The purple and gold are welcoming a bunch of new talent to the 2023 roster to begin offseason workouts and really get acclimated to college before the football activities really start to heat up later this semester. These extra months for the early enrollee freshmen have always helped and in some cases, really built strong habits early in their careers that allow them early success with the program.
Offensive tackle Will Campbell is the best example, coming in a year ago and really winning the coaching staff over early with the way he attacked that first spring semester, ultimately leading to him earning the left tackle job come spring practice.
In 2022, there were four freshmen who really stood out as significant pieces to the Tigers’ success, linebacker Harold Perkins, offensive linemen Will Campbell and Emery Jones and tight end Mason Taylor. This year there are more players enrolling early and plenty of opportunity to start making similar impressions with the staff.
Here’s a breakdown of four rising freshman expected on campus in January who could make strong impacts with the program:
Jalen Brown (WR)
A player who had a lot of eyes on him recently at the All-American bowl game, Brown is someone who comes into a really crowded receiver room but has the talent to catch the coaching staff’s eyes early. He’ll likely need to add some weight upon arrival but that is what the months from January to the start of spring practice are for.
247Sports national recruiting director Steve Wiltfong was on hand in San Antonio to watch the week play out and Brown was one of the receivers he highlighted. During the game, Brown hauled in a touchdown pass in the redzone on a really quick slant route.
“I love how potent LSU’s offense could be with guys like receiver Jalen Brown and tight end Ka’Morreun Pimpton. If Brown has daylight, he’s a blur that can light up the scoreboard on any touch and could also be a fun return guy.” Wiltfong wrote.
This offense will have a lot of mouths to feed but Brown is perfect as a change of pace sub on offense and a special teams contributor should he adjust quickly to the college game.
Dashawn Womack (Edge)
When looking at this roster, there isn’t much of a greater need for fresh talent than at the edge rushing position, previously held by BJ Ojulari. Womack is of similar mold heading into his first year with the program at 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds of pure athleticism.
Womack is only getting better with time, as he recorded 48 tackles, 26 tackles for a loss, 15 sacks and recovered five fumbles in senior year at St. Frances Academy in Baltimore. He followed that up with an eventful week at the Under Armour All-American game with Shelton Sampson, Zalance Heard, Javien Toviano and Ryan Yaites.
The five-star prospect is one of the prized signings of this class and is at a position of need. Womack will get ample opportunity to earn playing time come spring and should be a favorite to earn significant snaps by the time fall rolls around.
Javien Toviano (CB)
Toviano is another one of those blue chip signings who comes to LSU already built like a prototypical defensive back. There is a lot to like about the 6-foot-0, 185 pound Texas defensive back, who was one of the final pieces to the early signing period.
For his career, Toviano recorded 105 tackles, 3 interceptions, 19 pass breakups and 5 forced fumbles. Both of his interceptions recorded during his senior season were returned for touchdowns.
This is all of the sudden a cornerback room with many more bodies than initially thought, with Denver Harris, Zy Alexander and Duce Chestnut joining the cornerback room out of the transfer portal. It’s also widely thought that Ohio State transfer JK Johnson is expected to commit to the program after a successful visit to Baton Rouge.
Despite a new wave of veteran experience in the back half of the defense, Toviano has every opportunity to earn early playing time in the secondary with all of the new faces in the cornerback room.
Whit Weeks (LB)
With the departure of DeMario Tolan in the linebacker room, there’s a need for added talent in that room next to Greg Penn, West Weeks and Perkins. One of the biggest risers in this 2023 class for the Tigers, Whit is an extremely athletic linebacker that 104 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, two sacks and three interceptions during his 2022 senior season.
At 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, Weeks was also in San Antonio for the All-American bowl game where he showed some impressive ability in one-on-one matchups and ultimately led the East team in tackles with five recovered a fumble and recorded another tackle for a loss. Whit will be on the short list for playing time at linebacker and defensive coordinator Matt House has proven he’s unafraid to play young players in that room.