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Pro Football Focus Ranked LSU’s 2022 Freshmen Class as the Best in the Nation

The Tigers had just 39 scholarship players available for the Texas Bowl that season, but through a number of quality additions, Kelly quickly rebuilt the roster. Many of those additions were veteran, experienced transfers, but LSU also got a lot of help from its class of true freshmen, as well.

Harold Perkins emerged as one of the most explosive and disruptive pass-rushers in the nation, while Will Campbell and Emery Jones did the unthinkable and started at the tackle spots for an SEC team as true freshmen.

Mason Taylor also emerged as a legit option in the passing game and made the most memorable play of the season to win the game against Alabama.

It’s no surprise that Pro Football Focus ranked the Tigers’ 2022 class of freshmen as the nation’s best.

The Tigers found a couple budding superstars in the 2022 class inHarold PerkinsandWill Campbell.

Each wasa top-15 pick in my mock draft if every college player was eligible. Perkins led all Power Five linebackers with a 91.0 pass-rushing grade. He was second among all linebackers in the country with 18 quarterback knockdowns (sacks/hits) and was tied for second in the country with four forced fumbles. Perkins isMicah Parsons-esque in that he can play either linebacker or edge at a very high level. He’s oursecond-best returning linebacker in college football.

Campbell thrived at left tackle for LSU, a difficult task for any SEC player, let alone a true freshman. His 85.6 pass-blocking grade on true pass sets was third in the country and trailed onlyPeter Skoronskiamong Power Five tackles. Campbell only gave up a pressure on 2.7% of his 515 pass-blocking snaps. He’s oursixth-best returning offensive tackle in the country.

Both LSU’s starting right tackle and tight end were also true freshmen inEmery JonesandMason Taylor.

It’s clear the Tigers have a bright future ahead of them with this group, and all of these players could be poised to take a major leap forward in 2023.