Lloyd Cushenberry III: 5 things to know about the LSU football center

Brandon Gray
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

In 2016, LSU signed Lloyd Cushenberry III who was not ranked nationally or in the state of Louisiana. 

Fast forward to 2019, Cushenberry is considered one of the best-returning starting centers in the country.

Cushenberry improved his game throughout his time at LSU and received praise from LSU coach Ed Orgeron, who told The Daily Advertiser in August 2019, "he's got a chance to play in the NFL."

Here are some facts about Lloyd Cushenberry III. 

A three-star prospect out of high school

LSU center Lloyd Cushenberry III (79) and offensive tackle Saahdiq Charles (77) celebrate an LSU touchdown during the first half of the team's NCAA college football game against Texas A&M in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Cushenberry was a three-star prospect out of Dutchtown High School in Geismar, Lousiana, just outside of Baton Rouge. 

According to LSU Athletics, he was the 1,552nd ranked player in his class, a 3-star and the No. 82 offensive guard in the nation. 

Here are more details about him:

  • Rated No. 3 offensive guard in Louisiana
  • Named to the All-USA Louisiana Second Team Offense
  • Earned second team District 5-5A honors as a junior in 2014 

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He's cool, calm and quiet

July 15, 2019; Birmingham, AL, USA; LSU Tigers offensive lineman Lloyd Cushenberry speaks to the media during SEC Media Days at the Hyatt Regency-Birmingham. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Cushenberry described himself as a quiet guy who keeps to himself, according to LSU athletics. 

He played mainly special teams as a freshman in 2017. As Cushenberry improved, he ended up playing in six games that year as a backup to Ethan Pocic. 

After his freshman season, Cushenberry said he wanted to prove to himself that he could play as a starter at the collegiate level.

"I wanted to let it be known that, 'I'm here. I'm consistent,'" he told The Daily Advertiser.

Cushenberry has commonality with former LSU player Foster Moreau

The LSU center was bestowed the No. 18 jersey along with sophomore outside linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson. Cushenberry is the first offensive lineman to receive the honor. 

The jersey is given each August to a player who overcomes adversity and shows leadership. 

Although Cushenberry received the No. 18, he can't wear it because NCAA rules do not allow offensive lineman to wear No. 18. Instead, Cushenberry will wear No. 18 as a patch next to his No. 79.

What is the No. 18 tradition?:Read more about it here

Michael Bonnette, LSU's sports information director told The Daily Advertiser that the No. 18 has become synonymous with success. Head trainer Jack Marucci said the number is starting to have an impact on a player's NFL future. 

Oakland Raiders tight end Foster Moreau and Cushenberry were both the last players to be offered a scholarship in their respective LSU signing classes. Moreau was a two-star prospect, and Cushenberry a three-star, both working their ways into a starting role. 

Cushenberry goes from the bottom to starting

Nov 30, 2019; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers offensive tackle Saahdiq Charles (77) and center Lloyd Cushenberry III (79) celebrate after a touchdown against the Texas A&M Aggies during the first quarter at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Cushenberry started his career at LSU as a true freshman in 2016 and was selected to the First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll, according to LSU athletics. 

In the 2017 season, he played 11 games overall on special teams and six games on the offensive line. 

In his sophomore year, he started all 13 games in the 2018 season at center and remained in the positions for 27-straight games into the 2019 season. 

Cushenberry graduated in December of 2019 with a degree in sports administration. 

Here are some accolades he's received during his career at LSU:

  • 2019 Second-Team All-American (AFCA, FWAA)
  • 2019 No. 18 Jersey
  • 2019 LSU Graduate (B.A. Sport Administration)
  • 2019 Joe Moore Award Winner 
  • 2019 LSU Football MVP
  • 2019 LSU Permanent Team Captain
  • 2016 SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll

Cushenberry beat the odds

Oct 6, 2018; Gainesville, FL, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Joe Burrow (9) calls a play to have center Lloyd Cushenberry III (79) hike the ball during the second half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Although Cushenberry wasn't as highly touted coming out of high school compared to other prospects and even his LSU teammates, he's established himself as a mainstay on the Tigers' offensive line.

In fact, NFL pundits predict that he'll make it to the NFL when his time in an LSU jersey comes to an end.

NFL Draft expert Mike Detillier said, "he'll be a top-100 pick."

Brandon Gray is a digital producer with the USA TODAY Network. Follow him on Twitter @bgisbrandongray.

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