LSU's recruiting class grew last evening when Glendale Community College offensive tackle Jevonte Domond pledged. Adding offensive line depth is a top priority in this class. LSU will lose at least four members from the two-deep after this season, and possibly up to six. The commitment is the 11th of the 2015 class and the third offensive lineman. It brings Grimes up to 64th in 247's Recruiter of the Year rankings.
Anytime you dip into the JUCO waters, you expect to net an immediate contributor. Let's take a look at what Domond brings to the table. Domond fits the prototype of the style of linemen I expect Grimes to bring to Baton Rouge. At 6'6", 305 pounds, he sports a longer, leaner build. Domond is a composite 4-star OT at 89.67 on 247 sports, which makes him somewhere between a reliable starter and All-American candidate, in their rankings. Let's check the tape:
Domond plays right tackle for Glendale CC and his size immediately pops out on tape. He's a big, long-armed kid that may even be a bit over his listed 305. Athletically, he fits the bill. When asked to pull, he does a good job of getting to the second level and finding a target to block. He moves exceptionally well and doesn't look clunky or uncomfortable doing so. He hustles and does a good job of finding someone to hit on every play. My guess is that Grimes and company really like Domond from a tools perspective. He has the type of length, bulk and athleticism to make an excellent offensive tackle.
That said, he's much more raw than I'd like from a JUCO prospect. Domond's technique is pretty lacking at this point. The question is, is that due to a lack of quality coaching or a lack of his own dedication to improvement? He often comes out of his stance straight up, something that can be challenging for taller linemen. In JUCO, he can win this way simply by being bigger and stronger than most of his competition. That won't stand up in the SEC where he's likely to see opponents that are his equal or greater athletically.
He doesn't display a great initial punch. You won't see Domond blowing people off the ball. He doesn't lack a physical nature, he's just not an especially powerful blocker at this time. Some refining to his technique could bring this about. By design of the offense, he is often going to cut blocks, something we've done very little of under Miles. I wouldn't expect that to change under Grimes, either.
Pass protection is also very raw. As is the case with his run blocking, he often comes out straight up, and his upper body tends to track a bit over his lower half. He needs to get better about his balance or he'll find himself out of position often. He does do a good job using his long arms to keep defenders at bay.
What I see in Domond is a guy with a ton of raw tools that have yet to be maximized to their potential. Grimes has a reputation for being an expert teacher of the technical aspects of the position, so he may believe he can quickly bring Domond up to snuff for next season. For an offensive line that will need an influx of immediate contributors in 2015, I'm having a tough time seeing how Domond factors in immediately. If he were an incoming freshman, it would change my impression a bit, but as it stands, Domond is a bit of a puzzling take. That said, apparently he's just begun playing football in the past couple of years, so that would account for his raw technique as he seems to be going purely on raw ability right now.