One of the biggest question marks for LSU heading toward a question-filled 2020 football season is an offensive line that lost four starters from last season’s national championship unit.
Compounding those questions was the fact projected starting left tackle Dare Rosenthal left school during the spring semester and did not participate in the handful of spring practice days the Tigers had before breaking camp because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking Monday night on the “Off the Bench” radio show on 104.5 WNXX-FM, LSU coach Ed Orgeron said Rosenthal has worked through his “off the field problems,” indicating he expects he will be available whenever the Tigers begin preparing for the coming season, though with a qualifier.
“He’s gotten that straight,” Orgeron said. "I’m confident of that for now. Talking to (offensive line) coach (James) Cregg, he’s been a leader in these Zoom (video conference) meetings. He’s working out.”
Redshirt freshman Dare Rosenthal, who’s expected to start at left tackle for LSU next season, will not participate in spring football practice.
Rosenthal moved from defensive to offensive line in 2018. During LSU’s bowl practices, Orgeron said Rosenthal came into his own.
“These bowl practices are really good for young players,” Coach O said. “That’s where you see the next guy up start to step up. Dare Rosenthal was kicking butt every day, grabbing people and throwing them to the ground. I think he will be a great left tackle.”
Cregg, speaking Monday night on LSU’s in-house radio show “LSU Sixty,” indicated Rosenthal will be a player the Tigers can count on this season.
“When you see him now compared to where he was then, he’s going to do some really great things,” Cregg said. “I believe he will be a big factor for us.”
Senior Austin Deculus at right tackle is the only returning starter on an LSU offensive line that won the 2019 Joe Moore Award, given annually to the nation’s best O-line unit. Junior Ed Ingram is projected to start at left guard, with junior Chasen Hines at center and freshman Anthony Bradford or Kardell Thomas at right guard.
“I feel good about our offensive line,” Orgeron said. “The reason I feel good is because of James Cregg and the job he’s done. We have an NFL coach on the offensive line. We’re lucky to have him.”
Cregg, entering his third year on LSU’s staff, just had a 45.5% pay raise approve by the LSU Board of Supervisors, raising his compensation to $657,000 per year.