LSU set for extended recruiting push like no other

The first day of the Early Signing Period wrapped up for LSU with the Tigers gaining three new commitments. Brian Kelly and his staff inked 13 signatures on Wednesday, leaving 19 open spots to fill for the No. 23 class on the 247Sports Composite Team Rankings.

Before we go deeper into the overall numbers, LSU helped address several areas of need, though much more work lies ahead.

With only one scholarship quarterback currently on the roster – Garrett Nussmeier – that was THE biggest hole Kelly had to fill. Landing the No. 5 quarterback in five-star Walker Howard is as good as it gets.

Finding a left tackle to protect any right-handed signal caller’s blindside was paramount. Offensive line coach Brad Davis kept Will Campbell committed throughout the coaching turnover, and he is someone LSU has lacked for several years in a dependable edge protector who is athletic enough to play the toughest position on the line.

Adding Emery Jones, another guy capable of playing during his first year on campus, to line up alongside Campbell was another sensational pull. Bo Bordelon and Fitzgerald West rounded out the offensive front that made up nearly a third of the class.

Are the Tigers done on that side?

More big news could come if highly sought transfer offensive tackle Miles Frazier picks LSU. He would be a massive pull and just what the 2022 team needs.

Help is on the way on the other side of the trenches after a couple of surprises on Wednesday from four-star defensive end Quency Wiggins and New Orleans defensive tackle Tygee Hill. After Wiggins tossed an Alabama hat on the floor, the local product picked the Tigers over Florida, Texas, Texas A&M, and many others. Hill visited Tulane last weekend instead of LSU, so there was a little confusion on where things stood. It eventually worked itself out, giving the Tigers two defensive linemen.

Versatile defensive back Jordan Allen, capable of playing cornerback or safety, delivered more good news on Wednesday when he picked the hometown team. That came less than 24 hours after Landon Ibieta flipped from Miami to the Tigers.

One of the toughest tasks facing Kelly and his skeleton staff that has more openings than positions filled was keeping the out-of-state commitments on board.

In the morning hours, Nathan Dibert and DeMario Tolan followed through on their end, giving LSU the No. 6 kicker and the No. 21 linebacker in the land. The school announced three-star tight end Mason Taylor’s National Letter of Intent in the early evening hours, making it 3-for-3 on the out-of-state commitments who visited the last weekend before the signing period. Absent from that group was four-star cornerback JaDarian Rhym, who tripped to Auburn and signed with the Plainsmen.

The Tigers held on to four-star cornerback Laterrance Welch. The state’s top-ranked corner and the 16th-ranked player overall at that position stayed home after flirting with Arkansas.

Now, all eyes shift to today and tomorrow.

Four-star athlete Kendrick Law is scheduled to announce his commitment on the final day of the signing period. On Friday, the Shreveport product should choose either LSU or Alabama with Texas and Florida State a couple of other programs to watch. With no running backs on board and only one wide receiver, recruiting coordinator Frank Wilson has vacancies to highlight when he makes his recruiting pitch over the phone over the next two days. Law could help at either spot, too.

By the end of business on Friday, LSU will have navigated the first leg of this year’s recruiting race.

The next wave comes on the first Wednesday in February, known as National Signing Day. The Tigers could sign 25 in the 2022 class comprising high school and junior college prospects and college transfers. It does not end there, though.

The NCAA has a temporary order that allows schools to replace up to seven players who leave the program for another school. There are provisions the rules committee still has to iron out and settle on before finalizing the rule. However, for this class, the number LSU has to work with is 32. If the staff signs 25 prospects and transfers, Kelly and co. have another seven slots it can allocate to additional transfers.

Looking at the projected roster numbers for next season, there isn't a position, outside of kicker, punter and long snapper, LSU does not need to hit on between now and the start of the next campaign.

Can the Tigers fill all those openings?

That ride is what will make the next eight to nine months of recruiting one of the more interesting stretches in the program’s history, and one of the most critical for Kelly’s short-term success on the bayou.