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No National Signing Day surprises for LSU

LSU left the Early Signing Period in December with 25 signees from the high school level. That made the second signing period pretty uneventful with only one prospect, not including transfers, taking an official visit.

The Tigers are not expected to add anyone new today with three-star defensive tackle Jamel Howard expected to sign with Wisconsin. The staff decided to hold the 5-6 open spots it currently has to reach the 85-limit until the second transfer window opens on May 1 and runs through May 15

LSU enters the day with 25 signees in the team recruiting rankings with a class ranked No. 5 on 247Sports and No. 6 on the industry-generated 247Sports Composite. The 11-man transfer class is currently ranked No. 1, giving Brian Kelly and his staff a 36-man haul in 2023 and more to come.

For now, LSU is overjoyed with what they’ve locked in. The ability to recruit in-state was a piece of this class Kelly was most pleased about. The passion his Louisiana prospects have for LSU showed during the process, ultimately putting pen to paper during the Early Signing Period.

“They’re so committed to LSU,” Kelly said. “There was no stone unturned with our local players but there’s such a passion for LSU and it’s seen by a strong high school football in this particular area.”

The Louisiana talent certainly stands out, but a major takeaway from this 2023 class is the national talent. From going all the way up to Minnesota and stealing their No. 1 player to hitting the East coast and grabbing one of their top graded safeties, this recruiting staff did their homework to make sure the best of the best got to Baton Rouge.

Kelly is all about relationships. It’s easy to go out and offer the top players in the country, but getting a better understanding of who they are both on and off the field is a top priority for him. For LSU to “Graduate Champions,” they must recruit elite-level people, not just players.

“This recruiting has been great in the sense that they’ve been in my home, I’ve been in their home, been on campus several times so that you get a connection,” Kelly said. “You feel so much better that you’ve made the right choices and they’ve made the right choices that LSU is the right place for them and that you’re selling the right vision for them. The 25 we signed, we are super excited about and I know I’ve gotten the chance to spend a lot of time with each one of them.”

As for the 2023 class as a whole, this cycle has seen LSU add gifted offensive weapons such as 5-star Shelton Sampson Jr. and 4-star quarterback Rickie Collins, but defense has also seen a complete overhaul.

The Tigers reeled in 5-star EDGE Dashawn Womack and lockdown cornerback Javien Toviano. The balance on both sides of the ball has prepared this program for the future.

“We’re looking for a pretty good balance on offense and defense which I think we’ve gotten,” Kelly said. “You’re always looking for players to impact immediately but this is a class I believe when we recruit them, what we’re asking them to do is immediately impact LSU football. That means represent LSU in the classroom, in the community and as it relates to football, be ready to compete immediately.”

With their first true recruiting class under their belt, this coaching staff exceeded expectations. The ability to go out and have all 25 commitments put pen to paper proves this class believes in the vision Kelly has for this program going forward.

“It takes a village to put together a class. It starts with evaluation and then recruitment,” Kelly said. “When you’re doing recruiting weekends, we’re showing them why they should come to LSU and putting together a collaborative, cohesive, high performance staff is everybody working together.”

It’ll be a quiet National Signing Day for Brian Kelly and his LSU program after signing 25 members to their 2023 recruiting class back in December. With a deep list of signees, this program will go to the transfer portal to finish off their roster for next season.

LSU will have five or six slots open come the second transfer portal window in May where Kelly will evaluate needs during and after spring camp.