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LSU EARLY ENROLLEES ARRIVE THIS WEEKEND

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By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

@LonnPhillips


As final touches are prepared for their impending move to campus, Brian Kelly's 2023 class welcomed 13 early enrollees this weekend, headlined by some potential candidates for starting jobs or high-contributing roles.

Last year, freshmen like Will Campbell arrived as an early enrollee, primed for an immediate impact.

While other high impact freshmen, such as Harold Perkins, Emery Jones, and Mason Taylor arrived later in June, those three players are rare; an early start is often necessary for maximum year one impact, specifically when talking about out of state Tigers.

Becoming acclimated to your new state, city, community, and surroundings can take some young men longer than others.

The more time spent getting to know the people, places, and program is always a benefit rather than any hindrance.

Which 2023 Tigers will be ready for an All-SEC debut showing in year one wearing the purple and gold???
Which 2023 Tigers will take a little longer to deliver on the promise of their high school days???

We go through the list of 13 early enrollees:


RYAN YAITES

(Guyer, TX)

Safety/DB


Just the second Tiger to commit in the entire 2023 class, do-it-all DB Ryan Yaites eschewed dedicated advances from Marcus Freeman's Notre Dame and Brent Venables' Oklahoma (among a host of others) to join DBU.

One of the most versatile defenders of his class, Yaites holds all the promise, potential and defensive pedigree to become a certified great in purple and gold.

After a brilliant high school career at Guyer, Yaites is starting over for the first time in 4 years, learning under Safeties Coach Kerry Cooks while studying alongside veterans Major Burns & Greg Brooks Jr.

As a senior at Guyer, Yaites posted 63 tackles, 11 pass breakups and 2 interceptions, recorded 42 tackles and 8 pass breakups in 2021 throughout his junior season (Guyer reached that year's 6A Division II State title game), all while leading a squad that only lost 3 games in 2 calendar years.


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MICHAEL DAUGHERTY

(Grayson, GA)

Safety


The first player to hop aboard LSU's 2023 recruiting class, Grayson High's former safety Michael Daugherty remains enthusiastic as ever over his arrival in Baton Rouge.

Backed by a family who continuously show their love for the purple & gold, Daugherty is ready to start improving & polishing his game under Safeties Coach Kerry Cooks.

Despite suffering a season-ending injury during the 4th game of 2022, Daugherty racked up 24 tackles, 3 pass break ups, and recovered a fumble.

Daugherty's last full season came as a junior in fall 2021, a lengthy spell of solidified safety play: 91 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss and 4 sacks.....

King Mikey (his Mom will slap me upside the head if i don't call him "King") also won a state championship as a sophomore at Grayson in 2020. At the highest level of Georgia football, Grayson went undefeated with a 14-0 record, all while Daugherty racked up 46 tackles and an interception throughout that campaign.

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MAC MARKWAY

(DeSmet, MO)

Tight End

One of the least fretted over 2023 commitments must be Mac Markway: no he hasn't been ignored, or suffered lower ratings, poor play, or another injury....he's been lost in the shuffle due to the reliability of his recruitment.

Once he committed, he was staying at LSU no matter who pursued the tight end.

Just like current Tiger Mekhi Wingo, Markway is a former player of Robert Steeples' title-winning team at De Smet High School.....and just like Wingo, Markway is cut from the same cloth:

Benching 410 pounds, stating his desire to wear the #18 jersey, befriending, encouraging & even recruiting his fellow classmates....Markway is the point where high character & high football IQ intersect.

Immediately "outta the gate", Mac has close connections and a familiar face in Steeples, though he also received plenty of prior recruiting from Brian Kelly, his TE specialist son Patrick, and Offensive Assistant Dean Petzing at Notre Dame, setting the stage for an SEC-led turning of the tables.

Mac already believed in Kelly's ability to maximize his skill-set toward an NFL ascendancy, now he's even more hungry & eager with his favored Head Coach quickly establishing strong winning roots at an SEC powerhouse, beating 10 teams in year one, ultimately making an SEC title game for the first time since Burrow and co's 2019 escapades.

Although he missed his entire senior season due to injury, Markway is a legitimate near 5 star talent carrying boundless potential if he can continue to stay healthy.


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JALEN BROWN

(Gulliver Prep, FLA)

Wide Receiver


Blessed & possessed by blazing pace, Jalen Brown caught 56 passes, just under 1,033 receiving yards and 11 TDs in 2021, followed by 400+ yards and 3 scores through 6 games this past fall.....it's easy to understand why he's a 5 star rated talent.

Finding our attention as a sophomore in 2020, Brown exploded for 27.8 yards per catch from 18 receptions, 500 receiving yards and 8 TD catches in just 6 appearances (9 total TDs).....and from that point on, there was no looking back for Mr. Speedway.

Overall, Brown caught 111 passes for 2, 396 yards and 25 TDs across his Gulliver Prep career, aiming to be a significant deep ball / big play threat for LSU....perhaps sooner rather than later.


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WHIT WEEKS

(Oconee, GA)

Linebacker


The younger brother of current Tiger West Weeks, Oconee High jack-of-all-trades LB Whit Weeks arrives on campus ready to compete for a spot alongside or even against his own flesh and blood.

Weeks has an incredible motor, running back's vision, elite tackling ability, improving coverage skills and most of all: the right mentality.

Maybe it will take a year for Weeks to fill out & find his footing at the collegiate level, however, expect his sophomore and junior seasons to become a surprising, intriguing proving ground.


