|COLLEGE FOOTBALL PACKAGE: With Dorsey back, LSU defense may be better than ever|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 19 September 2007 13:58|
Offensive guards, all pumped up to take on LSU's fearsome 6-foot-2, 303-pound defensive tackle shout and point, make forceful assignment calls at the line of scrimmage, then move vigorously into their blocking stance once the ball is snapped.
By the second half, those same offensive linemen are breathing heavily, too heavily to say very much or move very fast.
``The first few plays of the game, you always notice those offensive guards he's going against are real motivated,'' LSU defensive end Tyson Jackson said. ``Come the third and fourth quarter ... they're all real fatigued, worn out and you can look at them and realize that Glenn is really bringing it to them at that point, because they're not making any noise any more.''
LSU's defense would have been formidable even if Dorsey had left school after his junior season, when he was widely projected as a first-round NFL draft pick.
His return to the second-ranked Tigers has bolstered what might be the best LSU defense ever - even better than the 1959 unit that allowed only 29 points all season.
If Dorsey's statistics aren't great, it's only because offenses are so worried about him they often assign more than one blocker to him.
So far, he has two sacks in three games. He's tied for the team lead in solo tackles with 11. He's second on the team in total tackles with 14. He has a team-leading 3.5 tackles for losses.
The rest of the defense benefits from Dorsey's work. His bull rushes open lanes defensive coordinator Bo Pelini's many blitzes.
Overall, LSU has 13 sacks for minus-117 yards. They've allowed only seven points in three games. Not one starting quarterback has lasted an entire game against them.
Dorsey, who grew up in Gonzales, about a 20-minute drive from Tiger Stadium, surprised many when he returned to LSU for his senior season, to the delight of his teammates, Tigers fans and his numerous friends and family who converge on Baton Rouge to watch him play.
``I was real happy knowing that Glenn would be back,'' Jackson said ``You know there are a lot of offensive coordinators that have to pay attention to him and that gives other defensive linemen on our team opportunities to make plays, because you can't sit there throughout the whole night and think you can block him one-on-one. It's practically impossible.''
Dorsey wasn't always the imposing presence he is now. In his earliest youth, he was bowlegged and needed leg braces. Some relatives shied away from holding him, he said, because the braces scrapped them up.
Like many who grow up in the rural South, he's loved football for as long as he can remember. But the braces prevented him from playing in the yard with friends and relatives. Or if they let him play, they picked him last.
Dorsey believes the experience instilled a seemingly inexhaustible drive in him to excel.
``I just knew whenever I got a chance to show them what I got, I was going to show them,'' Dorsey recalled. ``That's been my attitude the whole time. I just want to come out and show everybody what I got. I always feel like I'm the underdog. That's the way I take everything. I always feel like I have something to prove and that just brings the best out in me.''
He had very little to prove after his junior season, when he was in on 64 tackles with three sacks and essentially caused the same kind of disruption in opponents' backfields that he's causing now. But Dorsey believed this year's defense could be even better than the excellent units he'd been part of since arriving at LSU. He believed there was a chance to win a national title at LSU. And it would give him one last year to play near home.
``I just really enjoy the environment and it was a no-brainer,'' Dorsey said. ``I'm just 20 minutes from my house, everybody from my hometown can come up for the game, so I'm just really enjoying the moment, you know?''
Some of his favorite moments come before games. When he arrives at the stadium he often notices himself hurrying to get in uniform so he can put on his headphones and listen to Phil Collins' 1980s hit ``In the Air Tonight.''
``It kind of gets my mind right, gets me focused, and that's just the way I feel. I feel it coming in the air,'' Dorsey said. ``It just gets better and better every time I hear it. I kind of look forward to it.''
Pelini said he felt fortunate to get Dorsey back, not just because of how good he is, but because of the example he sets and the leadership he shows throughout practices and games.
``He's a special guy and he's a high-character guy,'' Pelini said. ``He's not afraid to call his teammates out and hold them accountable, but at the same time he can do that because of the way he prepares on a daily basis and on a drill-to-drill basis. Every time he goes in there, you see the same guy, the same kind of work ethic. It's infectious. And if everybody follows Glenn Dorsey and tries to use him as an example, we're going to be pretty good around here.''