With LSU practices closed for the second day in a row – and for the foreseeable future – the only contact with the Tigers comes through post-practice interview sessions.
That could thrust tight end Chase Clement into a much more prominent role leading up to the season.
The Thibodaux native figures to be a popular interview anyway this season if the talk of throwing more to the tight end comes to fruition.
In the meantime, he’s just as entertaining as any other Tiger to help fill the void.
First things, first, Clement was jazzed about the talk of balls coming to the tight ends more. In three seasons, he has only nine catches for 138 yards.
Offensive coordinator Greg Studrawa and head coach Les Miles have both made a point of talking about getting the tight ends more involved since practice began last week.
“They’ve been mentioning that,” Clement said with a smile. “Everybody has been talking about the throwing game. Hopefully they incorporate us and get us the ball.
“Tight end is a big-time spot on the field. Everybody has been battling hard this summer.”
|Chase Clement: 'Catching alligators is pretty easy.'|
A defensive end when he arrived at LSU, Clement made the switch and has been used primarily as a blocker. He isn’t turning his back on that role, which is vital to the Tigers’ run-first offensive scheme.
And his former life as a pass rusher and run stopper certainly comes in handy.
“Getting moved right away kind of frustrated me,” Clement said. “But I’m grateful for the change. Playing defense helped me. I understand defenses a lot better.”
No argument from one of the teammates who lines up opposite Clement now.
“He’s physical,” said defensive end Barkevious Mingo. “He loves it. He still has that defensive mindset. That’s what makes him as good as he is. He likes to come off the ball like a defensive end.
“He knows what we’re going to do. If he sees our feet a certain way, he knows what to do. And he still knows the calls and alerts (the offensive line). That’s cheating really.”
While Clement might be all business on the field, he knows how to have fun off it.
He was one of former LSU quarterback Jarrett Lee’s closest friends and the two often spent their down time hunting and fishing.
As one of the Tigers’ resident Cajuns, Clement is also familiar with hunting alligators and that’s a hobby he has exposed to new starting signal-caller Zach Mettenberger.
“Oh yeah, I have taken Mettenberger out alligator hunting,” Clement said. “Just messing around – catching little baby ones.”
How does gator hunting compare to trying to fend off Mingo and Sam Montgomery?
“Catching alligators is pretty easy,” Clement said. “Mingo is faster and Sam is pretty strong.”
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