The LSU Tigers sent just about everybody they had on their roster it seemed to the NFL Draft or graduation this offseason, including four starters along the defensive line. That opens up a major opportunity for someone to step up as a leader in the trenches for the Tigers, a position that is essential to the success of LSU in the SEC next season. Luckily for Les Miles and company, junior defensive tackle Anthony Johnson is poised for a break out year in 2013.
Johnson has flashed excellent ability his first two years on campus, and finished third on the team in 2012 with 10 tackles for loss. In all, he recorded 30 tackles with three sacks, two quarterback hurries and a pass breakup. All while acting as a rotational option in the LSU line. While he has spent his first two seasons on campus rotating in, 2013 will be the year for Johnson to be the man for the Tigers front four and take the lion’s share of the snaps at defensive tackle.
And LSU needs him to flourish. At 6-foot-3, 304 pounds, Johnson is a big-body in the interior that must re-establish the line of scrimmage in the offensive backfield and use his athleticism to disrupt offenses before they get a chance to get started. There is very little experience behind Johnson on the line heading into 2013, with sophomore Danielle Hunter having the second most tackles among returning defensive linemen from 2012 with just 12.
It is a year of transition for the LSU defensive line, but luckily for them Anthony Johnson is there to see them through. He can be the disruptive force the Tigers need in the trenches while the young and inexperienced, but undoubtedly talented, defensive players around him find their SEC legs. Will he be enough to hold them together for a successful run at the SEC Championship?