Defensive line was one of the few positions that did not see a wave of departures in the wake of the Brian Kelly hire. Entering 2022, the line is poised to maybe be one of the better in recent history with promising ends Ali Gaye and BJ Ojulari and highly touted tackles in Maason Smith and Jacquelin Roy. Looking to add to that mix is Mekhi Wingo, who LSU hope can bring his game to the next level.
Wingo played high school at DeSmet in St. Louis and was ranked as a three star prospect, and No. 614 in the nation according to 247. He decided to stay local, sign with Mizzou, and in his freshman year picked up 27 tackles, 2.0 TFLs, a sack, and pick six. His impressive play earned him both freshman All-SEC honors and four-star recognition as a transfer, and Wingo joined LSU in December.
For as good as Wingo has proven to be, he joined an LSU team that is not going to simply hand over playing time. The Tigers betting on Wingo is much more about the staff believing they have found an overlooked gem then it is finding a one-year wonder
With Wingo being still very fresh, and with the D-line being as talented as they are. It would be unfair to say Wingo is guaranteed a starting spot. If Wingo is going to start he will either need a massively impressive Fall camp or a rash of injuries at the position. Ideally it is the former and not the later that gets Wingo onto the field
The x-factor in this projection is the lack of clarity on what Matt House plans to do with the new defense upfront. He has hinted at a three-man front, but nothing can really be proven until games get underway.
It is also important to remember that Wingo is a true sophomore, and isn’t like other upperclassmen transfers who are looking to use LSU as a strong finish to their college careers. Wingo’s best value might not be this year, but in years to come.
High End: Improves off freshman season, wins national awards and leaves early for the draft
Low End: Flash in a pan, career reserve or transfers down a level
Realistic: Contributor as sophomores, is one of Tigers better defensive lineman by senior year.