LSU football might’ve landed the next great pass rusher in the SEC during the 2020 recruiting cycle.
LSU football struck gold when they landed four-star defensive end BJ Ojulari during the 2020 recruiting cycle.
Ojulari, 6-foot-3/220 lbs, was rated in 247Sports’ composite rankings as the No. 12 player in the state of Georgia and the No. 83 overall player in the nation.
As a recruit, 247Sports writer Charles Power noted that Ojulari possessed “high level combination of athleticism with the ability to convert speed to power off the edge”. Power suggested that Ojulari could be a multi-year starter at the Power-5 level and could end up being an early round NFL draft selection.
So far, his analysis seems to be spot on — at least according to Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron.
Ojulari, who is an early enrollee at LSU, has only gone through a couple of spring practices, but he’s already catching Coach O’s eye.
After the Tigers’ practice on Tuesday, Orgeron told reporters “He’s (Ojulari) just so athletic”.
Coach O added, “Today in pass rush, he had two wins against the first team…..he’s very strong. He’s very mature. He just has all the makings of being a great end. He’s perfect for the 4-3.”
I know it’s probably not wise to hype a true freshman who hasn’t played a down yet — and I’m sure there will be some ups-and-downs for Ojulari — but he’s in a perfect situation to have a lot of success at LSU.
Ojulari has elite speed for a defensive end (he reportedly runs the 40 yard dash in 4.78 seconds) and he has freakish athleticism (42.6 inch vertical leap). Those are the kind of attributes that new Tigers defensive coordinator Bo Pelini is looking to feature in his “attacking” style defense.
Of course, the big question is how much of an impact will Ojulari make as a true freshman?
He obviously has the talent to be a star in the SEC. But when will his time come?
I actually think he could make a big impact in 2020. LSU has some players with more experience that will play at defensive end (converted tight end TK McLendon, Justin Thomas, Andre Anthony), but with the move from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense, every position is essentially up for grabs.
Ojulari going through spring practice is a huge advantage for him. By this fall, I could easily see him as a key part of LSU’s defensive end rotation.
And once Ojulari starts seeing significant time on the field, it’s going to be hard to keep him off the field.
I have a feeling Pelini is going to have a lot of fun terrorizing opposing offenses with Ojulari for the next several years.