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MASON TAYLOR 2024 PROFILE

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In 2022, LSU tight end Mason Taylor arrived on campus that May as a freshman, and without needing Spring or early enrollment to prepare, quickly became the team's #1 tight end and 2nd leading pass catcher, trailing only 6th overall pick receiver Malik Nabers.

During his freshman year, Mason hauled in 38 catches from 55 targets (also 2nd to Nabers) equaling 414 yards, 3 TDs, and topping it all off with a historic, game-winning 2 point conversion reception in overtime over Alabama.

As a debutant, Taylor was Heisman QB Jayden Daniels' safety net (outside of his legs), constantly relieving pressure on the backfield with his outlet catching in the flat or over the middle, taking nasty hits as he earned hard yards, often setting up scoring drives for the Tigers' conservative 2022 offensive setup.

Who could forget his heads up play vs Florida State, in his debut??

Rather than selfishly diving for the end zone like a chicken with its head cut off, Taylor sprawled for the out of bounds line to preserve an untimed down on the clock. After an eternal review process, it worked, and LSU were able to score what should've been a game-tying touchdown.

Instead, on the next snap, Taylor missed a key block and the Seminoles rejected the PAT try, ending the game right then and there.

The freshman learned some tough lessons, yet overall was a complete gem for the Tigers' 2022 SEC Championship run.

Most of all, that performance against Alabama made Taylor a household name, following right alongside his Hall of Fame father's footsteps, catching a 4th quarter touchdown and the aforementioned 2 point conversion vs the Tide....images of #86 bouncing up and down with teammates in celebration, as the entirety of Death Valley emptied out on to the field, will live forever in LSU & college football lore.

On the cusp of 2023, Taylor's second season at LSU, the Florida-native made all the preseason watch lists, attracting the attention of NFL scouts & GMs aplenty after his big game freshman heroics.

Then, the rise of 1st round receivers Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr, as well as Kyren Lacy (7 TDs in 2023), prevented Taylor from reaching or eclipsing his debutant heights.

In 2023, the LSU offense took full advantage of their blistering receiver talent & Daniels' progression as a deep ball passer and became a high flying juggernaut, Nabers & Thomas combining for 31 TDs and nearly 3,000 yards as the Tigers fielded the best offense in the country.

As a sophomore, Taylor still played a key role as the team's starting tight end, bringing down 36 catches from 47 targets for 348 yards, while scoring 1 crucial TD against Missouri.

All numbers were down from year one to year two, as Taylor found himself in pass blocking situations more often than running routes. He adapted well, performed at a high level for the team in his more limited role, and selflessly helped LSU record their 2nd greatest offensive season in program history.

Now, as Garrett Nussmeier takes over the starting quarterback job, there is a lot of evidence to support a revival for Taylor in his 3rd year:

When Nuss started his first game as a Tiger vs Wisconsin this past January, he leaned on Taylor constantly, distributing the ball without hesitation to his big tight end target. Taylor responded by racking up a season high showing (regarding targets, receptions, as well as yards: 7 targets, 7 catches & 88 yards).

Let's not forget, it was also Joe Sloan and Cortez Hankton's first game calling plays as Co-Offensive Coordinators, and both featured Taylor prominently within their offensive gameplan....while both Nabers and Thomas Jr were still on the field for LSU.

Increasingly more physical than ever before (bullying defenders after the catch throughout Spring), far more versatile following a reduced blocking role last year, while holding 4th quarter / "game on the line" nerves of steel in his back pocket, plus when you consider LSU's unknown producers at receiver, his strong relationship with his quarterback, and offensive coordinators who trust him, Taylor should not only be an expected key Tiger in 2024, the towering #86 could once again be LSU's big game finisher.

By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

©️ 2024 Uninterrupted Writings Inc

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Really looking forward to seeing him profiled this year. Let’s get him involved like Brock Bowers was at Georgia.

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