Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

LSU Preseason Position Breakdown: Big Bad O-line

LSU has become a feared collegiate football program, in large part due to their power running game. The Tigers are known for repetitively running the ball straight into opposing defenses. A couple yards at a time the offense wears down opposing defenses proving they are bigger, badder, and tougher than their opposition. Year in and out LSU has a deadly running attack, thanks in large part to the big guys, that far too often don’t receive the credit they are due. Les Miles a former offensive lineman at Michigan has developed the Tiger o-line into a continuous strength.

The line this year should be as strong as ever, even without the presence of fifth year senior Josh Williford. Williford suffered a possible career ending concussion in practice two weeks ago.  With Williford down, the projected starters are the following, La’el Collins at left tackle, Vadal Alexander at left guard, Elliot Porter at center, Trai Turner at right guard, and Jerald Hawkings at right tackle.

Collins was a machine last year and has great expectations on him for the 2013-2014 season. He played left guard and led the team in snaps and knockdowns. He didn’t miss a single snap in the final elven games of the year. Collins shed close to twenty pounds in the offseason and has been moved over to left tackle.

Jerald Hawkings redshirted his freshman year but with his extreme potential, he is expected to make a solid impact for the o-line at right tackle. Tiger fans are excited to see if he can live up to high expectations.

Elliot Porter has big shoes to fill at the center position replacing three year starter P.J. Lonergan. Porter is exceptionally athletic but has failed to have a great offseason. If Porter does not step up his game Ethan Pocic is ready to take his spot.

Due to injuries last season Trai Turner was forced to accept big responsibilities as a red shirt freshman. He struggled a little at the beginning, but as the season progressed, he grew more confident and began to display his dominance.

Vadal Alexander is a flat out monster. The biggest boy on the line had an incredible year last year as a true freshman. He earned 2012 Freshman All-SEC and Freshman All-American Second Team honors.

Coach Les Miles loves the offensive line and with the sheer talent he has been blessed with this year, he should be able to mold them into a dominant force. Unless they are plagued with injures expect a great year from the Tiger big boys.


Tags: Football Les Miles LSU Tigers Offensive Line

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