. Russell, who at 6-6 and 252 pounds is a couple bowls of gumbo away from looking the part of an offensive lineman, is a tremendous competitor who makes plays with his feet and arm. He puts significant zip on his throws and is blessed yet again with plenty of talent around him at the skill positions – if he can fully recover from the separated left shoulder which kept him out of the Tigers’ 40-3 pummeling of Miami in the Peach Bowl (not to mention the torn right wrist ligaments which required offseason surgery). Flynn (of Peach Bowl fame) and Perriloux figure to get the bulk of snaps in the spring as they make their cases for the No. 2 job.

Running Back
Injury questions in the LSU backfield don’t end at the quarterback position. The Tigers were more-than-well equipped to survive by plugging in Justin Vincent and Alley Broussard (who missed all of 2005 with a torn ACL). But Vincent tore the ACL during the Peach Bowl, and Broussard will not be ready to go this spring either, meaning what once was an embarrassment of riches is now dependent on how fast Broussard (a 237-pound bruising combo back) and/or Vincent (who possesses breakway speed at 220lbs.) can get back on the field – or how fast redshirt freshman/possible-Green-replacement Trindon Holliday (he’ll get a look at receiver, too, but might be too small) makes his presence felt. Two more redshirt freshmen who were 2004’s top high school running backs in Texas (R.J. Jackson) and Louisiana (Antonio Robinson) will benefit from the opportunity for carries while Broussard and Vincent rehab their knees. So will fullback Jacob Hester, who has the speed and hands of a tailback. Miles moved linebacker Quinn Johnson to fullback both for depth and in case Hester ends up figuring into the tailback mix. In the end, look for Vincent and Broussard to rebound from injury and pick up where Addai left off in ’05.

Here’s all you need to know about LSU’s receiving corps: junior Xavier Carter is a world-class sprinter and a three-time NCAA track all-American, yet has little chance to crack the starting lineup. In front of him are big target and senior Dwayne Bowe (6-3 with speed), senior Craig Davis (a possession receiver with a knack for catching balls in traffic) and junior Early Doucet (a clutch pass-catcher with big-play ability and experience – his 4th-down TD catch at Arizona State lifted the Tigers to an emotional win in their post-Hurricane Katrina season opener last year). All four Tigers atop the depth chart are a chore for opposing DBs to keep up with, giving Russell (or Flynn, or Perriloux) the ability to burn defenses deep or via YAC. Holliday is cut from the same cloth as Green (although at 5-5, he’s five inches shorter), and LSU fans know what that means – in a word, excitement. Fellow redshirt freshman Brandon LaFell is a great leaper and brings a top-100 prospect pedigree. This corps’ third-string look good, so realize such and don’t look away when they are in third-and-long.

Tight End
Senior Keith Zinger stands out as the most likely pass-catching threat in the Tigers’ stable of tight ends, and has size to help push. Junior Mit Cole, who is more of a blocker than a route-runner, is next on the list. A name to keep an eye on is ex-linebacker/defensive lineman Alonzo Manuel, who’s been moved to offense since he’s too good to keep off the field somewhere.

Offensive Line
Three full-time starters are gone from a talented unit, and all three (Andrew Whitworth, Nate Livings and Rudy Niswanger) will play on Sundays. Behemoth sophomore left tackle Herman Johnson (if you’re 6-7, 339, you qualify) will replace Whitworth, who was arguably the best of the three departed starters. Johnson’s size makes him a better pass-protector than run-blocker. Junior Will Arnold (one of two returning starters) is back at left guard, two seasons after being named a Freshman all-American. Sophomore Brett Helms, who began last season as the starting left guard, slides to center. The right side of the line will feature returning starter and senior Brian Johnson at guard (after he started 12 games at right tackle last season) and senior Peter Dyakowski at right tackle, unless converted defensive lineman and junior Carnell Stewart beats him out. Overall, it will be hard to replace the three future pros, but in this case it might not be bad to have quantity over quality. The depth is there.

Coach Miles’ first year produced an offense which put up 34-plus points in half its games, a welcome treat for fans who had grumbled about ex-coach Nick Saban’s tendency to keep things closer to the vest. If you’ve got a sports car, you need to let ‘er rip on the open road, and for the most part, Miles and offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher do that. The notable exception was in the loss to Tennessee, which will be avenged (painfully so, Vol fans, sorry to say). Some of the skill parts (and blockers) are different in 2006, but the overall talent is still matched by few nationally, and whichever 11 they field will be equal to the task, too. It’s hard to compete with LSU’s speed and big-play ability – almost as hard as it is to tackle a 250-pound quarterback. Last year’s group only ranked 60th for total production, but was balanced and therefore effective. This group will realize its potential in yards and wins.


OG Will Arnold


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB JaMarcus Russell-Jr (6-6, 252) Matt Flynn-Jr (6-3, 228)
Ryan Perrilloux-Fr (6-2, 222)
FB Jacob Hester-Jr (6-0, 232) Shawn Jordan-So (5-11, 236)
TB Alley Broussard-Jr (6-0, 237) Justin Vincent-Sr (5-10, 219)
WR Early Doucet-Jr (6-0, 206) Craig Davis-Sr (6-2, 199)
WR Dwayne Bowe-Sr (6-3, 217) Xavier Carter-Jr (6-3, 198)
TE Keith Zinger-Sr (6-4, 259) Mit Cole-Jr (6-4, 260)
OT Ciron Black-Fr (6-4, 318) Peter Dyakowski-Sr (6-5, 294)
OG Brian Johnson-Sr (6-4, 297) Carnell Stewart-Jr (6-4, 294)
C Brett Helms-So (6-2, 290) Ryan Miller-So (6-6, 302)
OG Will Arnold-Jr (6-4, 322) Andrew Decker-So (6-3, 275)
OT Herman Johnson-So (6-7, 339) Paris Hodges-Sr (6-5, 315)
K Chris Jackson-Sr (5-11, 174) Colt David-So (5-9, 182)



