Where does LSU go after defensive tackle Damonic Williams commits to Oklahoma?

With Damonic Williams committing to Oklahoma, LSU missed on its top defensive tackle target. According to On3, Williams was the sixth-ranked defensive tackle in the portal this cycle and the best available during the spring window.

Earlier this spring, head coach Brian Kelly said defensive tackle is where LSU will spend most of its attention in the portal. It remains the Tigers’ biggest need with just two scholarship players returning. The staff liked what it saw from Jacobian Guillory in spring practice, but LSU needs another interior defender to emerge alongside him.

LSU hoped Williams would fill that void. Now, Kelly and defensive line coach Bo Davis continue the search. And with Michigan State transfer Simeon Barrow Jr. trending toward Miami, there aren’t many starting caliber DTs left in the portal.

That means LSU doesn’t have a ton of options. With Guillory entering his fifth year, the Tigers are counting on a breakout. According to PFF, he ranked fifth among SEC DTs in tackling grade last year while racking up 11 pressures.

Guillory’s a good player, but he can’t play every snap. LSU signed a highly-touted group of defensive tackles from high school, but you can’t count on true freshmen to make an immediate impact at that position, especially in the SEC.

Depth is a concern, too. The best defensive lines are able to keep guys fresh through rotating. That’s a luxury LSU won’t have in 2024.

Even if Kelly and Davis manage to find a player in the portal, he won’t have proven Power Four experience. The group LSU has now is the one it will roll into fall with.

The good news is LSU has one of the best defensive staffs in the country. LSU is strong at linebacker and defensive end, which could take some pressure off the interior. But there will be a couple of games this year where offenses try to wear LSU down up the middle.

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Story originally appeared on LSU Tigers Wire