BLOG: West Monroe's Garnett embraces position change

BLOG: West Monroe's Garnett embraces position change

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BLOG: West Monroe's Garnett embraces position change

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West Monroe senior Layton Garnett knows the agony of sitting on the sideline watching as his team lost in the semifinals last season at Destrehan.

The 6-2, 250-pound, three-star prospect was willing to do anything to help the team win once he was back from an ankle injury that required three surgeries and nearly a full year of rehab to get back on the field.

So when the Rebel coaching staff asked Garnett to switch from linebacker to defensive end – he was more than willing.

“It sealed it when they told me it would help the team,” Garnett said. “I just want to help the team win.”

Garnett is “95 percent back” from his injuries according to head coach Jerry Arledge. Arledge sees him as a great fit at defensive end given the depth that West Monroe has at linebacker.

“He fits (defensive end) well,” Arledge said. “He has continued to grow into that size. He is running extremely hard. This position is more about reading the play than about instinct. He is ultra-aggressive and exceptionally strong. He has all the tools.”

West Monroe has had great success sending defensive ends to the college level in recent years including Jacob Tyson at the University of Louisiana at Monroe and former LSU stars BarkeviousMingo and Jordan Allen.

Garnett said he is hearing the most from college programs such as the LSU, UL Lafayette, Texas Christian, LA Tech and ULM.

Garnett will be able to use some of those instincts he used as a linebacker. He will be a premiere pass rusher within the West Monroe defense, getting on the heels of opposing quarterbacks as best he can.

“That is my favorite part,” Garnett said of rushing the quarterback. “Whether I am standing or in a stance will be determined by the scheme and the formation.”

His leadership and play on the field will be critical to the Rebel defense regardless of what position he plays.

“At this level, defensive end is maybe even more important than the linebacker,” Arledge said. “You have to know your assignment on each play. It is a bit more disciplined.”

West Monroe will host Neville in the jamboree beginning at 6 p.m. Friday on Don Shows Field at Rebel Stadium. West Monroe begins the regular season on Friday, September 4 when they host the Wossman Wildcats.

Connect with Cody on Twitter @cfutrellTNS or via e-mail cfutrell@thenewsstar.com

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