Brian Kelly addresses transfer portal woes, says LSU won’t ‘buy players’

It’s been a rough go of things during the spring transfer portal for the LSU football team.

The Tigers targeted three major players — defensive tackles Damonic Williams and Simeon Barrow Jr. and cornerback DaShawn Jones. All three have since committed elsewhere.

LSU has some serious holes to plug on a defense that was one of the worst in the SEC last season and lost multiple starters, and it’s looking increasingly unlikely that those problems will be addressed substantially this offseason.

Coach Brian Kelly recently addressed those concerns during an exclusive interview with Jacques Doucet of WAFB. While he recognized that the Tigers have had some issues in the portal, he implied that those have stemmed from a lack of fit.

Particularly, Kelly made it clear that LSU has no intention of “buying players” in the transfer portal.

“I think I made it pretty clear in a number of the press conferences that I had that we were in the market in recruiting and the transfer portal looking for defensive lineman,” Kelly said. “It hasn’t fared very well, quite frankly, because we’re selling something a little bit differently. And that is, we want to recruit, we want to engage, build relationships, we want to develop, retain and have success.

“We’re not in the market of buying players and unfortunately right now, that’s what some guys are looking for. They want to be bought. And I understand that NIL is part of this, and we have an incredible collective, we have very, very generous opportunities around the greater Baton Rouge area for NIL opportunities. So they are here, but we’re not going to go out and buy players. That’s not what this is about, this was never about that.

“We will develop you, we will get you ready for the next step… but if you’re just looking to get paid, you’re looking in the wrong place. If you like all the things that we do here in developing our players, bringing you into a championship program, playing in front of the best fanbase in America, playing for championships and having an opportunity for NIL, you should be a Tiger. But if you just want to get paid, this is not the place for you.”

Options are dwindling for the Tigers in the transfer portal, and that could lead to depth issues at a number of positions, particularly defensive tackle where the team returns just two players with game experience.

But Kelly seems confident in the current group, and for better or worse, he doesn’t seem to be keen on getting into bidding wars for players in the transfer portal.

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Story originally appeared on LSU Tigers Wire