LSU’s casting a wide net for its 2023 recruiting class and its landed them a pair of four-star defensive ends from the midwest.
First Jaxon Howard, the No. 1 player from Minnesota, picked LSU over the likes of Michigan, Miami, and the hometown Gophers. Howard is now LSU’s most highly touted prospect in its 2023 class, ranking as the No. 96 player overall and No. edge rusher.
Howard credits his prior relationship with new defensive line coach Jamar Cain, who was originally recruiting Howard to Oklahoma. Cain also coached Howard’s older brother at North Dakota State.
“One thing was the relationship with the coaches,” Howard said to 247. “I have a great relationship with Coach Cain. Getting to be around the staff, they showed me how they were as people. That really put me over the edge in my decision.”
Howard also plays tight end for his high school team and competes in track during the spring as a thrower.
Next LSU went from the Minneapolis area to outside of Indianapolis and added four-star edge rusher Joshua Mickens.
Mickens picked LSU over Michigan State, North Carolina, and Purdue among others. Like Howard, Mickens was being previously recruited by a new LSU coach but in this case it was Brian Polian when Polian was coaching with Brian Kelly at Notre Dame.
“Really just the relationship I had, especially with Coach Polian, him coming from Notre Dame and recruiting me down there, showing love all the way,” Mickens said to 247Sports. “At LSU I built a great relationship with him.”
Mickens is a three-sport athlete. Not only does he excel at football but he’s consistently posting double-doubles on the basketball court and is a discus and shot put thrower.
Mickens is the No. 164 overall prospect and 18th best defensive end in the 2023 cycle. He and Howard are LSU’s first two defensive linemen commits.