LSU has had its share of quality offensive linemen come through the program, including recent notable players like junior guard La’el Collins and former Tigers left tackle Chris Faulk and center P.J. Lonergan.
The program is hoping to develop another star in the trenches with 2014 commit William Clapp.
Clapp, a junior at Brother Martin High School in New Orleans, is one of six current commits for next year’s class, and he’s expected to be a valued member of the group two seasons down the road.
“He’s pretty polished,” said Mark Bonis, Clapp’s coach at Brother Martin. “Fundamental-wise, our offensive line coach does a great job preparing those guys for the next level. From William’s standpoint, he listens extremely well and he’s a very good student of the game.”
At 6-foot-4 and 270 pounds, Clapp is an ESPN Watch List member and a Rivals.com four-star recruit, and Scout.com gives the prospect credit for his ability to lock down opposing defensive linemen with his strong hands.
Bonis believes his player still has plenty of room to grow, though.
“Off the field, he’s a hard-working kid,” he said. “He’s still a baby, which is a good thing. He’s got a long way to go and there’s a lot of growing left to do. I’m looking for him to get in the weight room during this offseason and getting even bigger, stronger and bulkier.”
The Southeastern Conference is renowned for its ability to groom defensive linemen, and Clapp will have to prepare for the challenging competition that lies ahead.
Bonis is confident Clapp will be ready when the time comes.
“We’re a 5A program down here, and we play some of the best programs from around the state,” Bonis said. “A lot of guys who are in the SEC are opponents he’s faced either in previous years or this year coming. As long as he matures and works hard from year-to-year and shows that improvement that he always has, then he’ll be fine.”
For now, Clapp has to focus on his senior season. Though his fundamentals may be polished, Bonis still wants to see his young offensive lineman grow as a leader on the field.
“It’s the gradual improvement that he needs to make from his junior year to his senior season,” Bonis said. “As of right now, he’s more of a leader by example, but there’s no doubt that we’ll be depending upon him this year to be more vocal as a leader. He just needs to work on the things that everybody needs to work on. The kid right now is an elite athlete as he is. He just really needs to get stronger.”