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2022 Football Recruiting Big Board: Defense

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What can the 2022 class look like?

After a third-straight top-five class in 2021, LSU is already in good shape for 2022, currently second in the nation behind only Ohio State. With 10 commits already on board, there’s only 15 spots open (unless they carryover the remaining spot from the 2021 class), a good place to be in between the current class ranking and a dead period still going through May 31. This time, we go and look at the defensive side of the ball, where mass changes happened to the coaching staff. How do the Tigers fill out the remaining spots in their class? Settle in, get comfortable and follow along.

DEFENSIVE END

Already Committed: None

The Tigers reeled in a good haul at the position in the 2021 class with a trio of studs in Saivion Jones, Landon Jackson, and Bryce Langston, who was all but Florida bound before a late push from LSU sealed the deal. With Bill Johnson out and former NFL defensive end Andre Carter, who amassed 80.5 sacks in his career, joining the staff, expect to see an even more revitalized push from Carter and Orgeron recruiting the defensive line.

Top Targets:

What an instant impression Andre Carter could make in his new position by reeling in Shemar Stewart, who has said that LSU leads for his services. You would think bringing in someone like Carter would certainly help in the pursuit, but a larger help would be an end to this Dead Period which will have been going on for over a year now by its current May 31st deadline. Tapp is definitely one of my favorite recruits in this class already watching his film and seeing how he uses his hands so well already. Both Wiggins and Monette are quick risers up the rankings, the former more so than the latter, but both have great size and athleticism to go with that frame. White would certainly be a surprise, but LSU has had their fair share on the line over the years.

Other Names of Note: Jeremiah Alexander, Dante Anderson, Kenyatta Jackson

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

Already Committed: None

There was only one defensive tackle signee in the 2021 class, but it was a massive one, both literally and figuratively. Maason Smith, one of the best defensive recruits the state has produced in some time, should be an immediate impact player on the line next season. LSU has depth at the position, but with the departures of Glen Logan and Neil Farrell after the 2021 season, it will be on Carter and Orgeron to help keep that cupboard full.

Top Targets:

Like with Stewart at defensive end, Andre Carter could endear himself to Tiger Nation by reeling in Walter Nolen as well. LSU has a couple in-roads with Nolen in Xavier Hill and Jalen Shead, both former teammates, and the re-hiring of Austin Thomas, who will bring a stronger emphasis in the state of Tennessee. Jaheim Oatis has been a target of Orgeron’s for years now and will still be a part of this class if he wants in, but it’ll be interesting to see how he would mesh in Daronte Jones’ defense. Once-LSU commit Shone Washington still has a spot available to him and could more than likely rejoin after meeting with the new defensive coaching staff. Both Hill and Baudoin could benefit from a camp season, Baudoin moreso than Hill. Baudoin came out of nowhere with an impressive junior season that put his name on the map and offers from across the country. Hill will need to show better athleticism and a stronger ability to disengage from blockers.

Other Names of Note: Gabriel Brownlow-Dindy, Mykel Williams, Fitzgerald West

LINEBACKER

Already Committed: None

LSU’s 2021 linebacker class brought with it a ton of variety. They reeled in a solid four-star inside linebacker in Greg Penn III, brought in the athletic Zavier Carter, who will need to add on some weight to be at OLB, and went into the JUCO ranks to bring in the top inside linebacker in Navonteque Strong. After finding success in the transfer portal last season with Jabril Cox, they went to that well one more time to finish off their linebacker class with Mike Jones (WHO?) out of Clemson. With Cox going to the NFL and Damone Clark having an off season and being a senior, there was a need for instant impact players, but bringing in two guys like that can mean that cupboard can empty fairly quickly.

Top Targets:

Harold Perkins has been very receptive with LSU, but these battles for Texas recruits will continue to get tougher in the years to come. Daniel Martin comes from the same school as BJ Ojulari and has been a school very open to LSU venturing in. Gilmore is the top linebacker in Louisiana and will likely be pushed for a spot.

Other Names of Note: Justin Medlock, Kailep Edwards

DEFENSIVE BACK

Already Committed:

Corey Raymond’s best recruiting may have been this last year on several different levels. He battled tooth and nail with Alabama to reel in the versatile Sage Ryan, who is a definite Day 1 contributor, went over to Pennsylvania to secure Derrick Davis, a top-five safety, worked into February to get signee Damarius McGhee, a top-15 cornerback out of Florida, found under-the-radar Matthew Langlois, and topped it all off by making sure Eli Ricks stayed in Baton Rouge.

But Raymond doesn’t sleep (or at least I don’t think he does), as he made sure he left a strong footprint to start the 2022 class. Laterrance Welch and JaDarian Rhym are both top-20 cornerbacks who go up against top-tier competition. A trademark of Raymond is finding these diamond in the rough corners nearly every year and Marcus Scott II falls into this category. A track star with height, Marcus can be a recruit groomed into a solid starter.

Top Targets:

What is probably the widest net of any position group on the team, there is a lot of athleticism and versatility in this group. Jacoby Matthews, a safety who would likely play a similar role to a fellow Jacoby in Jacoby Stevens, has said he is comfortable going out of state, but like with Shazz Preston on the offensive side, the staff has done its part in quelling those feelings. Kendrick Law could find himself around the top of the rankings at a number of positions, but the secondary is likely his calling card at the next level. Once an LSU commit, Bryce Anderson has been leaning towards the Longhorns, but has re-opened those lines of communication with LSU. Earl Little Jr. is a quiet recruit, but Raymond has done well recruiting Florida and it appears Little Jr. is his key Sunshine State target. Denver Harris is a North Shore product out of Texas, which has sent several recruits over the state border. Jordan Allen will likely be the next defensive back to receive an offer from this class, and with the recent work of reeling in teammate Sage Ryan, would likely put LSU in the driver’s seat. Another member of the All Name Team, D’Arco Perkins-McAllister is another one of the beneficiaries of Austin Thomas coming back to LSU. Expect D’Arco to rise up the rankings following his senior season.

Other Names of Note: Kamari Wilson, Julian Humphrey, Xavier Nwankpa, Elijah Mc-Cantos, Zion Branch, Terrance Brooks

SPECIAL TEAMS

Already Committed: None

Targets of Note: None

(I know this was in the offensive article as well, but I figure the position can find it’s place in both articles although I know all of you reading this have already read that one too, right?)

Cade York secured his spot as the best kicker in the SEC, and will hold place-kicking duties at LSU for the next two years. The 30-year-old punter Zach Von Rosenberg has finally departed LSU, but Peyton Todd, the No. 1 punter in the 2021 class, will hold down that fort for next year at least. Avery Atkins will handle kickoff duties one more year, so expect a walk-on offer to go out or in-house options like Zeke Mata or Preston Stafford to assume that role starting in 2022.

These certainly aren’t the only ones being looked at right now and the board may be vastly different in the span of a couple of months (hopefully if the Dead Period finally comes to a close and we can get a legitimate camp season), but these are the names most likely to be a part of this class come December.