With Garett Dellinger on Board, How Will LSU Football Attack Rest of 2021 Offensive Line Recruiting?
With 16 commitments already in the fold, LSU recruiting has gone well. Time to analyze important positions and situations to monitor down the stretch, with offensive line and cornerback the biggest priorities.
LSU has room for about 10 more scholarship recruits. From that group, offensive line appears to be a top priority after the Tigers only signed three high school offensive linemen for the class of 2020.
Garrett Dellinger is the lone LSU offensive line commitment in 2021, and the Clarkston (Mich.) High School product provides a world of upside. Here’s an overview of where the Tigers could go to help fill out the offensive line recruiting needs, starting with a quick look back at last season.
LSU won the 2019 national title with several bona fide elite offensive skill positions players leading the way. What’s often forgotten, however, would be how good the offensive line performed.
In fact, LSU’s offensive line won the 2019 Joe Moore Award, provided to the nation’s top offensive line unit. That’s why LSU needs to continue to bring in the “Hog Mollys” along the offensive front, as former great broadcaster Keith Jackson would often call offensive linemen.
The Tigers need to add at least three more offensive linemen to this class. There’s a caveat. With transfer rules in place, LSU could bring in a graduate transfer, just like current Harvard graduate and now LSU interior lineman Liam Shanahan. Many expect Shanahan to compete for the starting center position. Thus, LSU could definitely go that route again. There’s also another type of transfer.
Junior college players.
LSU is no stranger to accepting a junior college transfer. This past year the Tigers signed defensive end Ali Gaye from Garden City (Kan.) Community College. The talented pass rusher has the talent to play early in Baton Rouge, and there’s no reason to believe that the LSU coaching staff will not be looking at the junior college ranks for a possible top-flight offensive tackle or guard for the class of 2021. Here’s an overview of the offensive linemen who could end up in Baton Rouge.
Anyone that follows LSU knows the Tigers love Tristan Leigh, OT, 6-foot-5, 280, Fairfax (Va.) Robinson Secondary, but so does just about every major program. While LSU could very well be the favorite, there’s a long way to go.
Making it more difficult for LSU’s recruitment of Leigh would be COVID-19. Hard for out of state prospects to truly evaluate LSU without taking a game visit during their senior year. Will Leigh be able to do that? Seems unlikely right now.
Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State, Maryland and Oklahoma are just some of the other programs to watch with Leigh. Do not discount Penn State either. The Nittany Lions always recruit northern Virginia hard.
Closer to home, but still roughly a nine hour drive, would be Savion Byrd. The 6-foot-5, 265-pound offensive tackle from Duncanville (Texas) High School lives in the greater Dallas area. LSU hits Dallas hard every year, but it’s difficult to say where Byrd will go right now.
Southern Methodist is a local school Byrd likes quite a bit, but Texas and Oklahoma all want Byrd as well. That does not even count offers from Alabama, Oregon, Texas A&M, Georgia, and Auburn among many others. Like Leigh, that’s a difficult situation to fight when a player cannot take visits to Baton Rouge due to COVID-19.
There are several other targets that LSU will go after, committed to another institution or not, but keep an eye on Erick Cade, OL, 6-foot-5, 315, Denton (Texas) Braswell. LSU is a possible landing spot. He’s not receiving a ton of national attention, and maybe that’s because he lives 50 minutes northwest of Dallas. He’s still a darn good prospect with upside.
Alabama does not offer an offensive lineman just for the heck of it. Texas, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Arizona State, and Baylor are some of the other offers for Cade. This is another young man out of state, so LSU needs to find ways to make him feel comfortable away from home. Speaking of home, LSU did not yet offer an offensive lineman from Louisiana.
For the class of 2021, the state of Louisiana simply does not have its usual big-time offensive tackle. That’s also the case for interior offensive linemen. The class of 2022 will be a better in-state group to recruit, but that does not help LSU for the time being.
LSU needs to land at least three more offensive linemen. Do not be surprised with a class that includes at least one of a junior college player or graduate transfer signing with LSU, if not both. That’s the age we are in. Then again, LSU’s recruiting cache is still high. They could land Byrd and Leigh and add a graduate transfer to fill out the class. That would be a great group.
At the end of the day, LSU is still a long way from where it intends to be when the 2021 signing day arrives, but there’s ample reason to believe the Tigers will sign four good offensive linemen for the class of 2021.