LSU Football: Tigers’ new offensive staff plans to utilize tight end position

Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports /

LSU football likely won’t have stud tight end Arik Gilbert in 2021, but that doesn’t mean the Tigers are going to forget about the tight end position.

(Note: Gilbert officially entered the transfer portal earlier this year. He announced his intentions to transfer to Florida, but he recently “decommitted” from the Gators. It’s unclear if LSU would still be an option for Gilbert, but it seems unlikely that he’ll return to Baton Rouge.)

New LSU passing game coordinator DJ Mangas spoke at the Coaches Caravan on Wednesday evening and he made it clear that the Tigers will be looking to utilize the tight end position in 2021.

Mangas specifically pointed out one player that could be a big part of LSU’s offense moving forward.

Will LSU football utilize Kole Taylor in 2021?

Kole Taylor, a former three-star tight end who signed with the Tigers during the 2020 recruiting cycle, didn’t see a lot of action in 2020 as a true freshman, thanks to the presence of Gilbert.

Taylor caught six passes for 36 yards last season. Five of those receptions came after Gilbert opted out of the 2020 season.

In 2021, Mangas envisions using Taylor, 6-foot-7/243 lbs, to create mismatches.

According to Mangas, the tight end position is the best way to create mismatches on the field (via Brooks Kubena). He also noted that Taylor “shows a lot of promise” and has the “mentality” to be a big part of the Tigers’ offensive success (he also said Taylor “just needs the build”).

It would be unwise to expect Taylor to perform like Gilbert (who is an athletic freak unlike anything we’ve ever seen). But I wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes a key target for Myles Brennan in the passing game.

Next. New LSU assistant wants linebackers to play fast. dark

The Tigers’ offense is going to look a lot like it did under Joe Brady in 2019, but there will be a few new wrinkles, too. Mangas and offensive coordinator Jake Peetz are going to make the LSU offense their own.