It’s one thing to have defensive line momentum going for one class. It’s another for that to carry into another, but that is what appears to be happening as four-star defensive end/rush linebacker Landyn Watson became the first member of LSU’s 2021 class.
Watson took a visit to Baton Rouge today, and it was enough for him to commit over the likes of Notre Dame, Baylor, TCU, Washington and Oklahoma State. The Hutto, Texas, recruit is right out of the Longhorns backyard (or front yard depending on how you look at it geographically), something that may come back to bite them in the long run.
Listed 6-3 and 240 pounds, Watson comes off as a slim 240 based on the video, but that could benefit LSU in sculpting that frame into what they want compared to adding on weight like others who have arrived in Baton Rouge. The one thing that jumps out is his speed, along with his burst off the snap, which is more apparent on inside rushes compared to coming off the edge. While the ability is definitely there, you can also see his youth and rawness even in the highlights. If Watson can learn to use his hands more to disengage from his blockers instead of running right into their body, he can spend even more time in the backfield than he already does.
Not to come out and say he will make the same jump, but K’Lavon Chaisson, another edge rusher out of Texas, was ranked in the 200s after his junior season, where Watson is ranked at 190 coming into his junior year.
Just for reference: Chaisson’s SENIOR film:
A little more quickness than Watson, but again, Watson has two more years before this point for him. Chaisson gets pressure quickly from interior rushes compares to edge rushes, like Watson does. You can tell Chaisson has more moves in his arsenal, but that could be attributed to experience.
Adding Watson this early is a big plus for Aranda and the staff to give him things to work on before he steps foot on campus. With the 3-4 defense with varying fronts as Aranda implements, you can never have enough edge rushers, and Watson gives LSU fans one to get excited about for the coming years.