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Tigers Lose Two 2023 Defensive Line Recruits

Is Brian Kelly’s first full LSU class fizzling before our very eyes?

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Texas A&M Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

It’s November 28, 2022 and y’all...the sky is falling.

Well maybe that’s a little extreme. But the vibes surrounding the LSU football program might (?) be trending downward compared to where we were this time last week.

If getting embarrassed by a 4-7 Texas A&M team over the weekend wasn’t enough, LSU has now seen two (2) defensive lineman commits either de-commit or flip to another SEC West school.

It started on Friday as four-star defensive tackle Darron Reed flipped from LSU to Auburn. Reed, a Georgia native, is opting to attend school a little closer to home (less than an hour drive per Google maps). If you’re wondering “well wait a minute, isn’t Auburn still without a head coach?” that’s not the case anymore as it appears former Ole Miss and current Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze is on his way to The Plains.

Reed may not be the most highly touted prospect (just outside the top-200 per the 247 Composite) but, as a defensive tackle, he is at a position of need. Jaquelin Roy and Jacobian Guillory are both draft-eligible this season, while Mekhi Wingo and Maason Smith are draft-eligible next year. LSU’s got plenty of time to stock the cupboard between now and the spring of 2024 of course, but losing Reed is a blow, especially considering he’s flipping to a program within the division.

That hopefully won’t be the case with four-star defensive end Joshua Mickens who announced he would be de-committing from LSU. Mickens, a native of Indianapolis, officially visited Ohio State over the weekend and all signs point to him pledging to the Buckeyes. Mickens, a top-150 overall prospect per the 247 Composite, got an Ohio State offer earlier this month.

Reed and Mickens both committed to LSU over the Fourth of July weekend. They were part of a big weekend that saw LSU add four defensive lineman commits (Dashawn Womack and Jaxon Howard being the other two) and cornerback Ashton Stamps out of Archbishop Rummel.

In spite of my tongue in cheek comments at the top of this piece, LSU still has a consensus top-five recruiting class. But with the early signing period being three weeks away closing strong will be paramount for Brian Kelly and staff.