LSU’s first transfer portal commitment of the 2023 offseason became known over the weekend as Louisiana speedster Aaron Anderson announced his return home.
One of the more electric prospects to come out of the state in recent memory, Anderson is a game-changing kind of player who now comes to LSU with still four years of eligibility. That’s essential in helping the Tigers decide who they want to take in from the portal.
Brian Kelly has talked about how, ideally, the Tigers are looking for a few parameters when adding someone via the portal. Fit comes. First, a Louisiana background is always preferred, but an underrated part is knowing multiple years of remaining eligibility to work that player into the system. Top Storie. Kelly brought up the example of the cornerback room and how the program needed to bring in veterans, knowing they likely wouldn’t be around for multiple years. But now that the program has a foundation in place and is in less scramble mode moving forward, the thinking has shifted.
“We’re going to identify the best prospects throughout the country and you’ll see that in this signing class. We’ll have players from the northeast, the midwest, the west coast. But our base will be Louisiana and the south,” Kelly said. “When you’re LSU and you have a brand that’s so recognizable, you can’t have blinders on either. Our scope and vision is national but it’s not like we’re pulling four guys out of every state. We’re gonna have a heavy influence in the state of Louisiana, like we should.”
Anderson checks all three boxes of what the Tigers are looking for and, in the immediate future, projects as a potential standout in the special team’s department. It’s no small secret that LSU struggled in the return game, mainly on punts, though kickoffs also did have a few blunders.
The Tigers tried out several players, including Malik Nabers and Jack Bech, before ultimately settling on Gregory Clayton as the punt returner and Noah Cain as the kick returner. The bar set for the latter part of the season strictly became to field the punts and kicks cleanly to avoid spotting the opponent’s points.
Though he doesn’t have a ton of experience at the college level after missing most of his true freshman year at Alabama due to injury, Anderson is a potential elite option in both the punt and kick return game. In high school, he proved devastatingly fast in those situations, with an elite vision to complement his return skills.
LSU hasn’t had a return man who could strike fear into an opponent since Odell Beckham and Tyrann Mathieu before him. That’s the kind of potential Anderson brings to this group from the beginning.
That’s before you even look at what spark he could bring to this offense, most likely as a slot receiver. LSU welcomes a stellar freshman class at receiver and the return of Kayshon Boutte, Malik Nabers, Brian Thomas, and Chris Hilton. Throw in Anderson to that mix, and LSU could set up some terrifying four and five-wideout schemes next year.
There’s a lot to like about the weapons the Tigers will have at their disposal next season. Anderson is another potential game-changing piece that the program hopes can be a special offense in 2023.