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LSU Football 2016 Position Previews: Offensive Line

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It all starts up front.

NCAA Football: Florida at Louisiana State Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

LSU has suffered some attrition here in camp, with George Brown’s transfer and a season-ending injury to freshman Willie Allen, but there’s still plenty of bodies and depth for the future. Brown wasn’t ready to contribute this season, but the staff liked where he was at for 2017 and beyond. It’s a shame that he didn’t stick around.

Name

Height/Weight

2015 Season

77 Ethan Pocic (Sr.)

6-7, 302

Started 12 games at center. Second-team All-SEC coaches selection.

76 Josh Boutte (Sr.)

6-5, 346

Appeared in 12 games at guard, started 1.

72 Andy Dodd (Jr.)

6-4, 318

Appeared in 4 games at center.

63 K.J. Malone (Jr.)

6-4, 303

Appeared in 12 games at tackle.

64 William Clapp (So.)

6-5, 309

Started all 12 games at left guard. Consensus Freshman All-America and Coaches All-SEC.

78 Garrett Brumfield (So.)

6-3, 305

Appeared in 11 games at guard.

66 Toby Weathersby (So.)

6-5, 302

Appeared in 12 games and started 1 at tackle.

68 Chidi Valentine-Okeke (RS-Fr.)

6-6, 312

Redshirted.

73 Adrian Magee (RS-Fr.)

6-4, 309

Redshirted.

75 Maea Teuhema (So.)

6-5, 315

Appeared in 12 games and started 11 at right guard. Freshman All-American from ESPN.

65 Jakori Savave (Fr.)

6-5, 300

Three-star recruit.

71 Donovaughn Campbell (Fr.)

6-4, 344

Four-star recruit.

74 Willie Allen (Fr.)*

6-7, 310

Four-star recruit.

79 Lloyd Cushenberry (Fr.)

6-4, 306

Three-star recruit.

*Will redshirt 2016 with injury.

LSU only returns three starters up front, but after a couple of seasons of strong recruiting from Jeff Grimes, there’s a lot of talent here to work with. The question really is finding five guys that can gel consistently.

And as starting points go, Ethan Pocic, Will Clapp and Maea Teuhema are pretty good. Pocic may be the best center in the country, and has a chance to play himself into a very high draft status, if he’s 100 percent after offseason surgery. Clapp and Teuhema both earned freshman All-America honors last season, and while the former is a lock for one of the two guard positions, the latter is in a bit of limbo. Teuhema spent the spring working at left tackle, and dedicated himself to slimming down this summer in order to improve his quickness. It seemed to work, at least to the eyeball test, but a sprained ankle has kept him from working at full speed. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t get back in the starting lineup eventually, but Teuhema may not be in the first five by the season opener.

One factor in that situation has been the play of four-year vet K.J. Malone, who has surprised many by locking down the left tackle position, at least for now. Malone has never been more than a backup, but he’s played well in his limited opportunities, and was a four-star recruit a few years ago. Either way, he gives Grimes another very experienced hand. Sophomore Toby Weathersby appears to be a lock for the right tackle spot as well, after seeing time late last season as a true freshman.

Among the backups, sophomores Garrett Brumfield and Chidi Valentine-Okeke are tops on the list, although both may be a year away from being ready to start. Freshmen Donovaughn Campbell has shown up ready to play as well, and may very well be in the two-deep when the season starts.

Depth Chart

Left Tackle

Left Guard

Center

Right Guard

Right Tackle

K.J. Malone
Chidi Okeke

Will Clapp
Garrett Brumfield

Ethan Pocic
Andy Dodd

Josh Boutte
Donovaughn Campbell

Toby Weathersby
Maea Teuhema

This is a pretty fluid grouping, and in case of injury they may move some guys around as opposed to just promoting the next man up at that spot. Grimes would generally prefer to have his best five blockers out there and sort out the positions later on.

He’s been a big fan of Josh Boutte’s talent, but last season he just couldn’t cut it when the lights came on, and conditioning has been a problem. If he can’t handle a starting job now, he’ll either see the bench for Teuhema quickly, or he might very well lose his spot to another true freshman. It also wouldn’t surprise me to see Malone move into the T-Bob Hebert Memorial Swing Lineman position, since he has experience at nearly every spot, except for center.

Possible X-Factor: Donovaughn Campbell

He was a big-time recruit that LSU has to fight with Alabama to keep, and he’s been every bit as impressive as they would have hoped to date. He will almost definitely see time this season, maybe even in the first week.