HOOVER, AL (WAFB) - A three-year starter along the defensive line for the Tigers, Christian LaCouture is returning for a fifth year after missing all of 2016 with a knee injury.
LaCouture will move to defensive end in Dave Aranda's 3-4 scheme, and can move inside to defensive tackle when the Tigers shift to a 4-3 alignment.
LaCouture spoke to reporters at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham-Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Alabama on a number of subjects. He says although they've been off for a long time, they're ready to play.
"You guys saw what Coach O brings to the table," LaCouture said. "He fires everybody up. Day in and day out. I just think everybody's ready to put the pads on – ready to play."
After missing an entire season, LaCouture says he wasn't sure of his future at LSU, but returning in his fifth year, he's excited.
"I didn't know what was going to happen, it was just kind of up in the air," LaCouture said. "And then, y'know, talking to Coach O, and Coach Pete, and Coach Aranda, kind of weighing my options, this was the best decision for me."
LaCouture will wear the number 18 jersey this year, a number symbolic with being a team leader and a selfless player who best represents what it means to be an LSU Tiger.
The No. 18 tradition was born in 2003 when quarterback Matt Mauck led the Tigers to their first national title in football since 1958. Mauck's No. 18 became synonymous with success – both on and off the field – as well as a selfless attitude that has become the epitome of being an LSU football player.
After his final season at LSU, Mauck passed the No. 18 jersey down to running Jacob Hester, who later led the Tigers to another national title in 2007.
LaCouture boasts 37 game appearances, 23 career starts, 86 tackles, 8.0 tackles for a loss, and 4.5 sacks.
LSU opens the season on Sept. 2 against BYU in Houston.