The offensive line looks to be in tremendous shape in the short term. LSU returns three starters in 2015, only losing starting LT La'El Collins and starting OC Elliott Porter, who was already accounted for by season's end. While losing a LT and OC is not ideal, there's plenty of talent on tap in Baton Rouge and the chemistry of the three returners should be enough to propel LSU to having one of the best OLs in the nation next season.
But the future years look a bit more in question. Next season LSU will lose Vadal Alexander, a four-year starter after next year, likely Jerald Hawkins, a three-year starter after next year, and possibly Ethan Pocic, a two-year starter after next year. Losing nine years of experience at one position in one fell swoop isn't often easy to swallow. Whomever emerges to take the open spot at right guard and right tackle will return beyond this season, but that could be it.
Players like Josh Boutte, Will Clapp, Garrett Brumfield, Jevonte Domond and Andy Dodd should be eventual starters. Two of those names will likely start this season. Guys like K.J. Malone and Jonah Austin will continue to add quality depth, though I don't expect them to be serious contenders for starting jobs. So in total, that's 10 bodies, three of which could depart after next season. LSU needed to add depth and potential starters in the 2015 class.
6'4.5", 340 pounds
247: ****, #37 Nationally, #2 OG
Rivals: *****, #29 Nationally, #1 OG
ESPN: ****, #71 Nationally, #2 OG
Scout: ****, #42 Nationally, #1 OG
Teuhema is a big, bad dude. At 340 pounds you may expect him to be a lumbering type, but he moves pretty well for a big man. He holds his weight well, and doesn't look sloppy. He will need to refine his body a little, but he's not nearly as frumpy as you see most guys that are 330+ at his age. He's rated as a guard, but he could probably play RT, maybe even LT. He's a big, bad power blocker at heart, though. He's got the talent and size to steal a starting spot as a true freshman.
6'6", 305 pounds
247: *****, #22 Nationally, #2 OT
Rivals: ***, UR Nationally, #38 OT
ESPN: ****, #87 Nationally, #6 OT
Scout: ****, #81 Nationally, #7 OT
Valentine-Okeke shocked the recruiting world last week when he picked LSU. The 6'6", 305 pound tackle is raw, but he's so projectable due to his size and athleticism. His HS coach says he's the quickest learner he's ever seen. When you've only been playing football for two years and are considering one of the top 50 players in the country, you are doing something right. The only question is getting him qualified.
6'5", 315 pounds
247: ****, UR Nationally, #28 OT
Rivals: ***, UR Nationally, #28 OG
ESPN: ****, UR Nationally, #41 OG
Scout: ***, UR Nationally, #42 OG
Magee's listed weight is likely 30 pounds shy of his actual weight. Here's a pic from his official visit:
Magee is #76 on the left in the photo. Compare him to Chidi Valentine-Okeke, who is number 78. Or Teuhema, who is 76 on the right. He's larger than both. Refining his body is one of the things Grimes tasked Magee with. I do believe he's slimmed down, but his body will need further development. Magee is more of a developmental prospect, but could eventually find himself in the mix at OG. He's a big, powerful blocker.
George Brown Jr.
6'6", 253 pounds
247: ***, UR Nationally, #88 OT
Rivals: ****, #199 Nationally, #16 OT
ESPN: ***, UR Nationally, #67 OT
Scout: ***, UR Nationally, #40 OT
Brown Jr. is an athletic tackle prospect that will need to add some bulk before he's ready to contribute. He seems to fit the classic mold of what Grimes likes: Lean, athletic types that can move. Brown Jr. will need a RS year to add needed bulk, but he could be in the mix as early as 2016.
6'4.5", 295 pounds
247: ****, #129 Nationally, #12 OT
Rivals: ****, #98 Nationally, #7 OT
ESPN: ****, #129 Nationally, #9 OT
Scout: ****, #109 Nationally, #11 OT
Weathersby's tape reminds me a good bit of La'El Collins coming out. Both were right around or under the 6'5" mark, both carried 300 pounds exceptionally well. Weathersby is light on his feet and very flexible. He plays with great leverage, and he's naturally strong in the upper body, which means he brings a devastating punch. This guy could play any of the five OL positions. Most believe he's down to LSU and Arkansas, and recent trends this weekend suggest an LSU pick may be on tap.
Weathersby is the only remaining piece in play for LSU here. Snagging the 4-star OT would be a tremendous get for Jeff Grimes. LSU adding five OL to the current roster would go a long ways to bolstering depth for the future. Toss in Hanner Shipley as another possible OT, and the OL depth is looking like a significant strength of the team moving forward. There were some murmurs of Teuhema possibly flipping to UCLA, but everything has been so quiet on that front, I don't consider it likely.
Good job by the staff of identifying the need, casting a wide net (36 offers on the OL) and honing in on some key targets to fill the void. Every member of this signing class, if LSU snags Weathersby, has serious all-conference potential, sans maybe Magee, and he's still got a solid shot to be a decent starter.