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TOP 10 TIGERS OF 2023: #6 CHARLES TURNER

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By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

FOLLOW ON X: @LonnPhillips


Following LSU's regular season finale victory over A&M on Senior Day, finishing 9-3 over 12 games, yet another season is in the books, the final fall of the SEC West before conference realignment begins next August.

With just one more game remaining in the distant future ahead, we now have a full picture of who stood out as the 10 best Tigers of 2023....without further explanation, we're going to dive right in, just as we've done every season in which we've covered the team:



2023 TOP 10 COUNTDOWN SO FAR


AND NOW....#6....


#6: CHARLES TURNER

Over the past two seasons of Mike Denbrock's offense, Heisman-winning QB Jayden Daniels' stratospheric improvement & explosive rise took iconic flight once Denbrock & JD5 found a groove with Brad Davis' young offensive line during the second half of 2022.

More specifically, once Daniels, Denbrock and Davis found their anchor at center, longtime LSU veteran, 2019 National Champion and human chill pill Charles Turner, LSU's offense slammed the gas pedal down in an offensive deluge.

Once Turner grabbed hold of the reins, leading the tip of the O-line spear as the Tigers' unquestioned starting center, as a solid starting corps fell into place around him, Mike Denbrock's offense became one of the most proficient, efficient and dominant offenses in recent college football memory.

Starting the last 25 games (only missing the Week 1 opener vs FSU in 2022), LSU's offense scored 40+ points during 14 of Turner's starts at center, galvanizing his young O-line through victories on the road against Auburn, Florida, Arkansas, Miss State, as well as a top 10 ranked Missouri squad, beating Alabama in 2022, A&M in 2023, while blocking for a pair of different quarterbacks (Daniels & Garrett Nussmeier) who threw for a combined 502 yards & 3 TDs against #1 Georgia during the 2022 SEC Championship Game; Then, this past season, Turner blocked & signalled for the Heisman-winning quarterback and #1 offense in America.

Leading the nation in scoring offense at 46.4 points per game (2 shy of 2019 LSU's average), ranking 1st in 3rd down efficiency (.567 conversion rate), passing TDs (40), yards per play (8.53), yards per game (560.2), nation-leading 8.4 yards per carry by Jayden Daniels (as well as 10.7 yards per play from the QB)......Turner is now one of only 2 Tigers who can claim to have taken snaps for both the 2019 and 2023 offensive juggernauts (John Emery Jr), as well as becoming the only Tiger to block for two different Heisman-winning quarterbacks at LSU...

All throughout 2023's efficient, dreamboat offense, Turner was an everpresent force, appearing in 689 snaps, allowing just 1 single sack, 9 total pressures, while posting the 3rd highest pass-blocking grade among Davis' 2023 O-line (77.8).

The senior center was an anchor, leader, and stalwart veteran Mike Denbrock and Jayden Daniels could trust in any situation, with college football's most potent offensive showcase running through his hands.

What's even more stunning....Charles Turner's LSU career might not be over just yet.

Containing a 6th season of eligibility due to the 2020 Covid year, Turner could actually return to the team, even after having a season where he was named an Outland / SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week recipient (among other honors), leading a juggernaut offense that challenged Burrow, Cushenberry & Co's 2019 records, snapping the ball to Heisman candidate Jayden Daniels, fronting an O-line unit replete with star power (Will Campbell, Emery Jones Jr, Lance Heard, Garrett Dellinger, Miles Frazier, etc), coming back for one more ride is looking to be an attractive offer for the 2019 National Champion.

I've heard the offensive line's additional importance protecting 1st year starter Garrett Nussmeier is a very attractive, nearly magnetic incentive for veterans like Turner or Dellinger to return.

We'll see if Turner remains at LSU rather than head for the NFL Draft, however, right now my money is on the center staying.....aiming to become one of the few LSU offensive linemen who can claim they've taken snaps for two different National Championship-winning teams.


By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

©️ 2023 Uninterrupted Writings Inc


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One of my favorite Tigers who is somewhat undervalued by the fan base. He has been a key player on our O line.

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Exactly why he's included in our Top 10 my dood Louis! He was a must when I first laid out the list. I didn't even second guess this list, although there's a few such as Garrett Dellinger or Greg Penn III who could've been among the 10, Penn made far too many mistakes in coverage or against the run. A few big plays later in the season don't erase that, because I went back and watched every game again to see if anything or anyone caught my eye. Which is why the top 4 players are all from our offense 😄 and only Swinson, Wingo and Perkins made the top 10 from our defense.

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