After being part of the offensive line shuffle that began in LSU’s preseason camp last August and lasted most of the season, Adrian Magee did his part to make sure it didn’t happen again.
At the very least, if it did, the former Franklinton High School all-state pick figured he could be part of the solution instead of a problem for second-year offensive line coach James Cregg.
With players going in and out of the lineup at a dizzying pace, Cregg spent most of the season trying to piece together a cohesive unit that would get the job done from week to week.
He eventually used seven starting combinations in LSU’s 13 games — with a different group in the first six contests — while the Tigers offense was trying to get more comfortable with new quarterback Joe Burrow.
It made Magee, who started one game each at right tackle and left tackle with two emergency starts at left guard when Garrett Brumfield was injured, think more about playing inside to make any sudden change go smoother.
“Toward the end of the season last year, when I was playing but I really wasn’t playing a lot, I was prepared for anybody to go down,” Magee said. “ ‘Don’t blink. I’m going in, I’m playing.’ ”
He said he took it upon himself to learn more about sliding inside and handling bigger defensive lineman to be better prepared for when the call came.
Even though he’s a tackle by trade and prefers that position more, Magee said it was an important step for him to make in his personal development and help the team whenever — and wherever — he’s needed.
“I was thinking, I might as well get the big picture instead of the small picture because you never know where I’ll play in the NFL,” he said. “I was ready. … I was prepared for it. I was just trying to find a spot.”
Now, after playing in 25 career games with five starts, the fifth-year senior is the likely starter at left guard for the Georgia Southern game.
Magee, who said he likes the pulling and hitting a guard must do, settled into that spot in spring ball when promising sophomore Chasen Hines was held out of drills after having offseason knee surgery.
The 6-foot-4, 343-pound Magee has shown no signs of giving the spot up.
“By the end of the season, I felt like I had guard down,” he said. “I needed to learn something else.”
Magee played a career-high 82 snaps in starting at left guard at Florida, then started the next week and played just three snaps against Georgia before leaving with an injury.
Still, his continued development has helped settle the position somewhat.
Hines has missed several practices while he continues to recover from his surgery and freshman Kardell Thomas suffered an ankle injury in practice that will require surgery and possibly sideline him for the season.
In addition to that, 2018 projected starter Ed Ingram remains on indefinite suspension.
It's fortunate for the Tigers that Magee made sure to pick up a position other than tackle when he was not playing much at the end of the 2018 season.
That's a lesson the younger players are receiving rather quickly, he said.
“I put myself where, ‘What if I go down? Or what if somebody else on the starting O-line goes down?’ ” Magee asked. “So I’m going through it and learning other positions while the guys behind me are learning my position.”
Center Lloyd Cushenberry, the anchor of the Tigers offensive line, knows how big it’s been for Magee to transition to other spots on the five-man front.
“Very valuable. He can move around, he can play both sides — guard and tackle,” Cushenberry said. “The more you can do, the more valuable you are to the team. That goes a long ways.
“During the season, guys are going to go down. For him to be able to be so versatile and move around, that’s huge for us.”