LSU landed in-state offensive and defensive lineman Fitzgerald West. The powerfully built lineman could project on either side of the football, but LSU already has plans for his future position.
With college programs able to bring high school football recruits to campus again, there are prospects receiving offers based on their camp performances. As for LSU, the football program certainly took advantage of the NCAA clearing in-person contact once again, and a top local prospect earned an offer from the Tigers after camping in Baton Rouge.
The player in question would be Fitzgerald West, Jr., a very powerfully built lineman that could easily play on offense or defense at the college level. Looking at his frame, most might consider him better suited to play nose guard than anything else. LSU Head Coach Ed Orgeron has other ideas for the Lafayette (La.) Christian Academy player.
The plan will be for West to compete along LSU’s interior offensive line, specifically at center. With a 6’1”, 325-pound frame, he’s built for power and using leverage. West also has something one cannot teach: the desire to ‘finish’ a block with devastation.
West is a finisher first and foremost. That’s one of the reasons some might consider him a good interior defensive line candidate. As for his film, it’s not hard to see why center is also a possible fit once he enrolls at LSU.
Upper Body Strength
Few offensive lineman will be able to match the raw power of West. He’s all business once he latches his paws onto a defender. Hand placement and overall technique will need to be overhauled to play a difficult position like center, but just watch how West manhandles the following defensive tackle and drives him to the ground despite not keeping his feet moving after contact.
In short, West should have kept his feet chopping to gain additional leverage and power, but he was too strong to begin with and it simply did not matter. This is a grown man playing high school football.
This next play provides a different aspect of West’s game. While power comes into play towards the end of the play, watch how quickly West moves from right to left to quickly eradicate the distance between himself and the defender in the hole.
West even gets around the corner and seals off the linebacker. That’s athleticism. West also displayed good bend. That’s not a given with such a large high school player. He brought his hips with him during that play and powered into the linebacker before sealing him off towards the inside so that there would be a clear running lane.
The final clip provides an insight as to why he could also play nose guard. For a player well over 300-pounds, West really shoots off the snap of the football. Once he exploded forward, he timed his strike with the offensive lineman next to him well. It’s a really good double-team block that West continued to move forward with a solid forward lean and keeping his feet moving.
Projecting West Down the Road
This is a player that’s not coming to LSU with ideal height, but does possess the strength and quickness that a college offensive line coach would covet. West is raw. He needs a year or two to redefine his technique as he moves to center after playing offensive guard and defensive tackle thus far in his high school career.
If for whatever reason center does not work out, he could play guard or move over to defensive and give nose guard and defensive tackle a try. Bottom line, this is an explosive athlete that simply needs to find a positional fit with the Tigers.