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MASON TAYLOR 2023 PROFILE

By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

FOLLOW US @LonnPhillips


It's not always easy being the son and nephew of NFL Hall of Famers, specifically if you're following in the footsteps of their career path;

It's definitely not easy arriving at LSU as a freshman tight end, with plenty of expectation resting on your shoulders to fortify the Tigers' depleted TEs room.....and still, after a rocky start, Mason Taylor made his debut season look effortless at times:

Finishing as the Tigers' 3rd leading receiver in targets (55), yards (414) and receptions (38), St Thomas Aquinas' former standout also scored an incredible lead-taking touchdown vs Alabama with 1:47 left on the clock, before ultimately catching the game winning two point conversion in overtime....a pair of historic, already iconic, crystalline moments which have quickly etched his name, image and likeness upon the annals of LSU Tiger lore...only 14 games into his career.

Though his receiving game needs improvement, Taylor was extremely reliable and available for an outfit without a deep or talented tight end room, playing 843 offensive snaps, an outrageous amount for any debutant (only QB Jayden Daniels and freshmen OL Will Campbell and Emery Jones featured in more).

Because of his 2022 durability, much like Mekhi Wingo, Taylor played through a shoulder injury for his team, requiring offseason surgery and a spring shutdown (interestingly, Mason missed spring as a freshman, too, though only due to his May high school graduation).

Outside of an early spring Jacques Doucet interview or a recent photo in uniform alongside TEs Jackson McGohan and Gabe Leonards, we haven't seen much of 2022's freshman phenom.

Wisely, Head Coach Brian Kelly and Offensive Coordinator Mike Denbrock kept the NFL bloodliner out of action to avoid further, avoidable complications with his shoulder.

After a massive snap count as a freshman, sustaining injury through an enhanced workload and litany of high stress, high contact plays against the nation's best defenses, there's no question it was the right move to keep Mason out of the Spring firing line.....LSU already know who they have in Taylor:

From the moment he made a mature-beyond-his-years move by diving out of bounds vs Florida State, preserving one final play, Brian Kelly knew he had something special cooking.

LSU's star tight end became a more seasoned blocker & grew from early season fan criticism into a bona fide threat in the passing game. Right as the Tigers hit their stride @ Florida & at home vs top 10 Ole Miss and Alabama, Taylor produced key moments throughout all three critical wins, scoring against the latter two.

To end his first season at LSU, Taylor delivered a gutty outing in Atlanta during the SEC Championship Game, reeling in 63 yards alongside 6 catches vs National Champions Georgia.

Mason answered that mature performance by exploding against Purdue for a season-high 88 yards, 5 catches and his 3rd touchdown of the season.

Proven as a Tiger starter, heading into 2023, Taylor will be expected to lead a very raw tight end room as the guy....and we already know he's up for the task.

Much like other banged up 2022 starters Head Coach Brian Kelly held out of Spring, Taylor is another Tiger who just needs to be healthy and available by fall camp.

While we don't know if LSU's tight ends will continue to receive a near equal target load compared to Cortez Hankton's deep receiving room, if available, there's a mountain of evidence to support Mason Taylor's continued presence as a key every down Tiger for a second year running.


By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

©️ 2023 Uninterrupted Writings Inc

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Worlds of opportunity with this young man.

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