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2024 LSU O-LINE PREVIEW: THE BRAD DAVIS EFFECT

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By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

@LonnPhillips


One of, if not the most secure, deep, and veteran-rich position groups on Brian Kelly's third year Tiger roster, Brad Davis' 2024 O-line crew also stand a strong chance of sticking out among the best overall units in America.

Aiming for a Joe Moore Award, after being named as a semifinalist last season, Davis' group will be anchored by four returning stalwarts, left tackle Will Campbell, left guard Garrett Dellinger, right guard Miles Frazier, and right tackle Emery Jones Jr, all flanking newly minted, slightly experienced red shirt freshman center DJ Chester.

Next to QB and linebacker, O-line is one of the only units already fronted by surefire starters, and this leadership from the trenches will serve LSU's first year starting quarterback and first year play-calling tandem well this fall.

Now that Garrett Nussmeier holds the keys to the kingdom at quarterback, LSU's 2024 offense is gearing up for a more traditional running game behind their beasts up front....and no O-lineman may be more valuable than junior Will Campbell.

#7 and key locker room leader Will Campbell has been an All-American and First Team All-SEC performer since he arrived on campus, starting all but one game of his freshman year.....nearly unheard of for a debutant left tackle in the SEC West.

Carrying significant star power, Campbell is due to have an even greater role this season, his first without dual threat Heisman-winning quarterback Jayden Daniels.

Not only will the veteran left tackle shield Nussmeier's blind side, Campbell is that on field pillar presence and locker room voice that can help galvanize an offense or be his quarterback's second pair of eyes and ears.

From the same 2022 class as Campbell, Catholic High tackle / guard Emery Jones Jr, a versatile, mature beyond his years showstopper, capable of manhandling future or current Sunday players.

Breaking into the starting squad by week 3 of his freshman year, stationed at right tackle, Jones Jr continues to grow from strength to strength, even as he operates under the radar due to Campbell's national name recognition.

While Tiger fans adore Emery's output & take notice of his intrinsic value to LSU's offense, I have a feeling Jones Jr won't be in the awards season shadows after 2024.

Both Campbell and Jones Jr play and carry themselves like future 1st round picks, yet they're not alone, with both Miles Frazier and Garrett Dellinger blocking at an impressive clip throughout 2023 (both the #1 and #2 rated pass blockers according to Pro Football Focus).

If Will & Emery are the top dawgs within the Tigers trench, then Dellinger & Frazier would potentially be 2nd-3rd round picks or even higher in the 2025 NFL Draft,

One of the more slightly concerning spots on offense is center....a job once held by 2019 National Champion backup snapper Charles Turner, now helmed by red shirt freshman DJ Chester.

DJ appeared in just 81 snaps and 4 games across 2023, although during the 2nd half @ Missouri, his pressure-filled replacement of an injured Turner supplied Coach Davis the evidence: the young gun has what it takes.

Yet if Chester falters, the ramifications could be big for the O-line, which is why Davis is already workshopping a variety of trenchmen at the center position during Spring ball.

In behind, third year Tiger Bo Bordelon provides physicality & versatility at a few different spots inside, then red shirt freshman Tyree Adams could back up both Campbell & Jones Jr at either left or right tackle, displaying a lengthy wingspan and smart, athletic feet and hands.

Adams, a New Orleans native out of St. Augustine, won Freak of the Week honors at one point during winter workouts, continues to impress Head Trainer Jake Flint, his teammates and OL Coach Davis.

Backing up the core starting four, Adams could be an extremely key swing man, capable of filling a few roles if needed; And for any O-line sophisto, this 2024 group of future freshmen stalwarts, Weston Davis, Jo Cryer, Ethan Calloway, Khayree Lee, and Coen Echols, exist as an empirical, Rosetta Stone warning to the rest of the SEC regarding LSU's trench-owning intent:

Freshman Weston Davis is in line to become yet another prodigy under Brad Davis, following in the footsteps of prior debutant Tiger OL breakouts Lance Heard in 2023 and Jones / Campbell in 2022, possibly playing his way into rotational snaps.

Another Tiger making his debut in purple and gold? Ethan Calloway, a bruising, physically imposing force of nature, much like Davis, but mildly underrated in comparison.

More strong freshman options for the future or the present arrived when Jo Cryer and Khayree Lee signed with LSU last fall. Both are vicious trenchmen, often seen massacring defensive linemen, moving them around like chess pieces when watching their high school tape.

Since his arrival as part of the 2023 class, second year Tiger Paul Mubenga floated under the microscope for most LSU fans, but now the coaching staff have begun to feature Mubenga in the 2nd team O-line setup.

While the 2022 & 2023 O-line became near spectators within LSU's Jayden Daniels-ran offense, this group will have a far more significant role & responsibility in driving the Sloan / Hankton / Nussmeier attack downfield.
In this offensive setup, we'll get to witness "the full O-line Monty" in 2024: from an O-line led running game with pulling tackles or guards to a repeat performance from 2023's best pass-blocking unit in America, in conclusion....it must be said:
We may be looking at the strongest offensive line contingent in LSU Tigers history.

By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

©️ 2024 Uninterrupted Writings Inc, a subsidiary of Uninterrupted Media, LLC


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A lot of road graders in that group. This is their year.

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