LSU walk-on lineman Michael Smith, who has recently been taking second team snaps at center, has been placed on scholarship.
The 6-foot-2, 325-pound junior nicknamed "the bus driver" was entering his fourth season as a walk-on with the Tigers, and backup quarterback Myles Brennan congratulated Smith on Twitter Friday morning.
"Big congrats to (Smith) for being put on scholarship today," Brennan wrote. "You've earned it my man!"
Big congrats to @busdriver_75 for being put on scholarship today. You’ve earned it my man!— Myles Brennan (@MylesBrennan) August 9, 2019
LSU's recent pileup of camp absences left the Tigers practicing with just 11 of its 17 players on Wednesday, which required Smith, who has never played in a game, to move up closer to the top of the depth chart.
LSU coach Ed Orgeron has said that most of the absences are due to "minor injuries," including true freshman center, Charles Turner, who has missed the last four practices.
Projected starting left guard Chasen Hines took snaps at center behind starter Lloyd Cushenberry before Hines missed practice on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Orgeron said that Hines is still limited with his knee injury. The 6-foot-3, 336-pound Hines missed the spring due to offseason surgery.
"I think he's going to be 100 percent when the season comes," Orgeron told 104.5 ESPN's "Off the Bench."
Smith has been taking second team reps at center in Hines' absence.
LSU had 24 total players missing during Wednesday's practice, including six possible starters on offense and two more on defense. The list included true freshman linebacker Donte Starks, who has not yet arrived to camp, Orgeron said, because of academic reasons.
LSU took Thursday off and will resume practice Friday at 4:15 p.m.