The future of the tight end room at LSU got a little brighter on Sunday afternoon when Mississippi tight end Jalen Shead announced his commitment to the purple and gold. Shead becomes the 18th commit of the 2021 class for the Tigers and second of the weekend.
Shead joined Atlanta cornerback Nathaniel Wiggins and leaves LSU with seven spots left in the recruiting class. The future of the tight end room was already on the rise with the additions of Gatorade Male Athlete of the Year Arik Gilbert as well as Kole Taylor in the 2020 class.
The addition of Shead adds a big, physical tight end that thrives in the blocking game and who now really wants to prove to be a reliable threat in the passing game. Shead spoke with LSUCountry this week about his impending commitment and said that there is plenty he hopes to prove at Olive Branch High School.
"You don't really find many physical tight ends these days, they're mostly just heavy set receivers," Shead said. "I wouldn't label myself as a blocking tight end but that's all teams have seen because that's what I primarily do. Last year we had two 1,000-yard running backs so I blocked a lot. I'll flex out to receiver this year, I play tight end, defensive end and punter. Nobody's seen my full potential yet."
The 6-foot-4, 240-pound tight end has actually spent some time with his future teammate Gilbert. Before he had even received an offer from the Tigers, Shead was asked by fellow Olive Branch teammate Xavier Hill, an LSU commit in 2020, to tag along for a visit to Baton Rouge.
It was on that trip where Shead really got a good feel for the program and some of the players. When Shead met Gilbert, he said he was surprised at how well he carried himself for such a highly touted prospect.
"You expect someone like that to be kind of cocky but he wasn't like that at all," Shead said. "We had some talks, I asked him a lot of questions so it was pretty cool and the vibe with LSU was pretty great."
With Shead now on board, the 2021 class is starting to take form and the program wants to make a big splash for the final spots. Among the candidates that the Tigers hope to lure are Louisiana's Maason Smith, Sage Ryan and Brian Thomas as well as out of state prospects like Korey Foreman, Tristan Leigh and Ga'Quincy McKinstry.