Could LSU add another defensive lineman?
In his opening press conference of fall camp, LSU coach Les Miles hinted that the Tigers could add one more player this season.
“We’re still waiting on one guy,” LSU coach Les Miles said at his opening fall camp press conference.
He wasn't talking about incoming freshman defensive end Andre Anthony, who Miles said will likely redshirt this season.
Could that one player be former LSU defensive tackle Travonte Valentine?
The Advocate reported on Tuesday that a reunion between the Tigers and Valentine is in the near future. Because of NCAA rules, Miles wasn’t allowed to comment on Valentine, who is still regarded as a recruit, on Wednesday.
The 6-foot-4, 310-pound defensive lineman is sort of a myth. He never played a down in an LSU jersey, but was a key piece of the Tigers star-studded 2014 recruiting class.
Valentine had issues becoming eligible to play and eventually left the team to attend a junior college Arizona Western.
Dave Aranda’s scheme hinges on a strong interior lineman that doesn’t mind doing the dirty work in being responsible for two-gap coverages. And Valentine easily fits that mold.
Scout.com recruiting analyst Geoff Vogt raved about Valentine’s “rare” athleticism for big athlete and his ability to generate pressure in the backfield with speed and quickness.
While junior defensive tackle Davon Godchaux has the nose tackle spot starting gig, the Tigers have hurt in years past by a lack of depth. During the Tigers' three-game losing streak last season, they were gashed on the ground and senior Christian LaCouture and Godchaux had problems holding down, or up, the fort.
Valentine, who spent his last two years at Arizona Western and Mississippi Gulf Coast, wouldn’t have to be an every down player for the Tigers, but would provide solid depth behind Godchaux.
Even if Valentine doesn’t enroll at LSU, Miles is still prepping two of LSU’s gems from his 2016 class who he called “ready-made nose tackles” on Wednesday.
Defensive tackle Rashard Lawrence and Edwin Alexander — two former Scout 100 recruits — are set to compete to play the position along with Godchaux.
“In this particular summer we’re going to divide the practices into the first four,” Miles said. “It allows for a lot of reps and we think some of these freshmen are going to play … Rashard Lawrence and some of the guys we already talked about, really need reps.”
Injury updates: Delahoussaye could kick “tomorrow,” Dural, Brossette, Pocic ready for camp
Several LSU players sat out the start of spring ball with injuries, Miles said they should be ready for fall camp.
Miles said senior wide receiver Travin Dural’s hamstring is healed and ready to go along with sophomore running back Nick Brossette, who had knee surgery at the end of last season.
If need be, Miles said, senior kicker Colby Delahoussaye could “likely” go out and kick tomorrow. Delahoussaye suffered leg burns from a fiery car crash that took the lives of Nebraska punter Sam Foltz and former Michigan State punter Mike Sadler.
“I am told that it’s likely that he can go ahead and kick tomorrow,” Miles said “We’re obviously not in a hurry there, but we would really like him to step forward and have the same type of year he had two years ago”
Teuhema remains in walking boot, nursing sprained ankle
On Wednesday, sophomore lineman Maea Teuhema was in a walking boot during team check-in this morning.
“He had a sprained ankle," Miles said. "It doesn’t appear to be a terribly significant one. We’ll have to get, to look into that pretty quick.”
Teuhema is expected to compete for the left tackle starting job at camp, which begins tomorrow morning at 9.35 a.m.