By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
Arriving as part of Brian Kelly's inaugural class in 2022, second year cornerback LT Welch heads into his red shirt freshman campaign with a sudden boost of confidence:
Breaking up a pair of passes during the Spring Game (most of any Tiger) while locking down his targeted receivers, allowing zero catches from 7 targets, Welch stood out as the best performing defensive back on a key day.
Welch's Spring Game performance was exactly what the doctor ordered after 2 seasons where LT sat out 9 of every possible 10 plays for both Acadiana High and LSU: he needed to be unleashed to truly showcase exactly what he can do....
Riding out a meager, typical freshman year for an SEC student-athlete (watching from the sidelines while also chipping in special teams), 2022 continued a streak of time on the sidelines;
Over a three year timeline (2019-2022), Welch established himself through elite level coverage play (#101 on ESPN's Top 300, #7 overall cornerback prospect), hoisted consecutive state championships in 2019 & 2020, picked off 6 interceptions as he broke up an additional 24 passes, yet he also endured a host of injury woes.
First suffering a torn meniscus before the 2020 season, holding him out of every game until the semifinals and state title game, 2021 would see the opposite circumstances:
Welch would be there for the first 10 games, helping Acadiana to an 8-2 record before being knocked out of the season with an ankle injury.
Now at LSU and staying injury-free for all of last fall, the Tigers' second year DB isn't merely hoping or praying for playing time....he's pushing for a starting role in 2023, making his ambitions no secret.
And with his ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ showing throughout LSU's 2023 Spring Game, Welch finally has the confidence boost & dominant afternoon he desperately needed to find his best form in purple & gold.
Being a longtime fan of LT Welch's game, we had to track him down to discuss his LSU and high school career, chances at playing time in 2023, as well as details on Welch's long term ambitions and goals:
LONN: How do you feel Spring went for you, LT??
LT WELCH: Spring went just how I wanted it to go. I competed and played to my full potential and I feel like I gave the coaches a reason why they should trust me.
LONN: Do you feel that trust from Coach Steeples is growing with how you've performed this spring???
LT WELCH: Yes, I just have to continue to elevate and get better and become that guy they can depend on....because how I look at it, I’m finna have a break out season and be the best Cornerback in the nation.
LONN: What's it going to take for you to reach that goal?
LT WELCH: In order for me to reach my goal, I have to put in work day in, day out to become the best version of myself.
LONN: You've got a ton of competition at the corner spots, JK, Denver, Zy, Toviano, Hughes, Chestnutt, but what makes you feel you're the best CB for this team right now??
LT WELCH: All those guys can bring a big piece to this team; as a group, we motivate each other...but I feel like I bring the energy and passion.
LONN: Has Coach Steeples helped you develop and elevate your game? And if so, what ways has he helped specifically??
LT WELCH: He helps me be more patient, because a patient corner is a great corner, and he is a great role model.
LONN: You can feel that energy and passion you bring on to the field, you could feel it during the Spring game where you had the most PBUs of anyone, as well as received the most targets your way and allowed zero catches.
What was your mindset going into the spring game??
LT WELCH: I been a playmaker since highschool and I love competing. My mindset was compete and the outcome will come.
LONN: That's right! What do you feel Is something missing from your game or needs to be improved to take you to the top?
LT WELCH: I just need to put it all together, that’s it.
LONN: Speaking of high school, In 2020 you were out the entire season until the title game right? And in that title game you had the pick on that final play: a do or die 2 point conversion. What does that play mean to you still to this day?
LT WELCH: Means a lot to make one of the biggest plays of the year.
LONN: It was the play of the season though, LT! That happened after you were out for quite some time hurt; what was that time like when you were out hurt in 2020 and 2021, and how did it motivate you??
LT WELCH: My love and passion for the game motivated me to get back to 100%.
LONN: How would you describe your freshman season last fall?
LT WELCH: My freshmen year was a learning year. Now it’s time to take off.
LONN: What is your ultimate goal this season?
LT WELCH: To become the best cornerback in the nation.
LONN: What is your ultimate goal for your career?
LT WELCH: My goal for my career is to be that lockdown corner.
LONN: Which teammates are you thinking are due for a breakout season?
LT WELCH: Greg Brooks Jr, Malik Nabers and Kyren Lacy.
LONN: Outside of football, what matters most to you?
LT WELCH: My family.
LONN: When you committed to the Tigers, there was a coaching change from Orgeron to Kelly; what made you keep your commitment to LSU firm despite the uncertainty at the time??
LT WELCH: I love LSU, I love my state, I just want to succeed and be that guy at LSU.
By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
©️ 2023 Uninterrupted Writings Inc