10 impact newcomers for LSU football in 2022
First-year LSU head coach Brian Kelly arrived in December and readily recognized that the 2022 roster required a serious face lift. There were opportunities for players to come in and immediately assume significant reps.
The Tigers signed 15 prospects for the ’22 class and added 15 additional players through the portal. As expected, many of those transfers will be heavily counted upon.
Two areas of urgency, the offensive line and the secondary, needed to be addressed with proven starting-level talent. Kelly and his staff brought aboard three potential starters to each group.
Here are the top 10 newcomers who should play major roles for LSU this season.
SS Joe Foucha (5-10, 210) transfer from Arkansas.
The senior has played in 44 games for the Razorbacks with 33 starts, accumulating 231 tackles, 11.5 for losses, 17 pass breakups and five interceptions. The three star prospect in 2018 out of McDonogh 35 will be viewed as a leader tis season and will set the tone in the Tiger secondary. He was a team captain at Arkansas, looked upon as someone who brings leadership, energy and excitement to the squad. He was always jumping around and talking. He was called a “Little Honey Badger” by Razorback teammates.
DT Mekhi Wingo (6-0, 292) transfer from Missouri
The sophomore has a hot motor, uses hands very well and keeps feet moving. Last season, Wingo tallied 27 stops, two for losses and one sack. His big highlight was a 40-yard interception for a touchdown against North Texas. an explosive athlete with a high football IQ, he can line up anywhere along the defensive line. Wingo played for LSU cornerbacks coach Robert Steeples in high school where he was the Missouri Class 6A State Player of the Year as both a junior and senior.
RB Noah Cain (5-11, 225) transfer from Penn State
A junior this season, Cain is a tough runner between the tackles but also a good receiver out of backfield. He set a Penn State freshman rushing mark with eight rushing touchdowns, breaking the previous record held by D.J. Dozier and Saquon Barkley. He was the first Nittany Lion freshman to post consecutive 100-yard rushing games. Cain, a Baton Rouge native who prepped at IMG Academy, is a cousin of former LSU star Michael Clayton, who spent eight years in NFL. A four-star prospect in 2019, Cain was twice Academic All Big Ten. Injuries derailed his career arc in Happy Valley. Cain has great character.
LG Tre’Mond Shorts (6-5, 340) transfer from East Tennessee State
An experienced FCS All-american starter at left tackle, Shorts is hoping to impress in the SEC in 2022, his final season. A road grader, he is competing as a guard for the Tigers. He has career 41 starts (40 consecutive), spanning nearly 2,700 snaps. He has graded as a consistent pass blocker (90% in ’21; 76.3% as run blocker). As his size indicates, Shorts is a powerful blocker who creates space.
OL Miles Frazier (6-5, 325) transfer from Florida International
The redshirt sophomore was Freshman All American in ’21 as a left tackle. Frazier can line up at either guard or stackle but he looks to have been slotted at right guard coming out of spring. Considered the 22nd overall best transfer prospect this offseason, he drew offers from LSU, Ohio State and Florida State.
LT Will Campbell (6-6, 324) 2022 four star signee from Neville High
Maybe the biggest overall surprise during spring drills from start to finish, the early entry Tiger appears on track to be a true freshman starter after a strong collection of spring practices. Putting on a Tiger jersey was his childhood dream. Extremely mature and advance, Campbell has created sky high expectations that he could be another Andrew Whitworth, Lance “Big Daddy” Smith or Saahdiq Charles. All were freshmen who manned the left tackle spot at LSU, later advancing to the NFL. Campbell has done it before; he started as freshman at Neville and never left the field. He plays behind his pads and doesn’t allow his emotions to take him too high or too low. Very steady and technique sound, Campbell will only get better with reps.
CB Jarrick Bernard-Converse (6-2, 201) transfer from Oklahoma State
A senior this season, JBC could be the best overall addition coming from the transfer portal. Paying 51 games at Oklahoma State with 47 starts, he totaled 216 tackles, 24 pass breakups, seven for losses and four sacks. Very versatile and sharp, Bernard-Converse was twice named All Big 12 Academic. Pro Football Focus had him allowing only 50% passes completed in his area as an outside corner. The ex-Evangel Christian Academy star returns to Louisiana soil after leaving as a three-star prospect in 2018. A willing tackler with a nose for the ball, he recorded 14 stops vs. Texas Tech as a true freshman. Bernard-Converse is expected to be a leader in the locker room.
CB Greg Brooks, Jr. (5-9, 185) transfer from Arkansas
A senior in ’22, he prepped at West Jefferson. His father Greg played with Cincinnati Bengals. In 31 starts for the Hogs, the younger Brooks collected 112 tackles, 5.5 for losses, 12 pass breakups and four interceptions. He picked off a pass vs. Mississippi State and returned it 69 yards for score. Brooks will lend a wealth of experience to Tiger secondary thanks to over 1,700 defensive snaps in the SEC the past two seasons. He tops the depth chart at nickel corner.
QB Jayden Daniels (6-3, 180) transfer from Arizona State
The junior has a skill set unmatched in the talented LSU QB room. He is a legit running threat which Brian Kelly will utilize. Daniels played in 29 contests for Sun Devils, passing for 6,025 yards, 32 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. In 2021, he also ran for 710 yards. While at Cajon High in San Bernadino, Calif., he accounted for 14,007 passing yards and 170 touchdown passes, adding 3,645 yards on the ground and 41 scores (6.4 yards per carry). The dual threat should have a role in the LSU offense, be it as a starter or a change of pace quarterback. The defense will be forced to account for him as a runner. Selected as the 2019 Sun Bowl MVP, Daniels was 12 of 28 passing for 195 yards plus 12 carries for 36 yards in the 20-14 Sun Devils win. He is by far the most experienced college starter at the position on LSU’s roster.
OLB Harold Perkins (6-2, 220) five-star 2022 signee
A native of New Orleans, Perkins is considered the best player in the state of Texas and the crown jewel of the Tigers’ class. Much too talented to sit on the sideline this season, it’s only a matter of time for Perkins. Tiger fans are hopeful that his time in Baton Rouge could mirror that of a pair of renowned former linebackers in program history who excelled as true freshmen, Bradie James and Trev Faulk. Perkins plays with an attacking style, displaying impressive chase-down skills. He’s a sure open field tackler with 4.49 speed. Perkins can match up with a running back, wide receiver or tight end in coverage.
- < PREV Catholic High announces Sean Brady as head coach of Track and Field program
- NEXT > Ashley Brignac to enter Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame in Class of 2022
Born and raised in the New Orleans area, Rene Nadeau has been involved in sports ever since his earliest memories. Rene played basketball, wrestled, ran track, and was an All-District running back in football at John F. Kennedy High School. He went on to be a member of the LSU football program, developing a passion for the game in even…