Tons of change happening over on the ponderosa this Spring. The transfer portal has beamed down lots of new faces. We are starting to get a glimpse of what that will look like for LSU in 2022. This blog will be looking at my Top 5 players (old or new) to have breakout seasons in 2022.
There are a good deal of Honorable Mentions to go over, but the question is "Did they already breakout?" Maason Smith is a great example. Yes I think he will be a start this year. But, in my opinion, he was a force last year already. Others on this list would include Malik Nabers, Jaquelin Roy, BJ Ojulari, Noah Cain, Joe Foucha, and even Jayden Daniels. We've seen them have good years already. And I actually do not have any transfers on this list. Maybe because I don't know some of them enough, but the ones I do know were already good.
#5 HAROLD PERKINS
True Freshman LB Harold Perkins makes the list at #5. All signs point to him being a guy that has to see the field. I could see a role for him much like one for Marcel Brooks or even Damone Clark in their freshman season. Get him on the field ands tell him "Son, go wreck some shit." One of the drawbacks will be some of the depth at LB (although it's not that deep). It may take a lot from him to be able to take a starting position but I think we see enough flashes from him to know that he is a star in 2022.
#4 WILL CAMPBELL
Another True Freshman (and last) makes the list at #4 in Will Campbell from Neville High School. This kid is an absolute monster and has all the makings of a big-time LT for LSU. He is already getting reps with the 1st team in the Spring and I would look for that to carry over to the Fall as well. He has Freshman All-American written all over him, and while we have depth at OL, we seem to have a few guys that have not made the leap over the last couple of years. This lets a guy like Campbell step right in and solidify a position of need for LSU for the next 3-4 years.
#3 BRIAN THOMAS JR.
Sophomore Brian Thomas Jr. comes in at #3. With the WR room completely loaded, this was a tough one. Obviously Kayson is the guy. After that I see a mix of Nabers, Bech, Thomas, Lacy, Jenkins and Hilton, which is a ton of talent in the WR room. I absolutely LOVE all of these guys, but I can see a guy like Brian Thomas establishing himself as the next breakout star in the way Boutte did at the end of 2020. But can I just reiterate how fucking loaded this WR room is again?
#2 GREG PENN III
After I saw Greg Penn III come in the game at Ole Miss last year, I knew he was going to be a star. He just looked the part. It's only a matter of time for him to take over one of the LB positions and dominate. Strong, fast, great instincts make him a player that is on the verge of greatness this year. Penn along with Mike Jones (don't you fucking dare do it), West Weeks, Antoine Sampah, Phillip Webb, and newcomer Harold Perkins make the LB room look very promising. I would not be surprised to see another portal guy enter this room after the Spring, but I still look for Penn to start and possibly dominate in 2022.
#1 JOHN EMERY JR.
Yes he's a Senior. Yes everyone knows who he is and what he is capable of doing. Yes we have seen flashes. This year....he takes it to a whole new level (where rhythm is the bass and the bass is the treble). I think we have an absolute star on our hands this year. I'm talking All-SEC level, 1st Round NFL level. This is the epitome of a breakout star. Get your popcorn ready.
Just writing this blog gets me fucking excited. Let's have a Wednesday!