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Will Clapp is projected to start at center this year for LSU.

ADVOCATE STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FEIG

Will Clapp admits he begged coaches to let him participate in an LSU spring practice.

That wasn’t necessarily the plan originally. Clapp, a fourth-year junior and two-year starter at guard, has been rehabilitating from torn labrum surgery. Though Clapp maintained that he was ahead of schedule with his recovery, he was not expected to participate in any spring practice, something coach Ed Orgeron said at the start of drills. 

He even told The Advocate last week that trainers did not want him going through drills “because I’m not even three months out (from surgery).”

And then came last Thursday, when the Brother Martin alum was running through individual drills while wearing a gold jersey, which signifies limited contact.

“I was feeling good,” Clapp said. “I just wanted to see what I could do, see where I was at in my rehab. I was able to do some individual (drills). That was about it. I don’t really know the plan going forward, but I definitely need to get my shoulder stronger. But it was good being out there, being with the guys.”

Clapp, one of the likely candidates to replace Ethan Pocic at center, said he didn’t do anything involving contact last week, and there’s “no shot” he’ll play in the spring game. But he’s making strides in the weight room, he said, even if he won’t be 100 percent for some time.

Clapp did not practice with the team Tuesday, but he was spotted on an opposite field running with a strength staff member.

“I was surprised how much I was able to do, but I still got a far way to go,” Clapp said of practicing last week. “I don’t know how much I’m going to be doing going forward. I think I’m going to be focused on getting my shoulder stronger the rest of the spring.”

The unexpected practice appearance did allow Clapp to walk through some of the new offensive looks that Matt Canada has installed. Clapp said making calls and seeing a mock defense in front of him was more beneficial than just learning the offense on a white board.

Though he doesn’t know how much more he’ll be able to do for the rest of the spring, he continues to work with younger linemen, namely Lloyd Cushenberry. Cushenberry is running with the first-team offense at center in Clapp’s absence.

And Clapp is fine with moving around on the line when he is fully healthy.

“I’ve switched positions a bunch of times since I’ve been here, and I’m prepared for that – if I have to go back to guard, if I’m playing center,” Clapp said. “So I just keep on focusing on the whole thing, and I’ll be ready to play whatever.”