Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Queen ready to break free as LSU linebackers leader

March 27, 2019 - 11:15 am

James Moran |

You won’t find many fans of college football’s targeting rules in Baton Rouge. Four Tigers were ejected from games for targeting during the 2018 season, including the infamous call that resulted in Devin White missing the first half of the Alabama game.

Now that the calendar has turned to 2019, those frustrating ejections and subsequent suspensions could turn out to be a belated blessing in disguise for LSU.

Why? Losing White for half the Alabama game and Jacob Phillips for the first half of the Fiesta Bowl against UCF created opportunities for Patrick Queen to show what he can do.

Queen made nine tackles in each of those marquee games and recorded a sack against UCF. Those were two of his four starts during a strong sophomore season during which Queen totaled 40 stops, including five tackles for loss.

Those efforts served as a test run as Queen battles this spring to fill the massive void left by White in LSU’s starting lineup. And with Phillips out with an undisclosed injury, the junior suddenly finds himself as the most experienced inside linebacker on the field this spring.

“It’s kind of weird, but everybody envisions that in their future,” Queen said. “It’s not something that you really think about, but it just kind of happens as things play around in your mind.”

It’s been a steady ascension to the top of the depth chart for Queen. He played sparingly as a true freshman in 2017, making most of his impact on special teams. Queen packed on 25 pounds during his first offseason at LSU and came back ready to contribute in his sophomore season.

Queen wants to add five more pounds of muscle this offseason, so long as it doesn’t take away from the top-end speed that is the hallmark of his game — Queen believes he could give White a run for his money in a 40-yard dash.

Either way, Queen knows he’s better prepared for a starting role haven gotten those fortuitous opportunities to play last season.

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