Ali Gaye named starter for LSU; open cornerback positions reach clarity

Two positions stood out in LSU’s first official depth chart. The Tigers provided some clarity on the open cornerback spots, and they listed junior college transfer Ali Gaye as a starter at left defensive end.

Senior Travez Moore entered preseason practice as a starter at defensive end, but Gaye overtook him. He’ll start opposite senior Andre Anthony against Mississippi State.

“He’s earned that starting position,” coach Ed Orgeron said. “I think he’s going to have a great season for us.”

See who starts for LSU in the Tigers' first official depth chart

LSU released its first official depth chart Monday before the season opener against Mississippi State.

Most of the depth chart resembled what Orgeron said throughout preseason practice, but the coach called Moore a starter the last time he discussed defensive ends.

Gaye, a 6-foot-6 and 262-pound junior, transferred from Garden City Community College. In his only season there, Gaye registered 44 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble as he became the No. 2 rated junior college defensive end in the country.

“Thank God we got Ali from junior college,” Orgeron recently said.

Orgeron likes Gaye’s range and physicality. Early in LSU’s final scrimmage last Friday, Gaye batted a pass into the air, creating an interception. He’ll split time with Moore — Orgeron said they’ll have equal reps — but Gaye will start the game.

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The depth chart also named starters at cornerback, which entered preseason practice with an open spot beside sophomore Derek Stingley Jr.

The Tigers will often bring three cornerbacks onto the field because of opposing spread offenses, and Orgeron said Monday sophomore Cordale Flott will start at nickel with sophomore Jay Ward questionable for the game.

Orgeron then indicated freshman Elias Ricks will start at the other outside corner position. Ricks, who signed as the No. 1 cornerback recruit in the country, appeared as Flott’s backup on the initial depth chart.

“Elias is showing tremendous improvement,” Orgeron said. “(Cornerback coach) Corey Raymond’s starting to brag about him a little bit. When Corey brags about you, that means you’re doing really, really well.”


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