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Brian Kelly Addresses Secondary Depth, Offensive Line Rotations

Kelly addressed the media Thursday, speaking on freshman tight end Mason Taylor stepping up, cornerbacks emerging
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The media had the opportunity to watch a full fall camp practice Thursday morning, getting a better look at rotations and positional depth. Following the morning session, head coach Brian Kelly addressed a few noticeable topics.

From the secondary emerging to the offensive line getting in rhythm, Thursday’s practice was beneficial for the Tigers.

Here are a few pieces Kelly hit on following practice No. 7:

Secondary Depth

Heading into camp, the depth of the secondary was a concern with Oklahoma State transfer Jarrick Bernard-Converse being out for much of the offseason. But with the lockdown corner returning along with Ohio State transfer Sevyn Banks emerging, this position group is hitting their stride.

“Really pleased. I think it was one where I think we all didn’t know what to expect," Kelly said. "Whether it be younger players, older players, all of them have really shown in camp. An area where we were concerned is now begun to look like one of great depth. The concerns we had are being alleviated by the production in the play.”

Related: Brian Kelly Addresses Media After Day 1 of Fall Camp

A key transfer Kelly spoke on was McNeese State transfer Colby Richardson. Stepping up to the plate throughout camp and making an early impression on this staff, Richardson is making a name for himself.

“Colby Richardson coming in and really showing himself from McNeese State as somebody that can compete for us right away,” Kelly said. “Then Jaelyn Davis-Robinson, a true freshman who’s out there competing at a high level. We’re seeing consistency out of that group.”

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Mason Taylor

The true freshman tight end looks the part just seven days into camp. A developed frame and elite blocking skills has this coaching staff raving about the youngster. Tight end is a position of need for the Tigers, so for Taylor to make a statement is huge for LSU.

“One of the biggest, pleasant surprises has been Mason Taylor," Kelly said. "He’s ready to help us win this year, he’s ready to play for us and he’s been outstanding. I feel so much better about that position because of his presence and the way he’s showing himself.

Related: 2022 Tight End Mason Taylor Commits to LSU

The Tigers have a few veterans for Taylor to learn from, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see the freshman get a few snaps this season and compete for significant playing time.

Offensive Line Situation

It’s looking like offensive line coach Brad Davis is giving Garrett Dellinger the opportunity to start at center. The sophomore looks the part through fall camp and is certainly in the mix within this group. Aside from a few mishaps when the offense went against the scout team, Dellinger is getting solid snaps under his belt.

“Garrett’s {Dellinger} playing there for the first time and he’s doing a really good job,” Kelly said. “Becoming a center overnight is not the ideal situation for anyone but he’s a guy that has a high football IQ, he’s physically gifted and has a strong mindset. Today, I thought it was a huge test. Its continuity with the five is where we need to grow and I think we have time to do it.

Related: Notebook - Fall Camp Practice No. 7

With the offensive line rotation starting to solidify its first team, Dellinger is quickly finding his way as the starting center, getting extra snaps in with the offense during camp.