Defensive Line
Replacing the middle of the line (Williams and Wroten were both All-Americans), plus one end (All-SEC honoree Melvin Oliver) is No. 1 on the Tigers’ to-do list. The lone returning starter, energetic senior Chase Pittman, will be counted on to help the rebuilt unit follow in the footsteps of recent stalwarts. Fellow end Ryan Wills, a junior who saw plenty of time in reserve, has the quickness of a linebacker (which isn’t surprising, since he came to Baton Rouge as an LB). Junior Kirston Pittman returns after missing all of last season with a foot injury, and should provide a boost to the Tigers’ pass rush. Gap-plugging tackle Glenn Dorsey, a junior, will (eventually) pick up where Williams and Wroten left off inside. Sophomores Marlon Favorite and Charles Alexander will get into the opposing backfield at the other spot. The star power LSU fans are used to on the line isn’t there, and there will be a drop-off from the past few seasons – but the unit still ranks in the top half of the SEC.

LSU lost its defensive quarterback (MIKE linebacker Cameron Vaughn) and his leadership will be difficult to replace. However, from a talent standpoint the Tigers still have plenty in the cupboard. Junior outside backer (and returning starter) Ali Highsmith is big, strong and a ferocious hitter and is locked into one spot. Heady playmaker Luke Sanders (a junior) and big-hitting sophomore Darry Beckwith form a unit with size, speed and the field vision to build on an impressive streak – the Tigers have surrendered just eight touchdowns in their last 28 quarters dating back to last season, of course. A boost could come from true freshman Jacob Cutrera, who is already enrolled at LSU and has the ability to play both MLB or one of the outside spots. Cutrera can run and lives to make the big hit. When the front seven is this revamped, we expect it to take some time before the Tiger’s old form returns, and how long should be a good barometer for the entire team’s campaign.

Defensive Back
Both safeties are back, including senior LaRon Landry, who most anticipate will be the top defensive back in the SEC. From his free safety position, Landry displays the skills of a cover corner and the ferociousness of a linebacker. He has led LSU in tackles two of the last three years. Fellow senior and strong safety Jessie Daniels possesses similar characteristics, but injuries are a concern for both. Landry (ankle) and Daniels (shoulder) were tapped for limited spring action in order to get healthy for the fall. Junior Chevis Jackson is the third returning starter in the group at one cornerback slot and has the ability to shut down the other team’s top receiver. Junior Jonathan Zenon will replace Ronnie Prude at the other corner slot, with senior Daniel Francis serving as nickelback. A secondary that hits this hard as they cover well – with so many returning starters – will aid the front seven. Extra Tigers in the box for run support cannot hurt the cover guys, who can survive on islands.

It’s a cliché to say that certain teams re-load instead of re-build -- but LSU is in that upper echelon of squads who rarely have an off year when it comes to personnel. As usual, there’s no shortage of athletic ability, toughness and experience on D for the Tigers. But those filling several key spots (defensive tackles, middle linebacker, one corner spot) have a tall order to replace their departed predecessors. The top 10 rankings in most categories will not likely repeat, but the talent is here to reach the same levels by sometime in mid-season, depending on how long the gelling takes.


LB Ali Highsmith


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Kirston Pittman-Jr (6-4, 254) Ricky Jean-Francois-Fr (6-3, 266)
DT Glen Dorsey-Jr (6-2, 284) Al Jones-Fr (6-3, 233)
DT Marlon Favorite-So (6-1, 291) Charles Alexander-So (6-3, 285)
DE Chase Pittman-Sr (6-4, 265) Ryan Willis-Sr (6-3, 270)
SLB Ali Highsmith-Jr (6-1, 226) Jacob Cutrera-Fr (6-4, 225)
MLB Luke Sanders-Jr (6-4, 229) Jason Spadoni-Sr (6-0, 221)
WLB Darry Beckwith-So (6-1, 229) Dominic Cooper-Jr (6-4, 225)
CB Jonathan Zenon-Jr (6-0, 179) Sammy Joseph-Sr (5-11, 185)
CB Chevis Jackson-Jr (6-0, 189) Daniel Francis-Sr (5-11, 183)
SS Jessie Daniels-Sr (5-11, 203) Craig Steltz-Jr (6-2, 203)
FS LaRon Landry-Sr (6-2, 204) Keron Gordon-Sr (6-1, 203)
P Chris Jackson-Sr (5-11, 174) Patrick Fisher-Jr (6-5, 241)


Chris Jackson was only 10-of-19 in FGAs last season, but nailed a pair of huge kicks against Auburn to give LSU a crucial road win. He averaged 41.5 yards per punt as well, and his foot obviously is a relied upon commodity. Jackson also plays baseball and underwent Tommy John surgery earlier this year, which will sideline him for the spring, but this will not affect his abilities. Colt David is the extra point guy to give Jackson a break, and while Patrick Fisher and Bradley Dalphrey will compete for the right to back-up Jackson at punter, expect Jackson to return full strength by the fall.

Return Game
Considering the speed and talent all over the roster, it’s only a matter of time before the next great return threat in purple and gold shows his face. Will it be scat-type Trindon Holliday, who many consider to be the next Green? How about track star Xavier Carter? No one on the depth chart returned more than two kicks last season, so spring/summer ball will tell all. And it might sound trivial, but don’t underestimate the fact that the cover units also have experience blocking for successful returns. But net punt results (12th nationally) and kick coverage (111th give LSU something upon which to work.