4-star defensive end Christian LaCouture from Lincoln, Nebraska, has verbally committed to play for Les Miles and the LSU Tigers.
Shea Dixon of 247Sports reported the news over the weekend:
Mutiple sources have confirmed that 2013 defensive end Christian LaCouture has committed to LSU.
LaCouture, who was previously committed to Nebraska, is a four-star prospect the No. 14 strongside defensive end in the country.
LaCouture is a big commitment for the Tigers, both in stature and in potential. 247Sports has him listed at 6'5'', 265 pounds, so he easily has the size to be an impact player at the next level. Dixon also reports that even though LaCouture will come in as an end, he could also play tackle for the Tigers, so his size will allow him to be a very versatile player on the Tigers' defensive front.
What else does LaCouture bring to the Tigers as a 4-star defensive end recruit?
His size is his most impressive trait, but it's certainly not all that LaCouture has to offer. For as big as he is, LaCaouture is also extremely fast. He has a great first step that allows him to shoot the gap and get in between blockers as a 3-technique, but it also helps him get off the line and to the edge as a defensive end.
Below, you can see LaCouture's ability as a rusher. Here's a great end-zone look at him playing the 3-technique (defensive tackle).
Notice how his first movement is to the inside, which allows him to cross the blockers face and get the inside lane to the quarterback. The block is most effective if the guard can keep him to the outside—and that's where he ideally would want to leverage the rusher—but LaCouture's quick first step and explosion allows him to get inside leverage, which is the quicker route to the quarterback (as displayed by the arrows).
He's then able to swim his left shoulder over the blocker, which allows him to fully control the gap.
Finally, he uses his speed and quickness to pursue the quarterback, which ultimately forces the quarterback to throw a bad interception.
LaCouture is a very effective pass-rusher, but he can also be a very good run defender.
Should LaCouture play tackle or end at LSU?
He's big enough to be able to hold his own against blockers and even against double teams, so he can maintain gap responsibility. His speed also allows him to get lateral down the line of scrimmage in pursuit of the ball carrier. He also uses his hands well to shed blockers and has a variety of moves to get off the block.
Overall, the Tigers' newest commitment brings a lot to the table.
He can be used as an effective pass-rusher at either the 3-technique or as a defensive end, but he'll also be able to hold his own as a run defender.
This was a great commitment for the Tigers, as LaCouture projects to be a good college football player.