Brian Kelly's start at LSU has been tangibly interesting, from the way he bolted for Baton Rouge to the early returns on his roster building, and plenty in between.
After Kelly hit the road to recruit, the Early Signing Period came and went with the Tigers outside of the updated Sports Illustrated team recruiting rankings. The program signed just 13 high school recruits last week, with only Walker Howard among the nation's top prospects to pick LSU. But transfer recruits carry their own perception, especially with staffs in transition, and one of the biggest non-quarterback wins in the portal thus far is that of Miles Frazier picking the Tigers over 33 other opportunities.
The Florida International offensive tackle, who started in 2021 and earned All Conference USA honors from Pro Football Focus, picked LSU over Ohio State and Florida State down the home stretch. It was on a Tiger trip, with Kelly playing a large part while the New Jersey native was in town, where 34 options were eventually trimmed to just one.
"The relationship with Coach (Brad) Davis, who the offensive line coach, and Coach Kelly, the head coach, is special," Frazier told SI. "When I got to Baton Rouge I talked to all the coaches, training staff, weight room staff and got to know how they can help develop me. I know how Coach Davis and Coach Kelly, over the years, have developed some of the best O-lines in the country.
"I am confident that their plan for me and the program is great for me to be successful as an offensive lineman and to win in the SEC."
The redshirt freshman, who stands 6'5", 304 pounds per FIU Athletics, will have three seasons of eligibility to navigate at LSU. He took an additional trip to North Carolina State and spent time in Columbus for a closer look at the Buckeyes, at least virtually, in between in-home visits from just about half of the staffs eyeing trench help on offense.
There's little doubt that LSU being the only finalist to get the coveted tackle on campus for an extended period, on the final weekend of the contact period no less -- paid off.
"On the visit I just got that 'feeling' that I belong and this is home," Frazier said of LSU. "And like I said on Twitter before, there’s no place like Death Valley. I have built good relationships with the players and coaching staff and I feel like this move will position me to grow as a player and man.
"From this experience, it will give me the tools I need to be successful in life after football as well."
As for Kelly's pitch, it had plenty to do with the stop he left in South Bend.
"I just know the history of him and what he has accomplished with Norte Dame and developing offensive linemen," he said. "He really feels that he can develop me as an offensive lineman in the style of offensive that he has ran in the past.
"He called me after I committed and was screaming in excitement that I had committed and he said he is really excited to get to work with me."
LSU's current roster, of course, will be evaluated by Kelly's staff in the coming weeks and months, including remaining bowl practices ahead of the TaxAct Texas Bowl against Kansas State in January. Going into the workouts, the offensive line may be the program's biggest positional unit fit for improvement.
The Tigers have three prep commitments up front but it's Frazier who is expected to become an anchor along the offensive line immediately.
Armed with freshman All-American honors to his name in 2021, the newest Tiger says he will enroll at LSU January 16 and is immediately eligible to compete with the program in off-season workouts ahead of spring football.
Frazier figures to be the best candidate on the roster to protect a relatively young quarterback room, now expected to be led by Myles Brennan after he announced his return to the program Thursday.