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LSU Has One Heck of RB Class in 2023

It was a slow start for this LSU offense to start the 2022 season. With inconsistency in the run game, it made this unit one dimensional with mainly sticking to the passing attack, but later in the season is where the running backs got in a groove.

A key factor to the LSU backfield seeing success was continuity being formed with the offensive line. When the big guys up front clicked, it made this entire offense click.

The Tigers saw four running backs take significant snaps this season with former walk-on Josh Williams handling starting duties in the final few games, but LSU also went out and added a pair of elite Louisiana natives to their backfield. 

Here’s a look at the state of the LSU running back room heading into spring: 

But when Emery was in a rhythm, it was a sight to see. Despite missing a few games, he still totaled 375 yards on 76 carries with six touchdowns. 2022 was supposed to be Emery’s year. After a remarkable offseason where he reshaped his body and looked poised for a breakout year, a suspension slowed down his positive trajectory.

It looks as though Emery will return for the 2023 season where he can build off of 2022, but we’ll keep you updated on that as we find out more. With the NFL Draft entry date closing soon, all signs point to Emery being a Tiger in 2023.

Armoni Goodwin – Sophomore  

It was a challenging season for the sophomore back. Suffering a brutal hamstring injury early in the season and a knee injury to close out the season, Goodwin missed a plethora of games for the Tigers.

When on the field, the youngster was effective, even when the offensive line was still figuring out their identity to start the year. Goodwin totaled 267 yards on 45 attempts with five touchdowns in five games played.

In what was supposed to be a breakout season for Goodwin as well after a stellar spring camp, injuries halted that opportunity in a hurry. Look for the talented sophomore to get back on track this offseason and put it all together in 2023. 

Kaleb Jackson – Freshman 

The 5-foot-10, 200-pound prospect is a top prospect in Louisiana and a top 10 running back in the class of 2023. For Kelly and his staff to keep the Baton Rouge native home is a massive win for this program as they continue trying to reel in the state’s top talent. 

Jackson has the ability to run over defenders while also possessing the agility and finesse to shake the defense with his quick feet. It’s too lofty of expectations to compare on to Clyde Edwards-Helaire, but the electric running back attains a few traits that could be similar.

The dynamic running back has all the tools to be successful in Death Valley. With LSU right in his backyard, he now gets to represent his hometown school and add to an already loaded running back room.

Trey Holly – Freshman 

Louisiana’s all-time rushing leader Trey Holly put pen to paper and signed his letter of intent with Brian Kelly’s LSU Tigers in December. One of the first commitments in this 2023 class, Holly helped boost this cycle in a big way as a recruiter of other players.

In his senior campaign, Holly logged 14 games played with 305 carries, 2,633 yards and 33 touchdowns. Holly set the Louisiana high school rushing record for a career with 1,228 carries for 10,523 yards and 146 touchdowns. 

Josh Williams – Senior 

It’s hard not to enjoy watching Williams on the gridiron. A scrappy, do-it-all guy, he does the dirty work for this running back group when it comes to efficiency in his blocks and picking up the first down on third and short when called upon.

In 2022 Williams proved he’s much more than a situational running back. He evolved his game and thrived when given the opportunity. Once Armoni Goodwin went down with a hamstring early in the season, Williams took the starting back keys and never looked back.

Finishing the season with 97 carries for 532 yards rushing and six touchdowns, he led this running back room in yards, but also became a leader for this group. A player we could envision seeing wear No. 18 in the foreseeable future, Williams will look to carry his success into 2023. 

Noah Cain – Junior 

Cain’s time on the field was inconsistent. There were games where he didn’t see the field at all and others where he played a pivotal role in the offensive success. Regardless, when Cain did see snaps, he thrived.

He totaled 76 carries for 409 yards in 2022 with an eye-opening 10 touchdowns. Cain became a powerback for this running back room. When third and short appeared, insert Cain, and it immediately became a recipe for success.

Cain has the chance to take that next step in 2023. With an efficient first season in Baton Rouge, the hometown kid can carry his success over into next season. Pairing his red zone efficiency with consistency on third and short, Cain could take a bigger load in 2023.