What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time for SEC Media Days, LSU was predicted by the media to finish fifth in the SEC West and only four players were selected to be placed on the Preseason All-SEC team, but Brian Kelly and the Tigers defied expectations and won the SEC West in 2022.
Now, fast forward a year later, the Tigers look to repeat going to the SEC Championship Game, but this time, with a lot more expectations. At SEC Media Days in Nashville, LSU earned 117 1st place votes trailing only Alabama with 165 1st place votes in the division.
Not only is LSU projected by the media to have a top three finish in the SEC, but plenty of more individual recognition is being shown to some of the Tigers’ top players heading into 2023, especially at the most important position.
It is very rare for a LSU quarterback to earn 1st Team All-SEC Preseason honors. In fact, the last Tiger quarterback to be named Preseason 1st Team All-SEC was Tommy Hodson, but the streak has ended as Jayden Daniels has been named Preseason 1st Team All-SEC after a great first season in Baton Rouge. Statistically, it was the second-best season by a LSU quarterback only behind Joe Burrow as the Arizona State transfer accounted for the second most total yards by a LSU quarterback (3,798) in a single season. Also, his 885 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns were single season records.
In a deep, talented receiver room, Nabers turned out to be Daniels’ favorite target after he led the SEC in catches with 72 while also finishing second in the conference in yards with 1,017.
A big key to LSU’s success was the number of offensive freshmen that stepped up big for the Tigers in 2022. Campbell and Emery Jones, who was picked third team Preseason All-SEC, made up the first freshmen offensive tackle duo to start 25 combined games.
Mason Taylor, who also broke-out his freshman season in 2022, earned 2nd Team Preseason All-SEC honors after he set freshman school records for most catches (38) and yards (414) by a freshman tight end, but he is most remembered for catching the game winning two-point conversion against Alabama to help send the Tigers to the SEC Championship game.
Defensively, another big play freshman from last season leads the way on the Preseason All-SEC team as linebacker Harold Perkins earned 1st Team honors after making 1st Team last season. Perkins was an offense’s worst nightmare last season as he had 7.5 sacks and 13 tackles for loss including a record breaking four sack performance against Arkansas last season.
He is joined by two of his defensive linemen counterparts on the first team in Mekhi Wingo and Maason Smith. Smith was injured last season in the first game against Florida State and had to miss the rest of the season because of a torn ACL injury, but the former five-star product has the talent to take over games. The guy that took over his spot was no slouch last season as Wingo was coming off an All-American season with 47 tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks.
The fourth and final LSU defender to make the Preseason All-SEC team list is safety Major Burns, who enters his third year as a starter with 63 tackles and an interception.
With the number of individual talent represented on the SEC Preseason teams, there is no wonder why there are high expectations for the Tigers in 2023.
2023 PRESEASON MEDIA DAYS ALL-SEC TEAM
QB – Jayden Daniels, LSU
RB – Quinshon Judkins, Ole Miss
RB – Raheim Sanders, Arkansas
WR – Malik Nabers, LSU
WR – Ladd McConkey, Georgia
TE – Brock Bowers, Georgia
OL – JC Latham, Alabama
OL – Amarius Mims, Georgia
OL – Tate Ratledge, Georgia
OL – Will Campbell, LSU
C – Sedrick Van Pran, Georgia
QB – KJ Jefferson, Arkansas
RB – Jase McClellan, Alabama
RB – Kendall Milton, Georgia
WR – Antwane Wells, South Carolina
*WR – Bru McCoy, Tennessee
*WR – Ja’Corey Brooks, Alabama
TE – Mason Taylor, LSU
OL – Tyler Booker, Alabama
OL – Brady Latham, Arkansas
OL – Javon Foster, Missouri
OL – Xavier Truss, Georgia
C – Seth McLaughlin, Alabama
*QB – Joe Milton III, Tennessee
*QB – Will Rogers, Mississippi State
RB – Jarquez Hunter, Auburn
RB – Trevor Etienne, Florida
WR – Ainias Smith, Texas A&M
WR – Jermaine Burton, Alabama
TE – Trey Knox, South Carolina
OL – Emery Jones Jr., LSU
OL – Eli Cox, Kentucky
OL – Javontez Spraggins, Tennessee
OL – Layden Robinson, Texas A&M
C – Cooper Mays, Tennessee
DL – Mekhi Wingo, LSU
DL – Mykel Williams, Georgia
DL – Maason Smith, LSU
DL – Nazir Stackhouse, Georgia
LB – Dallas Turner, Alabama
LB – Harold Perkins Jr., LSU
LB – Jamon Dumas-Johnson, Georgia
DB – Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama
DB – Malaki Starks, Georgia
DB – Kamari Lassiter, Georgia
DB – Javon Bullard, Georgia
DL – Jaheim Oatis, Alabama
DL – McKinnley Jackson, Texas A&M
DL – Justin Eboigbe, Alabama
DL – Deone Walker, Kentucky
LB – Smael Mondon, Georgia
LB – Nathaniel Watson, Mississippi State
LB – Ty’Ron Hopper, Missouri
DB – Malachi Moore, Alabama
DB – Dwight McGlothern, Arkansas
DB – Demani Richardson, Texas A&M
DB – Kris Abrams-Draine, Missouri
DL – Princely Umanmiellen, Florida
DL – Tonka Hemingway, South Carolina
DL – Tim Smith, Alabama
DL – Darius Robinson, Missouri
LB – Chris Braswell, Alabama
LB – Jalon Walker, Georgia
LB – JJ Weaver, Kentucky
DB – Major Burns, LSU
DB – D.J. James, Auburn
DB – Nehemiah Pritchett, Auburn
DB – Jason Marshall, Florida
P – Kai Kroeger, South Carolina
PK – Will Reichard, Alabama
LS – Kneeland Hibbett, Alabama
KOS – Mitch Jeter, South Carolina
RS – Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama
AP – Ainias Smith, Texas A&M
P – Oscar Chapman, Auburn
PK – Alex McPherson, Auburn
LS – William Mote, Georgia
RS – Tulu Griffin, Mississippi State
AP – Dakereon Joyner, South Carolina