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OMAR SPEIGHTS 2023 PROFILE

Updated: Jul 6, 2023

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Photo by Gus Stark, LSU Athletics

By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

FOLLOW US @LonnPhillips


In a story broken by LSUOdyssey, senior linebacker Omar Speights provided the exact profile defensive coordinator / LBs Coach Matt House needed among his young squad.....an experienced, elder presence that was noticeably absent following the NFL departures of Micah Baskerville, Jay Ward, BJ Ojulari, Ali Gaye, and Jaquelin Roy.

Requiring a strong veteran "base of operations" compliment next to incoming sophomore Harold Perkins' roaming playmaking or Greg Penn III's methodical, reliable tackling, DC Matt House touched base with a player he nearly signed at Kentucky: Omar Speights.

Alamy

Possessing the right resume, Speights was a key leader for Oregon State's defense, appearing across 772 snaps (2nd most defensively), piling up 83 and 87 tackles over his past 2 years (team-leading 43 stops in 2022), showcasing his knack for finishing plays with the ball carrier eating grass more often than not.

If you needed to hear firm examples of his pass rushing / havoc-causing prowess, last fall Speights also produced 15 QB pressures (11 hurries, 4 QB hits), 13 tackles for loss, plus a pair of fumble recoveries.

In the seasons prior, the Philadelphia native piled up 25 TFLs and 5 total sacks (involved in creating 9, according to PFF), stemming from his 38 overall pressures.

When wondering about his coverage strengths or weaknesses, the Oregon St transfer allowed just 1 TD from 41 targets, surrendering 32 catches for 241 yards with a long of 53....

....Speights was tested frequently in coverage, giving up 8.7 per catch, 10th lowest among 2022 Beavers' defenders. There were only 2 other Oregon St players who limited their opponents to fewer yards on average (while receiving more than 12 targets).

Over his 4 years in Corvalis, Omar also stole 3 interceptions while breaking up 4 passes.....however, some wonder if his versatile, impactful skill set within the Pac 12 will translate to the SEC gridiron.

LSU have seen some fascinating transfer portal additions on defense over the past 4 seasons, the Tigers even secured the signatures of a few game changers during that time frame, yet we haven't always seen things work out for transfer linebackers arriving down South from outside of the SEC.

Opposition speed is one glaring factor that continues to hurt first year SEC transfer defenders most, specifically when offenses work the short passing game over the middle, attacking coverage-susceptible linebackers.

SEC quarterbacks and their coordinators will test the Pac 12 defector each and every game through the air & on the ground with edge runs, forcing Omar's side to side range to bend to its maximum; Accordingly, Speights' tracking know-how, pace, and coverage talents will be hot under a microscope in 2023.

LSU don't need their transfer linebacker to amass over 100 tackles and 5 sacks for him to become an exceptionally valuable Tiger this fall, as Brian Kelly's squad prepares to contend for a National Championship:

Speights' age, experience, and production combo made him the right target, but his gregarious personality has made him the perfect fit among LSU's star-studded locker room.
On a young defense full of second year or inexperienced third year players, all of whom recently lost multiple leaders to the NFL Draft, a "take no prisoners" vocal leader & "been there, done that" mensch like Omar Speights looks to be a home run signing, regardless of maximum on field production; The psychological edge, consistency, and intense confidence he'll provide young playmakers like Harold Perkins or Maason Smith could be priceless.

By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

FOLLOW US @LonnPhillips

©️ 2023 UNINTERRUPTED WRITINGS INC

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1 Comment


I don’t think his move to the SEC will make any difference. The really good players with physicality can play anywhere including the NFL. He is ready to be a force.

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