It was supposed to be sophomore linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson's breakout year. Teammates even proclaimed that he'd break the school sack record that Arden Key set back in 2016.
Instead, Chaisson's year ended with him limping off the field in Dallas with a little more than six minutes to go in LSU's opening game against Miami on Sunday. Cameras showed trainers wrapping his knee in ice, and ESPN's Holly Rowe reported that Chaisson, who finished with 5 tackles and a sack, refused to be carted off the field.
I never want to question God. I just be so anxious to know his plan! 🗣 #AGTG🙏🏽— K’Lavon Chaisson (@WhosThatGuy4) September 3, 2018
LSU coach Ed Orgeron announced at his luncheon on Tuesday that Chaisson did indeed tear his ACL, which many feared after the way the sophomore's left knee buckled.
Orgeron said he had talked with Chaisson and his grandmother when he found out the news about his injury.
"I feel bad for him," Orgeron said. "Great young man. He had totally dedicated himself to this year, but he is going to get through this, this is going to pass for him, and he will have a great career down the road."
The Texas-native was ready to step into the national spotlight in 2018 after starting three games as a freshman last season in place of Key at the bench linebacker position, the premier pass rusher in Dave Aranda's defense. In 2017, Chaisson finished with 27 tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss and two sacks.
As a recruit, Chaisson was highly coveted by many schools, and some recruiting sites had him listed as a 5-star while others had him ranked as a high 4-star.
His signing day pledge was a coup for Orgeron and his staff as many thought he was bound for Texas and coach Tom Herman.
That all changed when Orgeron and Dennis Johnson, who was the outside linebackers coach at the time, showed up at 3 a.m. outside of Chaisson's door as he was getting ready for flight to Gainesville for his official visit to Florida.
The two coaches followed Chaisson to the airport and even escorted him all the way to the TSA line.
With Chaisson's season over, Orgeron is going to have to call on Andre Anthony going forward. Anthony replaced Chaisson at the end of the Miami game and finished with one tackle.
A 4-star recruit out of New Orleans and an Under Armour All-American in the class of 2016, Anthony was not eligible to play his freshman season due to issues regarding his coursework in high school. Then in fall camp last season, Anthony suffered a foot injury that robbed him of his entire season.
Now, as a redshirt sophomore with one game under his belt, Anthony and junior college transfer Travez Moore will have to replace what LSU lost in Chaisson.