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DASHAWN WOMACK

(St Frances Academy, MD)

Defensive Line



A versatile, nasty defender possessing frenetic athleticism, length and the potential to play any technique or position along the defensive front.

Among LSU's highest quality signings for 2023, the Maryland man will arrive this weekend for his first days as a Tiger.....and during an off-season where the Tigers lost top round Draft pick Jaquelin Roy & could still lose DT Jacobian Guillory to the transfer portal, it goes without saying: LSU Nation, & of course Womack's DL Coach Jamar Cain, are both excited to welcome Womack on roster.


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JAVIEN TOVIANO

(Martin High, TX)

Cornerback


The next DBU superstar???

Too far....let's back it up a bit.

Could he be the next successful freshman starting corner for DBU, following in the footsteps of Eli Ricks from 2020 (4 INTs, 2 INT TD returns), Derek Stingley Jr in 2019 (6 INTs, 1 FR) and studs such as Greedy Williams, Morris Claiborne, and Tre'Davious White???

Too much, too soon???

As magnetic to the ball as he is enigmatic off the field, Toviano can be that DBU superstar the Tigers haven't had since the portal departure of Dwight McGlothern.

Although Steeples has reloaded his room with transfer veterans, Toviano has the ability to heavily contribute or start in year 1.

Capturing 2 interceptions as a senior, both returned for touchdowns, adding 38 tackles and 2 forced fumbles, Javien's presence terrified quarterbacks, receiving little target action his way. Offensively, Toviano was effective as well, 41 rushes for 415 yards and 8 rushing scores....not just an experimental, developmental season playing running back, Toviano won games for Martin High from the backfield.

Could he win games for LSU in 2023, shutting down receivers out wide???

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JAXON HOWARD

(Robbinsdale, MINN)

Defensive End


One of the highest character Tigers Brian Kelly recruited this cycle, Howard is equally efficient at blowing up plays, disrupting the backfield and burying quarterbacks.

It won't reflect upon his elite level if he doesn't receive a ton of snaps in year one. Jamar Cain's defensive end room is suddenly crowded again after LSU grabbed 4 veteran defensive linemen via the portal, plus, roster returnees like Saivion Jones and Quency Wiggins appear on the cusp of breaking through.

But that won't stop Jaxon from pushing to play as much as he possibly can in year one.

At Robbinsdale, Howard wasn't just the #1 rated player out of Minnesota, he continuously made the difference for his team:

Wrapping up 103 tackles as a defensive lineman is beyond impressive, but so was his versatility at tight end. If you haven't heard of him already, it's about time you sit back and watch some of this young master's film: Jaxon is likely to be a future wrecking ball at LSU.


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TREY HOLLY

(Union Parish, LA)

Running Back


Now holding the Louisiana High School all-time rushing record with a ridiculous 10,523 yards, scoring 146 of his 160 total touchdowns on the ground....breaking LSU staffer Nick Brossette's record by over 2,000 yards in his senior year.....it goes without saying, running back Trey Holly arrives at LSU already among the program's most decorated high school signings in some time.

Holly also guided Union Parish to the state title game in his final year, putting the team on his back and navigating through one defender after another, creating missed tackles with outrageous moves, bullish battering ram hits, bursts of violent pace between the lines or off the edge......

His reputation proceeds him: Holly is the complete back and a major asset for LSU going forward.


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JACKSON MCGOHAN

(Miamisburg, Ohio)

TE


Jackson McGohan's commitment may have came out of nowhere or as a surprise to some, but why would it????

When LSU are becoming known as the top Tight End School in America (especially after watching TEs Thaddeus Moss, Jack Bech and Mason Taylor tune up Saban's Alabama in the last 4 years) everyone wants in on the action:

In a room that will be locked and loaded with prime NFL prospect talents over the next three seasons (Mason Taylor, Mac Markway, Ka'Morreun Pimpton, Tayvion Galloway) Jackson fits right in:

Cobbling together 941 yards and 11 TDs from 52 catches last season within the Greater Western Ohio Conference, McGohan's 6'3 length and 232 pound heft will no doubt attract Head Coach Brian Kelly & Offensive Coordinator Mike Denbrock's keen interest.


RICKIE COLLINS JR

(Woodlawn, LA)

Quarterback


When history judges Louisiana's historic 2023 quarterback class, the record will show Eli Holstein went to Alabama, Arch Manning headed for Texas, Reese Mooney to Liberty, and overlooked gem Rickie Collins flipped his Purdue commitment so he could join the Tigers, becoming LSU's lone 2023 signal caller.

The move excited the fanbase, specifically longtime proponents of Collins. In the end, Collins, Holstein and Manning all chose other schools before QBs Coach Joe Sloan circled back and recruited Rickie with everything he had in his soul.

LSU's recruitment of Woodlawn's Rickie Collins was both epic and desperate: Kelly's Tigers needed a quarterback for their 2023 class.

In turn, Rickie needed to be a Tiger.

But as for Rickie playing in 2023, ready for SEC play straight out of the gates???

Not so fast...just as his recruitment took many twists and turns before coming to fruition, Collins is a project for the future:

Rickie has all the tools to be an elite quarterback at the collegiate level, however he'll be forced to wait this season behind senior Jayden Daniels & red shirt sophomore Garrett Nussmeier, barring transfer & serious injury.


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JEREMIAH HUGHES

(Bishop Gorman, NV)

Cornerback