LSU’s D.J. Welter, Terrence Magee bulk up to shoulder leadership roles

LSU linebacker D.J. Welter speaks to media at the Southeastern Conference NCAA college football media days on Wednesday, July 16, 2014, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill) Show caption
LSU linebacker D.J. Welter speaks to media at the Southeastern Conference NCAA college football media days on Wednesday, July 16, 2014, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

HOOVER, Ala. — When LSU seniors D.J. Welter and Terrence Magee lock eyes across the line of scrimmage during preseason camp, it will continue a battle that has raged throughout the offseason.

It’s the same look shared whenever they meet in the weight room; they’re in the same workout group back in Baton Rouge.

Both Welter and Magee have been bulking up throughout the summer as they move into their final seasons as Tigers, when they’ll be expected to shoulder leadership roles, too.

Welter will be in charge of leading a young LSU linebacker corps for a defense that ranked third in the Southeastern Conference in 2013. Magee will be a veteran voice on an offense that lost its starting running back, two standout receivers and its quarterback to the NFL draft.

With camp fast approaching, they have led the charge in the weight room, and Welter has begun making an emotional impact on the squad.

“This summer, (Welter has) definitely gotten stronger,” Magee said Wednesday at SEC media days. “It’s very exciting working out with him. He’s always wired when he comes in there, even when I’m kind of sluggish. He picks everybody up.”

The two are progressing during workouts at the same pace, Magee said. Although Magee admitted Welter is strong, he’s been trying to keep up with his teammate as the summer wears on. They will be maxing out next week; both previously peaked at 360 pounds on their power clean lifts.

Magee said Welter will be a force to be reckoned with this season.

“Him having a year under his belt let him get comfortable with the scheme, and it allowed him to play faster,” Magee said. “I think he’s going to play a whole heck of a lot faster this year.”

Miles lauds young QBs

Whether it was while he was signing footballs or standing in front of a room full of media members, LSU coach Les Miles was bragging about his possibilities at quarterback.

LSU has two dual-threat options — sophomore Anthony Jennings and freshman Brandon Harris — who will fight for the starting job throughout preseason camp, but Miles said he isn’t ready to decide who will take the first snap Aug. 30 against Wisconsin at Houston’s NRG Stadium.

“It will be a very competitive event from the start to the finish,” Miles said. “(Offensive coordinator) Cam Cameron, a guy who’s made a career mentoring quarterbacks, ... will do the exactly right things with those guys.”

Miles lauded Harris’ ability as both a runner and a passer.

“He is a guy that has real strength,” Miles said. “He’s innately accurate. He’s got great footwork. He can extend a play, get out of the pocket, move around.”

A little insurance

Senior left tackle La’el Collins confirmed that he has an insurance policy going into the 2014 season. The Advocate reported last month that it was worth $5 million.

Collins also had the policy last season; he invested in it to prevent the loss of millions in NFL money if he were to suffer an injury.

If Collins remains healthy and plays up to his potential in 2014, the Baton Rouge native could be a first-round pick next year.

“It’s just a great plan for any kind of injury that may happen that may depreciate the value of my draft stock,” he said. “It’s a great insurance plan and a great policy, and I was advised by great people, so it all works out for me.”