Fall camp hasn’t even started yet, but LSU is already putting some of its newly-accrued depth and versatility to work along the defensive line.
Texas Tech transfer Breiden Fehoko will move from left end to nose tackle when LSU opens practice this weekend, LSU coach Ed Orgeron announced during an address to the Baton Rouge Rotary Club on Wednesday afternoon.
The move comes after nose tackle Ed Alexander suffered a “minor setback” relating to the knee injuries that kept him out of spring practice.
Alexander hasn’t been ruled out for any period of time, but the coach made it clear he’ll need to prove his healthy and earn his way back up the depth chart. Orgeron listed him third on the depth chart behind Fehoko and redshirt-freshman Tyler Shelvin.
“I think he’s going to practice,” Orgeron said. “He’s just coming around. He had a minor setback and he’s just coming along slow.”
Sophomore Glen Logan will begin camp as the starting end opposite returning starter Rashard Lawrence. Logan was a rotational player last season who made two starts and recorded 17 tackles as a true freshman.
“Glen will be one of our starters,” Orgeron said. “That’s how we’re going to do it.”
Fehoko has experience playing all over the defensive line from his time in Lubbock and worked in various positions and techniques this spring. He’ll be backed up by Shelvin, who cut down from 390 pounds to a “skinny 354” since enrolling last fall.
“Tyler has flashes,” Orgeron said. “I’m not going to tell you he’s there yet, but Tyler has flashes. He’s the first one I’ve seen that has that talent, that quickness and that pad level.”
Orgeron left the door open to moving Fehoko back to defensive end if Shelvin develops or Alexander proves he’s capable of practicing at full speed on a daily basis.
“We needed some depth there,” Orgeron said. “If Ed gets better and can play more, Breiden can move back to end.”
– Safety Grant Delpit and left tackle Saahdiq Charles (offseason shoulder surgeries) will both be full go for the first day of practice, Orgeron said.
– Tight end Jamal Pettigrew will likely miss the entire 2018 season due to a knee injury, Orgeron confirmed. The sophomore suffered the injury during summer workouts. LSU could move a player to tight end, Orgeron said, but that hasn’t happened yet.
THE RIGHT STUFF
There are far fewer question marks LSU’s offensive line outside of how and when the staff will find playing time for JUCO transfer Damien Lewis.
It’ll either be a three-man rotation at guard with Garrett Brumfield and Ed Ingram or Brumfield will slide inside to center, as Orgeron has said repeatedly. It’ll be up to Lloyd Cushenberry to prove he deserves to remain in the starting lineup once LSU puts on the pads next week.
Right tackle, meanwhile, appears to be far more of an open competition to be determined in camp. Orgeron hinted that Austin Deculus is a slight favorite, despite being limited in the spring, but veteran Adrian Magee and JUCO transfer Badara Traore — who is the backup left tackle — remain in the mix.
Orgeron opined on what it’ll take to win the right tackle job in the coming weeks.
“Consistency in pass protection,” Orgeron said. “Be able to block speed rushers. Those guys have got to show up. I think we’re very solid in our pass protection right now, but we’ve got to sure up our pass protection. That’s the key here in the SEC. You’re playing against a first-round draft choice every week.”