lsufootball.073117   627.jpg

LSU head coach Ed Orgeron answers media questions during a press conference on LSU football reporting day Sunday.

One week down, five to go.

LSU is through the first week of its three-week preseason camp and the opening week of what will be five weeks of practice preceding the season opener against BYU on Sept. 2 in Houston.

From the offensive line’s thinning depth to a decorated safety signee moving to offense, we learned a great deal about the 2017 Tigers.

GalleryLSUAuburn.092015 380.jpg

Ethan Pocic (No. 77) is gone. The Tigers could use him on a line that's taken hits to its depth this offseason. 


LSU’s offensive line is thin

Offseason attrition and injuries have left the offensive line thin. At most, eight healthy scholarship linemen participated in Saturday’s scrimmage, and the Tigers only have 11 scholarship linemen on the roster. Presumed starting right guard Maea Teuhema’s departure was a double blow to a unit that was expected to be a strength. He also was the team’s No. 3 tackle. Three presumed starters (center Will Clapp, left tackle K.J. Malone and right tackle Toby Weathersby) were held out of Saturday’s scrimmage for what coach Ed Orgeron called “regular camp injuries.” Orgeron’s squad is a significant injury away from having to potentially start a true freshman at tackle in the nation’s strongest conference.

Arden Key is inching closer to full health

The offseason topic de jour, Key’s recovery from shoulder surgery appears to be moving in the right direction. The All-America edge rusher has participated in non-contact workouts and individual drills over the first week of camp. Practice video of Key using his shoulder against a cushioned dummy is a positive sign for a player who Orgeron has suggested could miss early-season game time. Key isn’t expected to be cleared for full contact for at least another week, according to comments Orgeron made before camp began. There are still “some movements” Key can’t do, Orgeron said last week, and the coach must remind his junior standout to “slow down” in his recovery.

Myles Brennan is very much in the mix to be the backup QB

lsufootball.073117   266.jpg

LSU QB Myles Brennan arrives for camp two weeks ago.

The so-called open QB competition got lots of coverage this offseason, but the real battle is at No. 2. Fifth-year senior Danny Etling will almost certainly take the first snap of the season against BYU, barring injury. His backup, however, might just be a 6-foot-4 true freshman. Brennan appears in the hunt to snag the backup gig, likely scrapping any plans to redshirt the Mississippi native. He threw the second-most passes of any reserve QB in Saturday’s scrimmage, a sign of his standing in the pecking order. Brennan and the other backups (Justin McMillan, Lindsey Scott and Lowell Narcisse) took second-string snaps Saturday; maybe the rookie gets a crack at some first-string plays this week.

Not seeing the video below? Click here.


Several true freshmen are poised to play significantly

This is more the case on defense, where as many as seven or eight rookies could be in the rotation. The list includes edge rusher K’Lavon Chaisson, safety and mid-year enrollee Grant Delpit, cornerback Kary Vincent, safety Todd Harris and linebackers Jacob Phillips, Tyler Taylor and Patrick Queen. The rookies impressed coaches through the opening week of camp. Delpit appears to be challenging Ed Paris for the starting safety gig, and Vincent might have the edge at the nickel position. Chaisson is pushing to get into the rotation at the buck outside linebacker spot, and the linebacker trio should see rotation behind starters Donnie Alexander and Devin White.

In camp, there are always surprises

We’ve stumbled upon a handful of them without seeing any practice yet. (Reporters won’t be allowed in until the first day of school Aug. 21.) Who would have predicted that coaches would move JaCoby Stevens to receiver? He was the top-ranked safety in the 2017 class. A mid-year enrollee, he even played safety in the spring. Also, many projected that former Catholic running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire would use a redshirt this season, given depth at the position. Maybe not: He has been the “surprise of camp,” Orgeron said, and he was one of three running backs the coach listed stats for after Saturday’s scrimmage.

LSU Camp Catchup (stories from Week 1)

Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter, @RossDellenger.