Maea Teuhema is "definitely pushing" to start

Freshman offensive lineman Maea Teuhema could crack LSU's starting lineup, per a senior first-teamer up front for the Tigers.

Senior right tackle Vadal Alexander knows a thing or two about battling in the SEC trenches as a true freshman starter.

In 2012 he was thrust into action early on the LSU offensive line, ultimately starting nine of 13 games and all but one conference tilt for the Tigers.

It's something the player freely admits was only possible due to years of mental and physical preparation prior to his arrival on the bayou.

"Growing up I always was a football junkie, so I always competed against myself to improve. I made sure I was ready to come in (to LSU) and compete," explained Alexander. "I think that was the biggest thing for my career here at LSU. I came in early with a jump start, knowing I wanted to compete and I was prepared to do that. Fortunately it happened for me and I just kept it going."

Now Alexander sees the same potential in rookie offensive guard Maea Teuhema, who unlike Alexander was not an early enrollee, able to benefit from participating in spring practice.

Still the buzz surrounding Teuhema, whose older brother Sione is a sophomore defensive end for LSU, is palpable and continuing to grow with the season opener versus McNeese State less than five days away.

Maea Teuhema has the chance to even one-up Alexander as a potential starter from day one. He is, by all accounts, in the thick of a battle with redshirt freshman William Clapp for the starting job at left guard.

"Oh he's definitely pushing, competing to get into that starting job," Alexander stated with no hesitation. "He's a very talented, very physical player coming in as such a young player. He can handle guys much older than him that have been around a while longer.

"Very impressive. But the biggest thing I'm impressed with is how he's taken coaching and improved. Because if he wasn't doing that, there's no way he could get into that starting lineup."

Position coach Jeff Grimes has already made one alteration during August's Fall Camp, sliding junior starter Ethan Pocic from left guard back inside to center.

Some have theorized the move helps put one of the line's top communicators at center, a critical position for pointing out checks and defensive alignments. Others are wondering aloud whether it's meant to open up a spot at left guard for Teuhema, unmistakably an offensive guard at 6-foot-5 and 327 pounds.

One thing's for sure: The head man expects to see Teuhema out there plenty, starter or not.

"You could possibly see him out there in virtually every game," Les Miles told reporters at LSU Media Day several weeks ago.

Check out Scout's full 1-on-1 audio interview with Alexander below.


LSU fans, be sure to catch Scout's video highlights of Maea Teuhema from his senior season, below.

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