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What We Think of Brian Kelly’s First Actual Class

The Early Signing Period has gone as planned for Brian Kelly and his LSU football program. After securing 25 signees and reloading the roster for the future, Kelly has his first actual recruiting class under his belt, with a few more pieces to potentially be added during the February signing period.

But for now, this program 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 on Wednesday.

“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 the national talent is a significant takeaway from this 2023 class. 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 pleased with the work this staff has done, the balance of both offensive and defensive prospects.

Kelly is all about relationships. It’s easy to go out and offer the country’s top players, 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.

Following the signing period on Wednesday, Kelly detailed the relationships he’s built with this class:

“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. We are super excited about the 25 we signed, and I know I’ve gotten the chance to spend a lot of time with each one of them.”

As for the class, this cycle has seen LSU add gifted offensive weapons such as 5-star Shelton Sampson Jr. and 4-star quarterback Rickie Collins, but the 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 Kelly’s vision 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.”

The Tigers will have 15 early enrollees as the future of this program begins to make their way to Baton Rouge.