The Search Continues at LSU for Defensive Tackle

When spring football winded down, LSU head coach Brian Kelly stated that the Tigers will be actively searching for defensive tackles in the transfer portal.

The Tigers did get some big news in the spring as former Wisconsin defensive lineman Gio Paez announced his commitment to LSU so having him arrive in the fall is a huge pickup for the Tigers, but right now, the staff is actively continuing to try and sure up the interior of the defensive line that only has six scholarship interior players.

With 88 scholarship players on the team at the conclusion of spring football, LSU was going to have to thin out its roster in order to make room and get pivotal players at a position of need.

Eight players decided to enter their name in the transfer portal giving the Tigers the room needed in order to go out and get the players they want.

The players that are no longer with the program include TE Connor Gilbreath, EDGE Jaxon Howard, safety Ryan Yaites, CB Jeremiah Hughes, WR Khai Prean, LB Christian Brathwaite, and most recently, OL Jo Cryer and former five star RB John Emery Jr., who entered the portal earlier this week.

Currently, the addition of Paez is the only one for the Tigers through the spring window, but the Tigers are pulling all the stops in order to get some of the top defensive linemen available in the portal.

The Tigers certainly have their eyes on the number one defensive lineman in the portal in Simeon Barrow. The former Michigan State Spartan is just coming off an official visit with LSU in which he stayed in Baton Rouge for multiple days. During that time, Barrow got to experience Death Valley, the sights of the campus, and most importantly, how he will fit in with defensive line coach Bo Davis.

There is no questions that getting a guy like Barrow would be the biggest new addition for the program as the wily veteran had 110 career tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, two blocked field goals, one pass break-up, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery in 30 career starts during his four years in East Lansing.

Even though Barrow is certainly on the top of LSU’s list, he is still making his rounds with more visits coming up including Miami and Missouri.

As much as the Tigers want Barrow, they are not putting all their eggs in one basket as they also offered Kent State defensive tackle CJ West. Like Simeon Barrow, West is also one of the most coveted prospects in the transfer portal at the position already getting offers from Arkansas, Michigan, Wisconsin, Miami, Rutgers, Wisconsin, Kansas State, Indiana, Colorado, and Texas A&M.

West is also a veteran player with four years of experience as he had 110 tackles, including 19.5 for loss, and seven sacks in 36 games including 40 tackles and a pair of sacks this past fall.

A final third option the Tigers could be looking to in order to solve their interior problem is former TCU defensive lineman Damonic Williams, who finished his time in Fort Worth with 60 tackles, 9.5 TFL and 4.5 sacks. The honorable mention All-Big 12 selection is making his rounds as he is coming off visits to Oklahoma and Texas while having upcoming visits to Colorado, LSU, and Missouri with his trip to Baton Rouge coming on April 30th and May 1st.

In the next couple of weeks, make sure to keep an eye on these names to see if LSU can land them. If they can, it will definitely help answer one of the biggest questions on the Tigers’ roster.