BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - LSU spring football shuts down for spring break after Thursday, and while head coach Les Miles has not allowed the media to see much in practice, the Tigers have been able to talk about all the new faces on defense, especially at defensive end.
LSU Pro Day served as a reminder that Danielle Hunter and Jermauria Rasco are moving on to the NFL. The tandem combined for more than 20 stops behind the line of scrimmage last year, but just 5.5 of those were quarterback sacks. The Tigers think they can do better.
"Someone has to step up," said junior defensive end Tashawn Bower.
He and fellow junior defensive end Lewis Neal are hoping they can provide more pressure on the passer when coming off the edge.
"I definitely do a lot of extra stuff, a lot of extra work in the weight room and film room. And really, all the things you can't teach. So, I'd hope so," Bower added.
"It's our time now," said Neal. "So, we just have to take the opportunity and crush it."
The experiment of making Neal a tackle last season simply didn't work, as 258 pounders look like toothpicks and get snapped like them in the SEC trenches.
"Yeah, those tackles are pretty big," Bower said.
Neal is now much more comfortable and confident as an end.
"Yeah, I would have to add a lot of work. And the way my body goes..." Neal started.
You just burn it right off?
"Yeah, I burn it off fast," Neal finished.
The addition of fiery veteran and Louisiana native Ed Orgeron as the new defensive line coach will hopefully bring out the best in Bower, Neal and the other ends.
"He was the part of many great teams," Bower said.
"The intensity that coach 'O' brings to us, the excitement is going to be there. And we're having fun at the same time," Neal added.
The LSU Spring Game is April 18.