Round 453 of LSU vs. the Clearinghouse goes to LSU, as 4-star defensive tackle Edwin Alexander has been officially cleared to join the LSU football team. Derek Ponamsky, of ESPN 104.5 FM in Baton Rouge, first reported the news on his radio show this morning.
This is great news for Ed Orgeron heading into fall camp. I’ve already profiled incoming freshmen Rashard Lawrence and Glen Logan, who look to be potential early contributors in Dave Aranda’s new 3-4 defense. Lawrence and Logan are athletic types that could be dominant as attacking DL, but Alexander brings something different to the field. He lists at 6’2”, 333 pounds and profiles more like a vintage NT. If he’s able to get into game shape, he could prove to be a very vital cog in the 2016 defense, allowing smaller players like Christian LaCouture and Davon Godchaux, particularly Godchaux, to not have to serve as just block-eaters.
The larger issue may be getting Alexander ready. At one point he was considered one of the two or three best DTs in the nation, but he slid down the ranks some as the year went on. The primary reason was his slip in performance and added weight. “Rougaroux,” as he’s nicknamed, at one time looked like an explosive, Glen Dorsey like clone, but he’s seemed to lose a step with the weight gain. That may not be totally detrimental to his future, however. Perhaps Alexander would be better served as a true NT? It’s certain a place he could slot sooner at LSU.
LSU is still awaiting official word on Travonte Valentine. That said, word is there won’t be any official announcement of his return and it’s more likely he would just show up at practice one day. If LSU can get Alexander and Valentine eligible at the last minute, it would go a long way to shoring up some depth issues on the DL.