5 LSU newcomers who can make an impact in 2023
LSU’s roster is filled with first-year Tigers.
Between the transfer portal and a full high school recruiting class, there are a lot of fresh faces in Baton Rouge.
LSU needs several to make an impact right away. Despite LSU’s 2022 success, this roster is still being built. That’s why Brian Kelly and staff turned to the portal again to fill needs.
LSU’s not at a point where it can automatically reload like Georgia and Alabama do most years.
Next year, that could be the case. There was a heightened emphasis on transfers with several years of eligibility as opposed to last year when LSU needed help wherever found.
Here are five newcomers, transfers and freshmen alike, who can make an impact right away.
Sophomore CB Denver Harris
Harris is one of the younger members of the transfer class. After losing several key veterans at outside corner, LSU needed to get younger. Harris is part of that youth movement.
Still, there are high hopes for Harris. He’s young, but he got some experience under his belt at Texas A&M last year.
For years, it seemed LSU always had top-level talent at the corner position. Five-star after five-star came through Baton Rouge. That hasn’t been the case these last couple of years, but Harris, a five-star in 2022, could begin another run of superstars at the position.
Only two corners in the SEC posted a better grade in man coverage last year, according to PFF. There’s no shortage of playing time to go around at corner right now. Harris could be a big part of LSU’s plans.
Freshman EDGE Dashawn Womack
Womack is the top rated recruit of LSU’s 2023 freshmen class.
He’s an edge defender that rocketed up recruiting boards over the last year. At 6-foot-5, he’s got great size and could be SEC-ready from a physical standpoint.
Losing BJ Ojulari will be tough on this defense. There’s no obvious candidate to replace his production right now and it’s more likely those duties will be split. Some of that work will be on Womack’s plate.
News: Maason Smith and Dashawn Womack both participated in individual drills on Tuesday.
Several defensive players who were injured returned to practice #LSU pic.twitter.com/GCgDtTE39L
— Glen West (@glenwest21) April 18, 2023
Last year, several true freshmen made an immediate impact for LSU. Brian Kelly and staff won’t shy away from playing young guys. Womack could be a beneficiary of that in 2023.
Senior LB Omar Speights
Speights is a veteran.
He played 2,650 snaps in four years at Oregon State. He made 39 starts for the Beavers in a stretch that dates back to his freshman year.
LSU lost inside linebacker depth to the transfer portal. LSU was fine with Greg Penn III and Harold Perkins returning at the top, but Speights brings much-needed reassurance.
Upon arrival in Baton Rouge, Speights was the most experienced linebacker on the roster. Per PFF, he had 58 career pressures, nine sacks, 227 solo tackles, and 143 stops. He’s forced a fumble and broken up three passes.
Last year, his 43 stops led Pac-12 linebackers and were more than any LSU linebacker had too.
Speights should lead LSU’s middle linebacker group this fall.
Freshman TE Ka'Morreun Pimpton
🚨BREAKING🚨 4-star TE Ka'Morreun Pimpton has flipped his commitment from Vanderbilt to LSU🐅
Read: https://t.co/tmgrHWDODi pic.twitter.com/DKN1Ti5Q0f
— On3 Recruits (@On3Recruits) December 21, 2022
Last year, true freshman Mason Taylor made an immediate impact at tight end.
We could see another breakout at the position this year with three tight ends in the 2023 high school recruiting class.
Ka’Morreun Pimpton could be the best of the group. He’s a consensus top-300 player. On3 has Pimpton top 100 overall and slated as the fourth-best TE of his class.
At 6-foot-6 and 230 pounds, he’s a force. That type of size is needed to step right in and play.
Pimpton has the athleticism to work all areas of the field receiving and the physicality to engage on blocks. His well-rounded play should give him the chance to contribute this fall.
Freshman RB Trey Holly
The easy thing to do would be to fill this list up with transfers.
However, I felt this last spot should go to another true freshman — running back Trey Holly.
With several LSU rushers out in the spring, Holly got work as an early enrollee and saw plenty of time with the first team. That can often lead to a player developing at a quicker rate.
Holly won’t be RB1 this fall. Even with the uncertainty surrounding Armoni Goodwin, Josh Williams and John Emery Jr., LSU has veteran rushers with Noah Cain and Logan Diggs.
A lot of LSU’s rushers have struggled with injuries in the past, making the depth Holly provides valuable. Holly could be forced into action or the coaches could just play him because of the first-team reps he got this spring.
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