I mentioned in my West Weeks preview that LSU’s key linebackers are guys who performed decently well last year and Harold Perkins. This is a group that’s unproven, as the guys with experience played alongside NFL-caliber talent. Then there’s Harold Perkins, who is a beast. Then there are the guys with lots of promise and lots to prove, such as South Carolina transfer Kolbe Fields.
247sports ranked Fields a 3-star recruit and the 82nd-best linebacker in the nation coming out of Archbishop Rummel High School in 2021. He committed to Oklahoma State in January of 2020, de-committed in July, committed to Memphis two weeks after that, de-committed from Memphis in January of 2021, and committed to South Carolina one day later before officially signing in February. Fields played in four games for the Gamecocks in 2021. He found most of his time on special teams and recorded only one tackle. Fields entered the transfer portal in late January of 2022 and came to LSU in February.
What the Scouts Say
“Adequate size and frame relative to traditional off-line linebacker role. Experience in multiple linebacker roles and could provide personnel flexibility in college. Flashes encouraging pursuit ability, both downhill and sideline to sideline. Instinctive player with good sense of timing as a blitzer. Good ball skills relative to position. Athletic enough to play in space and hold his own when dropping in coverage. Must continue adding bulk and strength. Can improve pad level and body control. Often hits targets too high. Athleticism lacks context in combine testing or track perspective. Power 5-caliber linebacker prospect with potential to become quality starter.” -Gabe Brooks evaluation from 11/22/19
Fields’ 247sports page has him listed as 6’1” and 205 lbs., but LSU lists him at 6’0” and 218 lbs. He comes in as a redshirt freshman, so he’ll have plenty of time to learn and grow. He’s got speed and athleticism, it’s just about development.
High End: Fields blossoms into a ball-hawking linebacker in pass and run coverage after spending time developing his abilities on special teams. Fields probably doesn’t see much playing time outside of special teams for the next couple years, but if he does well there, he’ll see his defensive snap count increase.
Low End: He bottoms out as mid-tier special teams guy.
Realistic: He becomes a rotational linebacker rather than a starter. He gets most of his snaps on special teams, but he makes a few impact plays on defense that swing the balance of a game or two.
As with so many guys in this linebacking room, Kolbe Fields has a lot of promise and potential, he just has to prove himself.