BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU’s linebackers struggled in 2020. The position group was part of several busted coverages almost every game last season. One player, number 18 himself Damone Clark, rotated as a starter, but the Tigers’ new linebackers coach has rejuvenated the senior heading into his final year.
“I give credit to Coach (Blake) Baker. His style of teaching is just different, and he’s able to interact and get the playbook through with all the linebackers,” Clark said.
“They make you feel like you’re at home. Whenever you have a coach who feels like a friend, but you know it’s your coach, you’re able to get the best out yourself,” fellow senior linebacker Jared Small added.
Small redshirted his freshman season, which made 2021 the fifth year the Baton Rouge native has been on the team. Both Baker and new defensive coordinator Daronte Jones’s arrival in the Red Stick opened the door for Small to gain more playing time.
“The new coaching staff, they were real open to giving everyone an opportunity. You’re able to sit down with them and talk to them, and you’re able to learn. That was key for me,” Small said.
“Having Coach Jones and Coach Baker coming in, just having the spring with those guys, being able to sit down and watch film with them and understand the scheme, that built my confidence up,” Clark stated.
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