LSU Football: Week 2 Fall Practice Stock Report
The LSU Tigers are making some moves on the offensive line in the second week of fall practice.
Because of a tragic injury at practice last week, the Tigers shifted some players around on the offensive line, which could make the Tigers stronger. All the while, it minimizes any acquired depth the Tigers had before.
The defensive end position battle tightened at camp, while a wide receiver continued to sparkle and a quarterback steadily fell.
Here are the Tigers' stock report from the second week of practice.
Rising: Vadal Alexander and Jerald Hawkins
Say hello to your new starting offensive line.
After Josh Williford suffered a concussion injury at practice, the door swung wide open for Vadal Alexander and Jerald Hawkins.
Previously, Hawkins and Alexander battled one another for the right tackle starting position, and while Alexander was the frontrunner, Hawkins made up a lot of ground with Alexander missing some practice time with a minor ankle injury.
Alexander was back suited up with the Tigers last Friday, but the fact that Miles continued to sing the praises of Hawkins when he met with the media after practice suggested that Alexander was in a close race.
Following Williford's injury, Alexander shifted to play left guard, which will make the left side more athletic, while Hawkins stepped in to play right tackle.
Decline Josh Williford
Here again. Sadly, here again.
You absolutely hate to see this. Williford, who has played in 31 games in his LSU career, perhaps saw his season stripped away at practice last week with a concussion. The sight is reminiscent to his concussion injury he suffered last season against Florida.
What makes matters worse is that Williford is a senior, and he had the most experience on the offensive line.
His absence on the line will see the Tigers lose a man who stands at 6'7" and 343 pounds.
He was the largest Tiger on the line, and with the loss, the Tigers' depth upfront suffers.
Rising: Travin Dural
Check out this incredible snatch by Travin Dural.
Athletic plays like that have Tiger fans giddy about the added explosiveness to the offense.
Since the start of camp, Dural has practiced with the varsity, looking as crisp as starting wide receivers Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham.
With Avery Peterson likely to miss the regular season with a broken ankle, Dural has less competition lobbying to play significant football.
Dural helped his case with a strong showing in the scrimmage on Wednesday. After watching him showcase his talent in person at practice, I expect big things from Mr. Dural this season.
Declining: Rob Bolden
Rob Bolden never had a chance.
His transferal to LSU last season made headlines the second he made the move. Immediately, fans starting questioning whether the Tigers would sport another dual quarterback system in 2012.
Those questions where answered with Zach Mettenberger attempting every pass for the Tigers at quarterback last season.
Now, here we are. Bolden is an afterthought and he's not making any strides at camp.
At practice, Bolden dropped back to pass and threw an incomplete pass. Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron jumped all over him for his inaccurate delivery.
"Look at your feet," Cameron said. Immediately, Cameron pointed out Bolden's unsettled feet, which were not underneath him either. At this point, Bolden is in a position battle for fourth string with Hayden Rettig, as Mettenberger, Anthony Jennings and Stephen Rivers are miles ahead.
Rising: Tashawn Bower and Lewis Neal
While Miles admitted at media days that the returning defensive ends "jumped out" in the first week of fall camp, freshmen Tashawn Bower and Lewis Neal continued to impress.
Bower, whose signing for the Tigers was a bit of a surprise on signing day, came to LSU with a composite 4-star rating, and so far, he's lived up to the bill.
Neal was a bit of a different story.
Neal came to the Tigers as a three-star defensive end, and by watching him run through the individual drills at LSU's practice, it's difficult to interpret why.
Bower and Neal have both made strong impressions on the coaching staff at LSU, and with the Tigers' rotating nature on defense, one has to believe they'll see the field as true freshmen.
Declining: Jermauria Rasco
The gap is closing behind Jermauria Rasco.
Rasco sported a green jersey for most of fall camp so far, following shoulder surgery in April.
Rasco told me at the 2013 LSU Media Days that he's itching to participate in full contact, and he's ready to go as soon as he's given the green light, rather than that green jersey.
The reason why is because freshmen like Neal and Bower aren't slowing down, and with Rasco still green-shirted, Danielle Hunter and Jordan Allen started at defensive end in the scrimmage Wednesday.
If I were a betting man, I'd still bet that Rasco will still be the starter for the Tigers come the first game of the season, but if I were Rasco, I'd be concerned that my starting job is in jeopardy.
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