BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - LSU defensive tackle Davon Godchaux has made an immediate impact as a true freshman, which is certainly no easy task.
Many players are simply not ready physically, mentally, or both, to contribute during their first season with the Tigers and are likewise forced to redshirt. Godchaux, on the other hand, earned his first career start Saturday night against UL-Monroe.
"He's really grown up since the summer," LSU junior linebacker Deion Jones said. "At first, it was a little rocky for him because of the conditioning. But, we pushed him through and it's paid off."
What makes Godchaux's impact even more impressive is the fact he missed basically his entire senior season at Plaquemine High School because of a knee injury. LSU senior safety Ronald Martin grew up just down the road from Godchaux in White Castle, played AAU basketball with the big guy and said there's no secret to his equally large comeback. He has actually known Godchaux since the eighth grade.
"Hard work, hard work and dedication," Martin said. "Plus, he's staying humble, taking coaching. You can't go wrong with that."
LSU sophomore linebacker Duke Riley added that the 6'4”, 298-pound Godchaux wasn't about to accept watching from the sideline.
"If you had seen him during the summer, just his work ethic, working out hard, coming in and running, finishing,” Riley said. “You can just tell when a guy is ready."
LSU sophomore and fellow defensive tackle Christian LaCouture has become close with Godchaux and believes he's becoming a force in the trenches.
"He's really evolved; he's a great friend of mine," LaCouture said. "You can definitely see him maturing, even though he's a young pup. He's really trying to work on the things he needs to do. You can see it in practice every week. He's getting better and better. The only way to go is up for him."
Through three games, Godchaux has registered seven tackles, with three-stop efforts against both Sam Houston State and UL-Monroe. He also assisted on a tackle behind the line against the Warhawks.
"He's real quick off the ball. He's smart in there. He's going to be a great player in the future," Martin added.
Godchaux looks to continue his progress this Saturday night in Tiger Stadium, as No. 8 LSU (3-0) plays host to Mississippi State (3-0) in the Tigers' SEC opener. Kickoff is set for 6:06 p.m. and the contest will be televised by ESPN.
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