As LSU prepares to open spring practice on Friday, Les Miles is already on record as saying he wants to make this as competitive and as physical a spring as the Tigers have had on his watch.
Nowhere will that be more apparent than the offensive line.
For all the talk about the Tigers needing to improve on offense next season and get guys like Russell Shepard and Rueben Randle more involved (which is certainly important), nothing is more critical than regaining that edge in the offensive line.
Nobody needs to remind Miles, an old offensive lineman, that LSU ranked 11th in the SEC in rushing offense last season and tied for last in the league in sacks allowed with 37.
That’s a combination that will torment you in this league every time.
One thing you’re sure to see a lot of this spring is some shuffling in the offensive line.
Ciron Black is gone at left tackle, but the reality is that Black didn’t have a great senior season. Senior Joseph Barksdale could move from right tackle to left tackle, while junior Josh Dworaczyk may shift from left guard to right tackle.
Miles really likes the potential of Alex Hurst, who played some last season as a redshirt freshman. Hurst may be the answer at right guard, where he played behind the departed Lyle Hitt a year ago.
Junior T-Bob Hebert returns at center, although sophomore backup P.J. Lonergan is also back. Lonergan may get a shot at guard. This is also a big spring for guys like junior Will Blackwell and redshirt freshmen Chris Faulk and Josh Williford as the Tigers try to find the “right” combination up front.