"Lem" Talks About Move To The O-line

Lemuel Jeanpierre, who is known by his teammates as "Lem," is one of the most dedicated and hardest working players on the South Carolina football team, and it turns out he's also one of the humblest. Although he was on track to see quality snaps in the defensive tackle rotation next season, Jeanpierre agreed to move to offense in an effort to help strengthen USC's troubled O-line.

GamecockAnthem.com spoke with Jeanpierre after his first practice with the offense on Monday night, and the 6'3, 295 pound redshirt sophomore talked about his transition to the offensive line:

Question: Can you talk about your decision to move to the offensive line?

Answer: I talked to Coach Spurrier last week, and he gave me the opportunity to help out the team. I said, ‘I‘d love to do that.' So I made the move after the scrimmage on Friday. I talked about it with Coach Nix and Coach Lawing, and I‘m cool with all the coaches. They gave me true insight on what I should do. I prayed about it and talked to my parents, and they said to go ahead and give it a shot. I want to help this team win an SEC Championship, and if I can help out most at guard, then I‘ll do that.

Question: Have you ever played offensive line before?

Answer: No, I've never played offensive line. The closest thing (I've played) is as a blocking tight end on the field goal (unit). That's the closest thing I've ever got, but I'm taking it step by step. The coaches are really working with me right now. I'm willing to put in the extra time to do that, so I'm not worried about it.

Question: A lot of former defensive linemen have made a successful transition to the O-line. Have you talked to any of them for their insight on how to maybe make the transition a little bit smoother?

Answer: I've gotten to talk with people like Nashan (Goddard), because he came in as a D-end. I know coach Cedric (Williams), and he said he came in as a D-tackle. I know (Chris Tucker), and he went back to D-tackle when I was a freshman, but he played O-line. A lot of people that have played D-tackle went to the O-line. At first they say it might be kind of hard, but you'll end up loving it.

Question: What position will you be playing on the offensive line?

Answer: I'll be playing guard right now. They're trying to work me in right there.

Question: What's the difference in the mental approach to the game between being a D-lineman and an offensive lineman? Is there a big difference?

Answer: Technique-wise, I don't think there is really. You want to always use your hands and stay low. You come with good contact, and whoever hits first and continues to hit, somebody's going to get worn down eventually. But if you get good hand placement and have good technique, then you'll be fine.

Question: Did you have any concerns about playing time if you stayed on the defensive line?

Answer: No, I really didn't. I talked to Coach Lawing, and I would have gotten in the rotation, but Coach Spurrier said I could really help out on the offensive line, and I might even have a brighter future there. I hadn‘t been worried about it, but Coach Spurrier gave me the opportunity, and I took it.

Question: Coach Spurrier said that you might even be starting by the first game next season. What are your thoughts on that?

Answer: That's a possibility, but it all comes down to my hard work. Nothing's really given to me. This is college football, SEC. They put the best people out there, so I'm going to work and try to get in that starting lineup. But if there's somebody better out there, then we're going to play them, because the best people are going to be on the field. We're trying to win the SEC Championship.

Question: Do you have any regrets leaving the D-line?

Answer: No, I don't have any regrets. I'm still a part of the team. I still know a lot of the defensive players, and I'll still talk to the defensive line players. If they don't know anything, then they can still come to me and ask me. This is the best way for me to help the team out, so there's no regrets to that.

Question: Did you tell some of the guys when you left the defensive meeting that now it was on and you‘d be in their facemask?

Answer: No, it wasn't like that. I want them to come at me hard so I can learn and get better in practice, and I'm going to come at them hard the best I can. I might mess up here and there, but it's all just in the learning process. I'm going to continue to try and get better. I told them not to lay off of me because I played D-line or whatever. I want everybody coming full blast at me, because if I get a shot, I'm coming full blast at them.

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