When it comes to new faces, LSU relied heavily up front last year on the offensive line and because of that, new stars emerged in freshman All-SEC performers Will Campbell and Emery Jones, who both served as the blindside protectors to quarterbacks Jayden Daniels and Garrett Nussmeier all season long.
Because of that, the LSU offensive line has a chance to make the jump from being really good to elite. Recently coming off of the first spring practice, LSU head coach Brian Kelly commented that the offensive line is a little thin, but reinforcements are on the way and for the Tigers, those reinforcements are new faces either via the transfer portal or from the high school signing class.
From the high school class, the Tigers signed four new offensive linemen either from the home state of Louisiana or from Georgia.
The first high school player to sign in the early signing period was Eagles Landing Christian Academy four star offensive lineman DJ Chester. At 6’4, 315 pounds, Chester dazzles because of his frame, size, strength, athleticism, and versatility. Throughout his prep career, the Georgia native played three different positions among the offensive line at center, guard, and tackle.
Rated as the number nine offensive lineman in the country and the number nine overall player in the state of Georgia by On3, this dominant lineman chose the Tigers over Auburn, Florida State, and Ole Miss to name a few. Chester’s versatility is highly valued by LSU and gives the Tigers a great option at the two deep immediately because of that experience.
The second player to sign is also one of the nation’s highest regarded offensive linemen in Neville High School five star OT Lance Heard. At 6’6, 308 pounds, Heard was the Tigers’ highest graded player to come out of this top five 2023 recruiting class. Ranked as Louisiana’s number two overall player and number five tackle in the nation, Heard committed to the Tigers back on September 1st when he picked LSU over Florida, Florida State, Nebraska, and Houston.
Heard has the perfect frame of a big time SEC starting offensive tackle. The two-time All-State selection from Neville High School was absolutely dominant in high school as he had the almost unbeatable combination of size, strength, and athleticism to impose his will on opposing defensive linemen. To show how athletic the Monroe, Louisiana native is, he caught a touchdown in the Army All-American Bowl Game this past December. Heard rejoins his former teammate Will Campbell, who played opposite him at left tackle when he was a junior. Despite Campbell emerging as one of the SEC’s most elite left tackles, Heard has the ability and the confidence to compete for a starting spot early on. In fact, Heard told Kelly that he knows Will Campbell is starting at left tackle, but he is still confident that he will be the Tigers’ next left tackle.
The Tigers signed not only two high school players that could play tackle, but they signed a third in St. Augustine High School four star Tyree Adams. The 6’6, 282 pound offensive tackle does need to add weight to his frame in order to play in the tough SEC, but he displays all the other physical tools to be a shutdown left tackle. Rated as the number 14 player at his position nationally as well as the state of Louisiana’s number 11 overall prospect, Adams has the length and athleticism to be an outstanding pass protector while having the upside to improve as a run blocker.
Running backs coach Frank Wilson and offensive line coach Brad Davis were Adams’ lead recruiters and helped land the Purple Knight back in late July. The 1st Team All-District selection is looking to add his name of very successful St. Augustine graduates that have gone on to play at LSU and the NFL including previous stars Tyrann Mathieu and Leonard Fournette.
“I feel I can do that well and be the next great LSU Tiger to come out of Louisiana.”St. Augustine High School 4 Star OT Tyree Adams
The fourth high school offensive lineman to sign from the prep ranks is Buford High School three star Paul Mubenga. At 6’4, 291 pounds, Mubenga played for Georgia powerhouse Buford High School, which has won three state championships from 2019-2021 and has also produced two of LSU’s most successful long snappers in the Ferguson brothers. Mubenga can also develop to become a very nice tackle or guard under offensive line coach Brad Davis.
Mubenga has a lot of tremendous upside as he is still learning the game of football after coming over to the United States from Democratic Republic of the Congo. Growing up, Mubenga was used to playing soccer and did not start playing football until his freshman year of high school. In just over a couple of years, he has shown what he is capable of by receiving over 40 offers and choosing to commit to the Tigers in July over other big time programs such as Michigan, Texas A&M, and plenty of others.
Signing these four incredibly talented offensive linemen was indeed a huge haul for the Tigers’ coaches, but it did not mark the end of the program’s pursuit for elite offensive line talent as LSU also recently picked up a big addition from the transfer portal in Maryland transfer Mason Lunsford.
Lunsford brings plenty of veteran experience to add to the position group as he had started 26 games with the Terrapins as a two year starter. Last season, Lunsford started all 13 games at left guard and gives the Tigers a lot of experience after playing 1,670 offensive snaps in four years. Lunsford will have two years of eligibility remaining. The multi-year starter from the Big 10 chose LSU over Arkansas, Houston, Louisville, and others.
While the Tigers picked up five great pieces to add to an already great first team unit, expect the LSU coaching staff to continue to try and add more pieces up front throughout the spring.
To read more about the future Tigers, check out the rest of our “Meet LSU’s Latest Additions” articles below. Next up, I will talk about the newest defensive linemen to join the Tigers.