LSU Football: The biggest recruiting challenge facing the Tigers’ 2022 class

Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /

LSU football is in the process of wrapping up the 2021 recruiting cycle, which means it’s about time for the program to shift its focus to the 2022 recruiting cycle.

Ed Orgeron and his staff put together a top-five 2021 recruiting class, but doing the same in 2022 could prove to be difficult.

It’s not because I’m suddenly doubting Coach O’s recruiting abilities.

It’s because of a particular challenge facing LSU during the 2022 recruiting cycle.

LSU football’s recruiting challenge in 2022

Part of the reason LSU has recruiting success on an annual basis is because of the incredible in-state talent the Tigers are able to land.

Most years, LSU has a key in-state five-star recruit that is the “centerpiece” of the recruiting class.

In 2021, that player was five-star defensive tackle Maason Smith. In 2020, it was five-star wide receiver Kayshon Boutte.

The 2019 in-state class was particularly ripe with talent. LSU landed two five-star in-state players — defensive back Derek Stingley and running back John Emery Jr.

In 2018, it was five-star wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr.

You get it. Five-star in-state talent is important to LSU’s recruiting success.

Unfortunately for the Tigers, there isn’t a five-star in-state recruit in the 2022 class.

The highest-rated player from Louisiana in the 2022 cycle is four-star offensive lineman Will Campbell, who is already committed to LSU. Campbell is a solid player, but he’s not a “centerpiece” type recruit.

That means there is no in-state five-star recruit that LSU can “count on” landing. If they’re going to land a five-star 2022 recruit, they’ll have to raid another state.

Now, it’s certainly possible that LSU will. The Tigers are in the mix for five-star defensive end Shemar Stewart, a Florida native. But it’s also very possible that LSU misses on Stewart and some of those other out-of-state five-star recruits (especially coming off a 5-5 season).

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The good news for LSU is that there’s still plenty of talent on the roster — even if the 2022 recruiting cycle doesn’t result in a top-five class for the Tigers.