LSU offensive line "closer than its ever been" - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

LSU offensive line "closer than its ever been"

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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

LSU head football coach Les Miles is a man who loves to run the football and who could blame him. The Tigers possess a deep stable of running backs, along with a dynamite offensive line opening the holes.

"It's great blocking for them," said Josh Williford, junior offensive guard. "You never know what's going to happen. Some running backs might run over people, some might jump over people, some might juke you out. It's fun as an offensive lineman to see the different styles each different back has." 

Spencer Ware, Kenny Hilliard, Alfred Blue, Michael Ford and Terrence Magee all return as dangerous ball carriers for LSU. But, Baton Rouge prep star Jeremy Hill is certainly emerging as a new, very intriguing wild card. 

"He's a horse. He comes in and I'm like, 'Hey! He plays running back?' I was thinking linebacker or something like that. He runs over folks and he's fast. He's going to be a great player here," an animated Williford added. 

The LSU media guide lists the O-Line as "perhaps the most experienced and talented unit on the field for the Tigers in 2012" and the numbers back it up. The group returns five players that have combined for 102 starts.

It starts with massive tackles Chris Faulk (6'6" and 325 pounds) and Alex "Clydesdale" Hurst (6'6" and 340 pounds), who are two of the best in the country. Senior center PJ Lonergan (6'4" and 305 pounds) perhaps never gets the credit he truly deserves, while Williford (6'7" and 324 pounds) is a towering force at right guard, who can actually play both sides.

Sophomore La'el Collins from Redemptorist High School (6'5" and 320 pounds) has the lead on sixth year senior Josh Dworaczyk (6'6" and 301 pounds) to start left guard. However, Dworaczyk should certainly get his share of action and has started 26 games in his career, more than any other LSU offensive lineman. 

"We're closer than we've ever been. Even with the younger guys, we're just as close. Anybody could step in and take a spot. It's truly awesome to have an offensive line like that," explained Williford. 

He refers to Collins as "a freak" who is "a strong, perfect lineman." Williford also spoke very highly of his backup, redshirt freshman Trai Turner (6'2" and 332 pounds).  

"If something happens to me in a game, I don't have to worry because Trai is there. He'll step right in," said Williford. 

Along with pounding the rock straight ahead, the offensive line is likewise anxious to protect junior quarterback Zach Mettenberger. Many LSU fans are equally anxious and excited to see Mettenberger's big play ability and rocket arm. 

"Zach is a great guy. Sometimes he cuts up a little. Most of the time, he's real serious. He's just a great leader. It's an honor to play on the line for him," said Williford. 

As the season opener with North Texas draws closer, defeating the trials and fatigue of August becomes challenging for everyone, but only briefly, according to Williford.  

"We're fighting it. We all have that goal to reach Miami. If we want to do that, we have to push through it. It's tough, but you have to realize what you're fighting for. You're working for that championship," he explained.

Copyright 2012 WAFB. All rights reserved.

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