New LSU offensive line coach James Cregg begins his stint with the Tigers this week in a recruiting capacity — and we’re not talking about high school players.
Cregg is expected to arrive this week to Baton Rouge and start meeting with the team’s three draft-eligible offensive linemen, hoping to convince the trio to remain in school for their senior seasons. He's already spoken by phone to some of them.
Right tackle Toby Weathersby, center Will Clapp and left guard Garrett Brumfield all requested evaluations grades from the NFL College Advisory Committee, a sign that they’re at least toying with the idea of forgoing their final year of eligibility for the NFL draft. The deadline to announce is Monday, Jan. 15.
Cregg and the LSU staff are shifting into re-recruiting mode regarding the three offensive linemen. Already the LSU line is losing senior left tackle KJ Malone. The Tigers have already lost underclassmen Arden Key and Kevin Toliver to the draft, and coaches expect to lose running back Derrius Guice and cornerback Donte Jackson, though neither has announced. Key announced last week plans to forgo his senior year, and Toliver released his announcement Monday.
The futures of Weathersby, Clapp and Brumfield are more uncertain, though many believe Weathersby is most seriously contemplating a departure. The Tigers have braced to lose some of the linemen. They signed four offensive linemen in the early signing period last month, including two junior college players who may help immediately in tackle Badara Traore and guard Damien Lewis.
Lewis and Traore join at least seven other 2018 signees who the school announced last month would enroll at the mid-year this month. Classes for the spring semester begin Wednesday, and some signees have arrived to campus already, according to messages they’ve posted on Twitter.
Cregg arrives from a stint as the assistant offensive line coach for the Los Angeles Chargers. He replaces Jeff Grimes, who left to be the offensive coordinator at BYU.
Kevin Toliver has played his last down in Baton Rouge, and so had right tackle Toby Weathersby.
Charles undergoes shoulder surgery
Freshman tackle Saahdiq Charles underwent surgery last week to repair a shoulder injury he's battled.
Charles, the 6-5, 320-pound Mississippi native, posted a photo on his Twitter page of himself in a hospital bed, his left arm stabilized in a black brace. Charles started nine games this season, seven of those at left tackle in replacement duty for injured senior Malone. In the Citrus Bowl loss to Notre Dame, Charles appeared to injure or re-injure the shoulder. Malone played several drives in place of Charles.
Offseason surgeries in the spring are commonplace for college football players. LSU normally has a half-dozen or more players undergo repairs.
Harris joins Etling at Tropical Bowl
There will be two former LSU quarterbacks playing in the Tropical Bowl this Sunday.
Brandon Harris, a Bossier City native, is joining Danny Etling at the college all-star game played this weekend in Daytona Beach, Florida, the game announced Monday. The game kicks off at 8 a.m. CT and will be live streamed for subscribers at flofootball.com.
Harris spent the past season at North Carolina, mostly in a reserve role, after transferring as a graduate from LSU over the summer. He started 15 games during his three-year LSU career in 2014-16.
Etling is one of at least four LSU players competing in college all-star games. Receiver DJ Chark will participate in the Senior Bowl, and receiver Russell Gage and defensive end Frank Herron are playing in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.
The Senior Bowl is scheduled to kick off at 1 p.m. Jan. 27 from Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. It is televised by NFL Network. The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl is played Jan. 20 from the Rose Bowl in California. It is televised by FS1.
Cornerback Greedy Williams added another postseason honor to his resume.
Football Writers Association of America named him to its Freshman All-American team. Williams, a redshirt freshman who led the SEC in interceptions last season, also landed on several All-SEC and All-American squads.
ATLANTA — Dear college sports world,