LSU football: Brian Kelly previews offensive line rotation with Garrett Dellinger return

Koki Riley
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

BATON ROUGE – No. 7 LSU football is getting back a key piece on its offensive line.

Left guard Garrett Dellinger, who has been out of the lineup since the Tennessee loss with a knee injury, will rotate back into LSU's line against Arkansas (5-4, 2-3 SEC) on Saturday (11 a.m., ESPN), Kelly said on Thursday.

Dellinger's return adds more depth to an improving offensive line. In his stead, LSU (7-2, 5-1) moved right guard Miles Frazier to the left side and inserted Anthony Bradford at right guard.

Considering how well the unit has played despite Dellinger's absence, Kelly anticipates that the three players will rotate in and out for LSU (No. 8 AFCA Coaches, No. 7 AP).

"We think that there's enough reps for all three of them. Because I think they're all quality SEC linemen," Kelly said. "So we're going to play them all and keep it fresh. I think it's an advantage. We're going to use it as an advantage moreso than one guy's playing and the other guy's not."

"Competition is always good, right? So we've got a little competition there. We lean on it a little bit. If we don't think they're practicing up to the level that we set, I'll ask them to stand over next to me and that gets their attention."

Prior to his injury, Dellinger was arguably LSU's best offensive lineman. According to Pro Football Focus, he has the highest pass-blocking grade on the team and has surrendered only two pressures this season.

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A quiet riser on LSU's defense in recent weeks has been DeMario Tolan, a freshman linebacker who underwent back surgery in the summer. After playing 14 total defensive snaps through the opening six weeks, Tolan played 15 against Ole Miss and 20 vs. Alabama.

He recorded a tackle and a pressure against the Crimson Tide.

"You're going to have a combination of Tolan and (Harold) Perkins that I couldn't be more excited about," Kelly said at his radio show on Thursday. "... He has the instincts of Micah Baskerville as a true freshman. And I mean that in terms of pass coverage, understanding how to attack the line of scrimmage. And he's got incredible athletic ability. His future is very, very bright."

Koki Riley covers LSU sports for The Daily Advertiser and the USA TODAY Sports South Region. Email him at and follow him on Twitter at @KokiRiley.