Could a true freshman possibly start on LSU’s offensive line this season?
LSU coach Les Miles hinted after Saturday’s scrimmage that one is making a serious case. Maea Teuhema got some time with the first-team unit in that scrimmage, and Miles gave the impression he’s at least in consideration to play, possibly start.
"You could possibly see him out there in virtually every game,” Miles said.
Teuhema has cross-trained at multiple positions since the start of fall camp. He began at right tackle, moved to right guard and is now working at left guard. He alternated with Ethan Pocic at that position during the scrimmage, with Pocic replacing William Clapp at center when Teuhema entered.
Teuhema was the nation’s best offensive guard prospect in the 2015 class, and he’s seemingly lived up early to those lofty expectations. He said at Media Day that cross-training has made him an even better lineman.
“I know more,” he said. “I learn more about the offensive line and what people are doing to make my job easier.”
LSU doesn’t pigeonhole its linemen as it works to find the best five, regardless of position. LSU has three entrenched in the starting lineup: Jerald Hawkins and Vadal Alexander at the two tackle spots with Pocic getting most of his time at left guard.
But Pocic started several games at center last season and has still worked there at times during camp. Clapp is the projected starting center in 2015, but LSU won’t hesitate to make the switch if it deems Teuhema-Pocic to be a better combination than Pocic-Clapp.
Also keep an eye on the right guard spot, where Josh Boutte is expected to start, but LSU is maintaining an open competition there. Teuhema has worked there as well and could give Boutte a push.
When asked at Media Day if he expected Teuhema to play significant snaps this season, LSU OL coach Jeff Grimes said he didn’t want to single anyone out but that he could definitely see multiple freshmen land in the two-deep.
“It’s a great group,” Grimes said. “That group has the potential to be special.”
Teuhema has those same expectations for himself and his fellow classmates.
“Us five are really good,” he said. “During the summer, the strength and conditioning coach said we were really flexible and our class was really good.”
LSU OL Maea Teuhema a candidate to start?
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