Ex-LSU OL Maea Teuhema an intriguing transfer option for USC

Courtesy LSU Athletics.
Courtesy LSU Athletics. /

Could USC be on the verge of landing a new offensive lineman? Former LSU guard Maea Teuhema has been linked to the Trojans, among other top schools.

One of the biggest storylines of Fall Camp 2017 for USC is how they’ll replace three lost starters on the offensive line. But less than a week into practice, might Maea Teuhema be an answer to an entirely different offensive line problem?

A two-year starter at LSU with 21 career starts at both tackle and guard, Teuhema is seeking a new home after a rocky week.

Monday, Tiger head coach Ed Orgeron said his status was unclear following ‘academic stuff’, as quoted by The Advocate. Then, NOLA.com reported Wednesday that the school had granted his release, before LSU ultimately approved potential suitors.

“SI has learned that those colleges are USC, UCLA, Houston, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, according to a source,” Bruce Feldman of SI.com reported Thursday.

Here we are, with the Trojans involved in a transfer rumor entirely out of left field. But assuming off-field academic hurdles can be mended —and that’s surely no guarantee, especially at a school like USC— Teuhema would be a more-than-intriguing option, given his timeframe.

When he transfers, Teuhema have to sit out 2017 due to NCAA transfer rules and then have two years to play out his final two years of eligibility.

RELATED: How USC Plans to Fill 2017 Starting Offensive Line

It syncs up perfectly for the Trojans, who must replace both Viane Talamaivao at right guard and flex-starter Nico Falah at either tackle or center after this season. Not to mention, highly touted tackle Chuma Edoga is draft-eligible and could be a candidate for an early departure to the NFL.

Teuhema would slot in ideally ahead of USC’s wealth of unproven offensive linemen, and his ability to play multiple positions caters to what the Trojans have looked for.

“We over-signed at the tackle position knowing that we could move a couple guys inside, but we really wanted to gain that athleticism,” head coach Clay Helton said Wednesday about the 2017 team. “Our job is to find the best five [linemen].”

The same will be true next season, and a player of Teuhema’s caliber could be the cherry on top. But it won’t be easy.

SEE ALSO: How Graduate Transfers Helped USC Win the Rose Bowl

His top choices before signing at LSU? UCLA and Oklahoma, schools he went on official visits to and are currently among his list of schools. Oklahoma State also had a relationship with him as a recruit, while USC did not offer him a scholarship at the time.

Teuhema was a highly touted four-star out of Texas in the 2015 class, ranked as the No. 2 offensive guard in the 247Sports Composite. He was part of an LSU offensive line that ranked fifth nationally in Adjusted Line Yards last season.