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LSU's defensive front brimming with confidence

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LSU's defensive front brimming with confidence

Thursday, August 24, 2006

By Jim Kleinpeter

BATON ROUGE The new players on the LSU defensive line have a message for fans don't worry.

Losing tackles Claude Wroten and Kyle Williams and end Melvin Oliver, all NFL draft picks, seemingly has sapped the strength of the defense that carried the Tigers to an 11-2 season last year. But the new group has it in mind that they can be as good or better.

"We've been here the past three years and we've learned the defense," said tackle Marlon Favorite, who prepped at West Jefferson. "Physically I think we're just as good as those (departed) guys. I don't see the fire going anywhere. I think the fans are going to be surprised, in for a treat."

Said fellow tackle Glen Dorsey: "We want to be the bellcow of the team, have that mindset that its going to be a rough day for the opposition."

LSU defensive coordinator Bo Pelini knows the team will miss the experience of Williams, Wroten and Oliver. For that he will have to depend on the only holdover, right end Chase Pittman, but he likes the attitude of the newcomers.

"They are stepping into their roles with a tremendous amount of pride," Pelini said. "Not just filling the shoes but outdoing the guys who were here. That's the kind of mindset they have."

Regardless of the mindset, this season's frontline will have a challenge matching last year's accomplishments. The LSU front helped the defense finish the season in the top 10 in four major defensive categories: total defense (3), rushing defense (6), pass defense efficiency (3) and scoring defense (3).

Dorsey was a major part of that as the third tackle in a three-man rotation with Williams and Wroten. He has nabbed some preseason accolades after finishing with 28 tackles, including three sacks last season, and has been impressive in scrimmages.

"Glenn Dorsey is as good a d-lineman as there is in the country," Pelini said. "He's what you look for in a football player. He's got a bright, bright future ahead of him."

Favorite is just ahead of Charles Alexander as the other starter and has come on strong in camp after playing in three games as a redshirt freshman.

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