Summer Top 50 - No. 21 Will Clapp

A redshirt freshman ready for a big impact checks in at No. 21 on TSD's countdown of the Top 50 LSU Football players.

Because everyone loves to rank things, and because summer is the best time to argue and debate, TSD is spending the coming weeks through the end of July rolling out its top 50 LSU football players for the coming season.

Many are seasoned veterans and a select few are new to the roster, but all 50 Tigers figure to make an impact on the gridiron in 2015.

So we hope you enjoy this list, updated once each weekday and compiled by the TSD staff of Ben Love and Hunter Paniagua (who, naturally, had disagreements of their own along the way).

Today the countdown arrives at a redshirt freshman offensive lineman, William Clapp, that should see his first action this season.

REASON FOR OPTIMISM


Clapp was one of the best offensive linemen in the country coming out of Brother Martin in the 2014 class. He was the 15th best offensive guard nationally and No. 2 at his position in Louisiana. He was also a Top 300 prospect, regardless of position. He had several major offers, and Alabama tried hard to steal him out of the state. But his passion for LSU led him home to follow in the footsteps of his father, Tommy Clapp, who was a defensive lineman for the Tigers in the 1980s.

Clapp has never played a down for LSU. He redshirted his first year on campus, but it hasn't taken long for him to factor in the competition for a starting spot. Clapp spent a lot of time with the first-team in the spring, working at several positions. He played both guard spots and some center, and could realistically start at any of those three positions.

His versatility should help get him to the field, as LSU will use whatever combination to find the five best offensive linemen.

STILL LEFT TO PROVE


Offensive linemen face a steeper learning curve than just about anybody on the field. Clapp did get to adjust to the college game with his redshirt year, but there's a big difference between practice and real games in the SEC. We won't truly know just how capable Clapp is of handling the demands until he gets into a game. While he's shown plenty of potential in practice, he's still a question mark at this point.

It's also no guarantee he wins a starting job. Ethan Pocic is still LSU's best center, but the coaches would likely prefer to use him at one of the guard spots. Clapp would have to show he's capable of holding down the job in order for them to have the confidence to do that. This will be a big fall camp for him to show he's ready to assume starting duty.

He's also competing for at the guard spots, and he'd have to beat out a couple more veteran guys like K.J. Malone and Josh Boutte. His fellow redshirt Garrett Brumfield has also made a strong case for a starting job. So Clapp will have to keep battling in order to crack the Top Five along the offensive line.





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