BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU’s offensive line remains a projection in motion.
The starting five is far from written in stone, but with depth building and returning starters back in the mix healthy, coach Les Miles can make one guarantee: the team will be deep up front.
Though Miles would like to have linemen set in their positions, he said after the Tigers’ first full-squad practice on Monday that “the advantage of not having that is you build depth.”
“When you get five back, that’s a real advantage, too,” Miles said. “At some point in time in a game, you need those guys to have that experience and to go onto the field and say ‘I got this.'”
Miles does not have a set time in mind for finalizing his starters up front, but he may be close to doing so.
Returning starters William Clapp, who missed spring practice after offseason hip surgery, and Maea Teuhema, who was in a walking boot last week, both were full participants at practice Monday, and K.J. Malone saw extensive action at left tackle.
Miles is being cautious with his offensive linemen to try and ensure they don’t face any setbacks this summer and to get a closer look at the backups.
“When you take Clapp out and put a Garrett Brumfield in and you get to game week and can play more than one guy at that position,” Miles said. “The opportunity to (practice) with the first team is a real advantage.”
LSU’s presumptive starters up front following spring practices are Teuhema, Clapp, Ethan Pocic, Josh Boutte and Toby Weathersby. Malone is also expected to make a push for a starting role.
Malone and Teuehema are competing for a spot at left tackle. Teuehema was the left guard a year ago, and either he or Malone could wind up there. Miles made a point of praising both after the first day of practice.
“Each year, there’s growth, “Miles said. “An example is Maea Teuhema. The bowl practice made him so much better than when you watch him in the game. He’s grown. He took that growth into spring ball and had a great spring … That makes a difference, and that’s happening for a number of guys right now.”
“K.J. (has) a number of spots he can play,” he added. “It’ll be interesting to see maybe Maea return to his guard spot. He’s competing pretty well.”
Sam Spiegelman covers LSU football recruiting for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play in Tiger Stadium.