With spring practice weeks away and off-season workouts have already begun, spring practice has traditionally been the first time media and fans get a real preview of what the fall could look like.
The roster movement has died down, and the coaching staff is being solidified. Now’s about when we can take an accurate look at the state of a program.
Position-by-position, we’re breaking down the state of LSU football as Brian Kelly prepares to begin his second spring practice at LSU.
We’ve already looked at the QBs, RBs, and WRs. Now, we move on to the tight end, one of the youngest but more intriguing spots on LSU’s roster.
The immediate future
Several true freshmen made key contributions for LSU last fall. At tight end, a young Mason Taylor emerged.
Son of former NFL star Jason Taylor, the former three-star from Florida made an immediate impression on Brian Kelly and was LSU’s go-to tight end by October.
Taylor’s biggest moments came against Alabama, where he caught a touchdown late in the fourth and LSU’s game-ending two-point conversion in OT.
LSU didn’t use Taylor to stretch the field much, with 38 of his 55 targets coming in the short game per Pro Football Focus. But behind Taylor, there is a severe lack of experience.
Taylor has the speed and athleticism to threaten defenses and could see an expanded role in 2023.
There might be a lack of experience, but there isn’t a lack of talent. LSU signed three tight-ends, including two four-stars.
The headliner is Ka’Morreun Pimpton, a consensus top 10 tight end in the 2023 class. Pimpton’s athletic ability sets him apart from other tight ends, but Kelly has said there’s some work to do as a blocker.
Mac Markway, another top 300 recruit, is a guy who has the chance to come and play early thanks to his blocking ability. However, Markway’s last couple of years in high school were altered by an injury, and he could need some ramping up before playing SEC football.
Jackson McGohan, a three-star from Ohio, brings more size and athleticism to the room. It’s expected that he’ll need some time to develop, but he’s a guy who could become an all-around tight end.
Tight end will not be a need next recruiting cycle, but knowing Kelly’s history, LSU will still be after a few. There’s already one committed in Tayvion Galloway. He’s a four-star and a top 100 recruit according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
One of the best 2024 recruits in Louisiana is Trey’Dez Green. Nearly standing at 6-foot-6, he’s a basketball star, too. The On3 industry rankings have Green as the 39th-best player in the country and the best player in Louisiana.
But the guys on the roster now will be there for some time. Taylor has to stick around at least two more years, and the group of young freshmen has at least three seasons in Baton Rouge.
It’s the most talented tight end room LSU’s had in a minute, but how the young core develops will determine the state of this position.