When Arik Gilbert surprisingly committed to LSU on Oct. 23, you could almost see this one coming. Teammates at Marietta, LSU had already made a significant impression on four-start defensive end BJ Ojulari when he unofficially visited back in June. It was supposed to be a return trip to Baton Rouge for Ojulari this weekend alongside his future LSU teammate Gilbert, but Mother Nature had different plans.
Gilbert, who left for his visit earlier, was the lone guest between the two as rain delayed Ojulari’s first flight before the bad weather canceled all plans. Unfortunately for Tennessee, even that couldn’t stop Ojulari from de-committing from the Volunteers before shortly announcing his new college destination. His commitment gives Aranda another pass rusher to implement next season and LSU its 24th in the class with a slew of recruits still potentially penciled in, which will be covered later this week ;)
So, what does he bring? Let’s roll that beautiful footage...
When you see a pass-rusher of Ojulari’s caliber, you normally think his film will be just of him rushing around the edge and getting to the quarterback. What impresses me a lot is he does a lot more than just get after the passer, getting out in coverage to make the tackle, stopping runs before they can develop and well...get to the QB at a high clip. At a DI feeder like Marietta, you know he’s going to get the proper coaching and it shows. When he doesn’t get around the edge, he does a solid job of using his hands to disengage from his blocker or at least set himself up to make a play on the ball carrier.
Joining Demon Clowney and Alec Bryant gives the 2020 class three of the top 15 weakside defensive ends in the nation, something Aranda will need with the likely departure of K’Lavon Chaisson after this season. The in-house options behind Chaisson have not seen too much time on the field outside of the recent run of Marcel Brooks, meaning this new infusion of talent couldn’t come at a better time. Aranda still isn’t done as Phillip Webb and Donnell Harris remain top targets in that pass-rusher role. It will be a fun rest of the way on the recruiting front as the staff tries to make the numbers work, but it shows Ojulari is a key member of this class.