Ross Dellenger from the Advocated broke the story this evening that OL George Brown Jr. will be leaving the program.
Brown has a nice list of options to land, deciding between Michigan State, UCLA, Miami and Penn State, according to his father. The split seems mostly amicable, as Brown Jr’s father had nothing but positive things to say about Coach Miles, LSU and the football program.
My best guess is that Brown saw the writing on the wall. Though he took a RS last season, he was clearly behind three other members from his same signing class: Maea Teuhema (returning starter when healthy) Toby Weathersby (presumed starter) and Chidi Okeke (potential starter or key backup). It’s possible he’s also already fallen behind the incoming Donavaughn Campbell and Lloyd Cushenberry, who have both drawn early praise from Les Miles.
It does not appear to be location related, as none of Brown’s choices are particularly close to his hometown of Cincinnati.
This comes just a day after the announcement that Willie Allen would likely be a RS candidate due to a knee injury. Far and away the biggest blow here is to depth, which OL coach Jeff Grimes has worked hard to rebuild since being hired. Brown Jr. may not have been in the mix for essential playing time in 2016, but he almost surely would in 2017. Then again, three of LSU’s top four tackles are Sophomores or RS Freshmen that are already ahead of him and 5-star OT Austin Deculus is on his way next fall.
At any rate, a fresh start is in order for Brown.
This marks 8 different players that have transferred from the program since last season, with only Tyron Johnson and Trent Domingue marking the only potential contributors. Again, the key here is not losing contributors but that essential depth that keeps your program strong when injuries start to mount.
More work for Grimes to do.