Several freshmen moved up LSU’s depth chart one game into the 2014 season.
Defensive end Deondre Clark and defensive tackle Davon Godchaux moved from third to second string in the latest depth chart released Tuesday. Freshman receiver Trey Quinn is listed as a starter along with sophomore Travin Dural.
Quinn played nearly every offensive snap in Saturday’s season-opening 28-24 win over Wisconsin. Clark and Godchaux both saw time on the defensive line. Godchaux played at least a dozen plays, many coming in the fourth quarter.
Godchaux, a four-star prospect from Plaquemine, seems to have caught coaches’ attention.
“We think he is a guy that potentially can be as talented and capable as any of our guys,” coach Les Miles said Tuesday. “He’s tough, he listens and learns well, very athletic, uses his hands well. We see him developing to be the style of guy that we’re used to having up front.”
In other depth chart notes, Hoko Fanaika and Evan Washington are still listed as co-starters at the right guard position. Fanaika started and played the entire game at right guard Saturday. Washington replaced Jerald Hawkins at right tackle for one drive.
There is no longer an “OR” between the names of former co-starters Quentin Thomas and Frank Herron. Thomas is listed as the starter. Herron did not play a snap against Wisconsin.
Asked about that, Miles said: “We’re hopeful that we can get Frank coached up a little bit better and get him on the field, because he is, in my opinion, a very, very talented guy.”
Safety Jalen Mills is listed as a starter with Rickey Jefferson as his backup. Mills started against Wisconsin. Jefferson was previously listed as the starter.
Defensive tackle signee Travonte Valentine is practicing with LSU, Miles said.
Valentine cannot play in games as he awaits clearance from the Southeastern Conference. A four-star prospect from Florida, Valentine has been cleared by the NCAA and is enrolled in school.
He suggested to The Advocate two weeks ago that another SEC school was involved in his delay. Valentine will likely redshirt this season.
It’s unclear why the SEC is withholding Valentine from play. The league would not comment on the situation.
Miles said Tuesday he’s never seen what he called a “secondary review” of a player like this. The coach suggested that Valentine transferring high schools after his junior year is a possible explanation.
“We’re trying to get those administrators back in the high school to basically send in the material that they have, and hopefully they have it and we can get that done,” Miles said. “But he’s practiced with us last week and really did very nicely.”
The four players suspended for LSU’s game at Wisconsin are expected to return this week against Sam Houston State, Miles said.
Cornerback Rashard Robinson, defensive tackle Maquedius Bain, center Elliott Porter and linebacker Ronnie Feist did not travel with the team to Houston while suspended. A reason for their suspension was not made clear.
Their return might not matter. According to a depth chart distributed Tuesday, Ethan Pocic will start at center, and Jalen Collins will start at cornerback. Both players started against Wisconsin.
Things are becoming more clear as to why Wisconsin didn’t play quarterback Joel Stave and why its Heisman Trophy hopeful running back was limited in the second half of Saturday’s game.
Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen, in a statement Tuesday, revealed that Stave has been dealing with a shoulder injury and is out indefinitely. On Monday, Andersen said starting running back Melvin Gordon suffered a hip injury late in the first half, a reason for his small amount of second-half carries. Gordon had just three carries in the second half. He had 12 carries for 76 yards in the first half.
One vote for No. 1
LSU moved up one spot to No. 12 in both the coaches and Associated Press poll, and the Tigers received on No. 1 vote.
LSU was ranked No. 1 by AP poll voter Jon Wilner, a sports reporter by the San Jose Mercury News. Wilner explained his voting method in a blog post Tuesday, saying that he ranks teams based on week-to-week results so to rid of preseason hype from the system.
“In my estimation, LSU’s victory over Wisconsin stands as the best result of the weekend,” he wrote.
Freshman receiver Malachi Dupre practiced Monday and is expected “to compete for playing time” Saturday, Miles said. Dupre did not travel with the team to Houston because of what was believed to be an ankle injury. ... SEC Network’s main crew of Brent Musburger, Jesse Palmer and Maria Taylor will call Saturday’s game against Sam Houston State. ... Linebacker Kwon Alexander was the Tigers’ MVP in the Wisconsin game, Miles said. Alexander made multiple tackles for loss and had a quarterback hurry in the second half of the comeback.
Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter: @DellengerAdv. For more coverage of LSU football, follow our blog at blogs.theadvocate.com/tigertracks