WHEN GLENN DORSEYgrows tired late in a game, when the muscles in his legs are burning withfatigue, he is often inspired by memories of his childhood. As athree-year-old, Dorsey was so severely bowlegged that he had to be fitted withleg braces. For a year after that he was only able to watch longingly while theother kids in his Gonzales, La., neighborhood played games like tag andhide-and-seek. "I swore to myself that when I got those braces off, I wasnever going to be the weak link in anything I did," says Dorsey, a 6'2", 299-pound senior defensive tackle. "And now, whenever I need alittle extra motivation, I think about those braces and how hungry I was to getthose things off. That's helped me become the player I am today."
And what kind ofplayer is that? Well, although Dorsey has started for only one season, coachLes Miles calls him the best interior lineman he's seen in his 27 years ofcoaching.
With 64 tacklesand three sacks in 2006--despite facing constant double teams--Dorsey wouldlikely have been a first-round pick had he declared for the 2007 NFL draft, buthe returned to Baton Rouge for one reason: to play in the BCS championshipgame. And considering that the Tigers have 14 starters coming back from a teamthat finished 11-2 and pounded Notre Dame 41-14 in the Sugar Bowl, Dorsey maywell get his wish.
"It's a bigboost to have Glenn back because his combination of power and athleticism israre and very, very special," says Miles. "He'll be the leader of ourdefense."
The leader of theLSU offense will be quarterback Matt Flynn, a fifth-year senior who has spenthis career backing up the likes of Matt Mauck, Marcus Randall and JaMarcusRussell, the No. 1 pick in the '07 draft. Flynn's lone start came in the '05Peach Bowl, in which he threw for two touchdowns in the Tigers' 40-3 win overMiami and was named the game's offensive MVP. Flynn doesn't have Russell's armstrength, but Miles raves about his ability to manage games and minimizemistakes. Plus, Flynn is a run-pass threat in the same mold as Mauck, who wasthe last quarterback to lead the Tigers to a share of the national title, in'03. "Matt Flynn has waited a long time for this year," says Miles."That [one start] was a big one, and it's given him a quiet confidence thathe can get the job done. He's ready."
And Flynn canalways look to Dorsey for proof that patience has its rewards. In his first twoyears at LSU, Dorsey played behind Kyle Williams (currently with the BuffaloBills) and Claude Wroten (St. Louis Rams), but after his breakout season in '06he's now arguably the most disruptive interior defender in the nation. Dorseywas nicknamed Putt as a baby because the only time he would get up and try towalk was when he saw a commercial for a local miniature golf course on thefamily TV. Needless to say, he's found something else to motivate him as hemarches through his senior season. "My job at LSU won't be done until wewin the national title," Dorsey says. "I'm going to go after it likenothing I've ever done before."
COACH: Les Miles
2006 RECORD: 11-2 (6-2 in SEC)
FINAL AP RANK: 3
RETURNING STARTERS: Offense 6, Defense 8
WR Early Doucet (Sr.)
Had 59 catches for 772 yards and eight TDs in '06
RB Keiland Williams (So.)
May double last season's rushing total of 436 yards
CB Jonathan Zenon (Sr.)
Led team with four interceptions
Aug. 30 at Mississippi State
Sept. 8 VIRGINIA TECH
15 MIDDLE TENNESSEE
22 SOUTH CAROLINA
29 at Tulane
Oct. 6 FLORIDA
13 at Kentucky
Nov. 3 at Alabama
10 LOUISIANA TECH
17 at Mississippi
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"His combination of power and athleticism is rareand very, very special," says Miles.
¬†WRAPARTIST¬†A childhood trauma fuels Dorsey's play.
Darrell Walker/UTHM/Icon SMI (MASCOT)