Ed Orgeron started recruiting Dare Rosenthal back when the massive freshman was still in the ninth grade.
That meant watching Rosenthal play both offensive and defensive line during throughout his varsity career at Ferriday High School. Orgeron signed him at a defensive end and gave him a shot as his preferred position, but the coach confirmed Wednesday that Rosenthal has switched sides of the ball with an eye toward becoming LSU’s left tackle of the future.
“We wanted to give him a shot along the defensive line,” Orgeron said on the SEC Coaches Teleconference. “I’ve been recruiting Dare since he was in the ninth grade, and obviously he was a big target for us. He wanted to play defensive line, and we were going to give him a shot just like anybody else, but I do believe he has an opportunity to play left tackle. He sees he has a future at left tackle.”
Rosenthal began working with the offensive line in practice on Monday. He was seen working on footwork with current left tackle Saahdiq Charles and senior guard Garrett Brumfield off to the side during the media viewing portion of practice on Monday.
LSU is somewhat thin at tackle at the moment after losing Adrian Magee for multiple weeks to an undisclosed injury suffered during the Miami game. This will be week two of the “two-to-three weeks” Orgeron said he’d be out for.
Getting Charles back from a one-game suspension helps fortify the left side, but LSU has also moved Austin Deculus back to right tackle to compete with Badara Traore. Orgeron said it would be a “game-time decision” which one of them starts against Auburn on Saturday night.
It may be a bit of a stretch to think Rosenthal could make an impact this season at tackle, but Orgeron and the staff clearly like how his frame and athleticism profile at the position down the road.
“Obviously his length,” Orgeron said of what he likes about Rosenthal at tackle. “Dare is about 6-(foot)-8 and 340 (pounds), so he gives us some length there. He’s a very good athlete and he’s very tough. I think he’s going to be an outstanding left tackle. Obviously he’s got to learn his plays and learn his skills. I don’t know how much we’re going to do with him this year, but we’re going to try.”
NOTES AND QUOTES
- Orgeron clarified that safety JaCoby Stevens is not moving to outside linebacker, but that LSU simply is trying to expand his skillset by having him practice there. Stevens could play safety, nickel back or linebacker on any given play, Orgeron said, depending on the matchup.
- More O on Stevens at linebacker: “It’s a position that we think he can play very well … He can also play safety. He can also play the nickel. It’s a very versatile position.”
- Asked about LSU’s turnover-free start to the season, Orgeron shared that he’s borrowed many of the drills LSU runs on “Turnover Wednesday” from the New England Patriots. That’s apparently where he got the idea to have offense and defense run turnover/takeaway drills together.
- Asked about Steve Ensminger, who was fired from Auburn 10 years ago, Orgeron didn’t seem particularly worried about the distraction for his offensive coordinator: “I promise you it hasn’t crossed his mind … I’m not sure he even remembers he coached at Auburn.” Ensminger also slept in his office on Tuesday night, according to Orgeron.