Maea Teuhema might be a guard, Toby Weathersby could end up at center, and Chidi Valentine-Okeke may be headed for the tackle spot.
No LSU position group saw a bigger influx in rookies than coach Jeff Grimes and the offensive line. The coach is still in the process of figuring out where to play at least four of the five freshmen. He’s cross-training four of the rookies, rotating them at guard, tackle and even center.
George Brown, a 6-foot-7, 283-pounder, is the only freshman Grimes has pegged in a position: tackle.
Decisions on the others, though, could be coming soon.
“It’s a little bit challenging right now because they really don’t know what they’re doing, and so when you’re moving them around, it’s hard for them to really show their true ability,” Grimes said Sunday. “But there’s no other way for me to know until I see them do it. This next week or so I think we’ll begin settling them into one position or one side.”
The freshmen group could make an immediate mark for the Tigers. Grimes said “two or three” of them could end up in the two-deep depth chart and travel with the team to away games. He wouldn’t identify the two or three to avoid singling out any players.
One of them likely includes Teuhema, a 6-foot-5, 327-pounder who ranked as high as the No. 1 offensive guard in the nation in the 2015 class. He was the only freshman offensive linemen to practice with the veterans during the Tigers’ split-squad practice days early in camp.
Weathersby, 6-5, 292, is another signee ranked nationally as a top 10 tackle in the class. Both players have been working at guard and tackle.
Teuhema has primarily played guard the past two days of practice, Grimes said. Weathersby has been snapping some.
“He’s a little bit unusual,” Grimes said of Weathersby. “He could play guard or tackle. We’ve also started teaching him how to snap the football. Down the road, he could end up being a center as well. Got great strength in short area and quickness. Kind of guy you’d like to really have if you were in a fight in a phone booth.”
Freshman Johnson in mix with returners
LSU has a third true freshman returning kicks.
Tyron Johnson, the state’s No. 1-ranked player in the 2015 class, is part of what appears to be a five-man competition in the punt and kick return game. Special team coordinator Bradley Dale Peveto said Sunday that Johnson and receiver Trey Quinn are returning punts and kicks.
They join a list of returners that includes rookies Derrius Guice and Donte Jackson and running back Leonard Fournette. The Advocate erroneously reported in Monday’s edition that Dwayne Thomas was returning kicks. Peveto said Johnson — not Thomas.
“We’ve got a good problem. We’ve got four or five guys who can do it. It’s a good problem to have,” Peveto said Sunday. “They’ve all looked good. They can all run. They can all catch. They’ve got real good ball skills. We feel pretty good about it.”
It’s unclear if Tre’Davious White is returning punts. He was the Tigers’ punt returner last season, averaging 10 yards on 25 returns and taking one for a touchdown. Fournette averaged 26 yards on 24 returns, ranking him 19th nationally.
On the tube
Five of LSU’s games last season will be replayed on the SEC Network over the weekend and early next week.
The Tigers’ electric win over then-No. 3 Ole Miss is scheduled to start at 5 a.m. Saturday. Also on Saturday, Mississippi State’s victory over the Tigers will be on at 2 p.m., and LSU’s win at Florida will air at 8 p.m.
LSU-Florida is set to re-air at 2 a.m. Sunday, and Alabama’s overtime win in Tiger Stadium will air at 2 a.m. Monday.
Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter @DellengerAdv.