LSU players report for fall camp on Aug. 5 so we’re counting down to that day with a daily blog series on things to watch during camp. Traditionally, the media has been cut off from viewing practices at some point during camp so we might have to be quick with the observations.
No. 6: Battle at the three interior offensive line positions
Who’s Involved: Ethan Pocic, Josh Boutte, Andy Dodd, Will Clapp
The Scoop: This might not be as big of a competition as first thought after Les Miles on Wednesday rattled off the five starters: LT Jerald Hawkins, LG Pocic, C Clapp, RG Boutte, RT Vadal Alexander.
Still, it should be a battle to watch with Dodd trying his best to creep into the rotation at center. There are others involved, too. Garrett Brumfield and KJ Malone included and don’t forget about highly touted freshmen like Maea Teuhema.
Tigers O-line coach Jeff Grimes shuffled the interior throughout spring practice. Reporters only had limited windows into spring drills, but it was obvious that Grimes was tinkering to find the best group. He reiterated that in an interview recently with The Advocate.
“It’s really about getting your best five on the field and then, once you determine who your best five are, now … not only what does each guy play best but how they fit together best,” Grimes said. “You’d like to have a nice balance. You want to have guys who are comfortable playing next to each other and you want to put each guy in position where he can be most successful.”
During spring, Brumfield and Malone were sometimes at guard with Pocic at center. Dodd was at center some with Clapp and Pocic at guard. Boutte seemed to come on late in the spring and then was slotted as a starter at guard for the spring game.
What Will We Watch Happen: Nobody wants to see football players get injured, but it happens. Especially in fall camp. Especially to offensive linemen.
All it takes is for one guy to go down and someone gets their shot to squeeze into the rotation.
Outside of injuries, it appears the five Miles gave as starters are the guys LSU wants to go with. But, still, Grimes sounded noncommittal last week on discussing his starters in the interior. He’s still feeling out this group and will probably be doing so up to the season opener.
No. 9: Fournette returning kicks
No. 8: OL Maea Teuhema and Toby Weathersby
No. 7: Malachi Dupre’s emergence
No. 6: Interior O-line battle
No. 5: ? (Saturday)
No. 4: ? (Sunday)
No. 3: ? (Monday)
No. 2: ? (Tuesday)
No. 1: ? (Wednesday)