2022 College Football Previews
Lindy's Sports

Lindy's Top Ten

  1. Alabama
  2. Ohio State
  3. Georgia
  4. Clemson
  5. Texas A&M
  6. Michigan
  7. Utah
  8. Notre Dame
  9. Oklahoma State
  10. Oklahoma

LSU is ranked #29.

LSU player on Lindy's All-America Teams:
First-team Offense: WR Kayshon Boutte

LSU in Top 10 National Unit Rankings:
#2 Defensive Line

"Crazy (Like a Fox) to Leave Notre Dame
Brian Kelly knows what he's doing ... and why he's in Baton Rouge."

Amid all the backroom wrangling, the millions thrown around, the transition into the NIL-transfer era, the main thing was still the main thing.
So before changing jobs, culture and accents, Brian Kelly was wise to research just exactly what he was getting into when considering LSU.
He talked to Nick Saban, who helped simplify things.
"It was like, 'You'd be crazy not to take it,'" Kelly said, relaying what Saban told him.
It should be significant that before and after Kelly shocked the college football world by leaving Notre Dame for the Tigers, he spoke to the legendary coach who helped make LSU what it is today.
After that endorsement, Kelly was in.
Saban told Kelly what he's been telling the world since he arrived at LSU in 2000: Louisiana is one of the most talent-rich states in the country. The trick - that Saban mastered - was keeping the talent at home. The strategy worked for Saban ... and for Les Miles ... and for Ed Orgeron.
National championships for all.
LSU needed to keep the run going. Kelly needed a change of scenery.
"It starts with the ability to recruit within three hours of yoru campus," Kelly said. "The facilities are outstanding but you can screw up facilities. If you understand the state of Louisiana and how to recruit these young men you're going to win here at LSU. Each one of those coaches did."
So forget dancing with recruits in viral videos. Forget the affected accent that was more concocted than Cajun, Brian Kelly intends to become the face, voice and - oh yeah - coach of LSU.
He has the chance to make his school's home state his own happy recruiting huting grouds, rather than be spread so thin across the country.
At Notre Dame, Kelly played for onenational championship (2012) and made the College Football Playoff twice (2018, 2020). Each of those experiences turned out to reveal how far Notre Dame was from being elite.
The Irish lost those three games by a combined 72 points, and they weren't really that close.
At Notre Dame the Irish basically had to finish 12-0 to get a CFP berth as an independent without conference affiliation. That's simply not the case in the SEC.
And at LSU, having been right in the thick of the national championship hunt ever since Saban kick-started them right back into the Top 10 two decades ago, being a power program in the SEC ensures that the Tigers were keeping up with the elite.
"They did not fall behind here," Kelly said. "When I got to Notre Dame, they had fallen behind. ... We had to redo the stadium, almost modernize Notre Dame football.
"We're not doing that here. This is much more inside out than outside in. This is really about recruiting and development, which is right down my alley."
Kelly, 60, spent 2 years at Notre Dame - onlly Knute Rockne coached the Irish longer. He won 113 games, more than Rockne, Frank Leahy, Ara Parseghian, Lou Holtz ... legendary stuff.
He averaged 9.4 wins in South Bend, but make no mistake, averaging 9.4 wins at LSU will simply not cut it. Ten-win seasons aren't the thing. Since 2000, LSU has experienced 11 of those 10-win seasons. That's half the time.
But legendary status does not follow Kelly to Baton Rouge. Not yet. It's fair to say that his relationship with Notre Dame officials just wore out. It happens.
He has not held back in detailing ND's shortcomings, which included an outdated football facility, the lack of a training table, and other things.
Kelly's first recruiting class [at LSU] was ranked 12th nationally according 247Sports.com. And with the one-time transfer rule and transfer portal now very much a part of recruiting, Kelly jumped right in, landing so much talent LSU had the No. 3 transfer "class" according to 247Sports.com.
The coach had to move quickly. He says there were only 36 players on scholarship when he arrived due to transfers, ineligibility, injuries, medical retirements and graduation.
"I don't want to build our program through the transfer portal, but you had to," Kelly said. "You can't wait around. There is no three-year plan."

LINDY'S SEC PICKS
SEC WEST SEC EAST
  1. Alabama
  2. Texas A&M
  3. Arkansas
  4. Ole Miss
  5. LSU
  6. Mississippi State
  7. Auburn
  1. Georgia
  2. Kentucky
  3. Tennessee
  4. Florida
  5. South Carolina
  6. Missouri
  7. Vanderbilt

LSU players on Lindy's All-SEC Teams:

  • 1st team offense
    WR Kayshon Boutte
  • 1st team defense
    LB BJ Ojulari
  • 2nd team offense
    None
  • 2nd team defense
    DL Ali Gaye
    LB Mike Jones Jr.
  • 3rd team offense
    OL Miles Frazier
  • 3rd team defense
    DL Maason Smith
    DB Jay Ward

LSU's Units Ranking in the SEC 2022

  • #9 QBs
  • #12 RBs
  • #3 Wide Receivers
  • #11 O-Line
  • #1 D-Line
  • #6 LBs
  • #10 DBs
  • #10 Special Teams

Excerpts from multi-page write-up on LSU
OFFENSE
The offense starts with junior WR Kayshon Boutte, who may well be the linchpin of the team. But who will get him the ball , and who will protect the quarterback who does?
There's a four-man logjam at quarterback with no one having established himself as the successor to Max Johnson, who transferred to Texas A&M.
It remains for coordinator/tight ends coach Mike Denbrock to sort out the details in the heated competition. Denbrock, most recently the coordinator at Cincinnati, which reached the CFP after an undefeated season, is LSU's third offensive coordinator in as many years.
The ultimate decision at quarterback may shape how LSU plays, as Denbrock said his multiple-style offense will be personnel-drive at its core.
In any event, Johnson's successorwill work with a gifted receiving corps. Boutte headlines the group after registering team-highs of 509 receiving yards and nine touchdowns before sustaining a season-ending ankle injury after six games.
The line shows promise too, and came much more into focus after true freshman Will Campbell established himself at left tackle in the spring. Transfers Tre'mon Shorts and Miles Frazier have taken over at left and right guard respectively.
Junior Kole Taylor has established himself at tight end.
Senior John Emery's much-anticipated return highlights a running back corps long on speed but short on experience. Academic ineligibility sidelined Emery last season after he finished second in 2020 with 378y and three touchdowns.
Sophomore Armoni Goodwin offers big-play potential, and Penn State transfer Noah Cain returns to his hoemtown after rushing for 334y and four touchdowns last season.
Ultimately, Denbrock said LSU will feature "a workable" passing game, "run the ball effectively," and play "physically tough."
DEFENSE The back end may be uncertain, but LSU is blessed up front with size, speed, agility an any number of assets that can mask deficiencies elsewhere.
In Ali Gaye and BJ Ojulari, LSU has a pair of ends whose disruptive energy should ease the burden of a seondary whose players don't share the same familiarity with each other. Olujari also will be called upon to play as a linebacker on occasion under the tutelage of Matt House, LSU's third defensive coordinator in three years.
Sophomore Maason Smith and junior Jaquelin Roy provide even more reason to anticipate a stout front line. Smith had four quarterback sacks among his 19 stops, and Roy collected 13 tackles, including 1.5 sacks, and forced a fumble.
SPECIAL TEAMS Coordinator Brian Polian and P Jay Bramblett are late of Notre Dame, where Bramblett averaged 41.ypp as a three-year starter. Bramblett entered the transfer portal after averaging a career-best 43.1ypp last season.

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