SEC Country reporter Alex Hickey will answer your LSU Tigers sports queries each weekday in our LSU Question of the Day. Join the conversation by sending your questions via Twitter to @SECCountryLSU, @bigahickey or by email to Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Question of the Day: Friday, Dec. 1
Can you believe the final month of the year is already upon us? Also, consider this your reminder to pay the rent, in case you’d forgotten.
Today’s question comes from Scotty, a fan who knows that games are won and lost in the trenches.
I just saw that Damien Lewis committed and things look promising for [Badara] Traore so if we add them to the mix with freshmen [Cameron] Wire and [Cole] Smith as well as the returning O-linemen, how do envision our line shaping up for next year?
Jeff Grimes and Ed Orgeron have been busy on the recruiting trail when it comes to adding offensive linemen this offseason. And it’s a good thing, too — there was so much attrition last offseason that the Tigers had to use walk-ons with the starters during much of camp in August.
But even with a large haul of offensive linemen, chances are next season’s LSU offensive line is going to look awfully similar to this season’s. Every starter is poised to return:
- Left tackle: Saahdiq Charles
- Left guard: Garrett Brumfield
- Center: Will Clapp
- Right guard: Ed Ingram
- Right tackle: Toby Weathersby
At the moment, the biggest wild card is Clapp. He is projected as a potential top-5 center in next year’s NFL draft class — but the fifth center wasn’t drafted until the sixth round this year. That’s probably not a value that justifies leaving school a year early. If he were to go, assume his place would be taken by Lloyd Cushenberry.
As the nation’s top-rated junior college tackle, Traore could certainly compete for a starting spot. Perhaps he ends up at left tackle while Charles and Weathersby are left duking it out at right tackle.
Don’t expect the LSU offensive line to look terribly different next season — which is a good thing. The Tigers are going to break in a new quarterback and a slew of new running backs, so a position with stability will be a massive benefit. The only difference will be much more depth up front. As this season showed, that alone can be a very big deal.