LSU football signed 23 players during the 2021 recruiting cycle, but one of those players is reportedly no longer with the program.
247Sports’ Sonny Shipp reported on Sunday that tight end Jalen Shead left the program after his first day with the team.
According to Shipp, Shead left the program because he was “homesick”.
Shead, who was rated as a three-star recruit, is from Olive Branch, MS. He didn’t visit LSU prior to signing with the Tigers because of COVID-19 restrictions.
What does this mean for LSU football?
Shead, 6-foot-4/240 lbs, was ranked as the No. 53 tight end in the country and the No. 14 player in Mississippi during the recruiting process (247Sports composite rankings).
Of course, those ratings don’t really matter. Ed Orgeron and his staff thought Shead was a player they needed on their roster, which tells me he was capable of producing in the SEC.
If Shead doesn’t return to the program, it will definitely hurt the Tigers’ depth at the tight end position (LSU already lost stud tight end Arik Gilbert this offseason).
Sophomore Kole Taylor is expected to be the Tigers’ starting tight end. Beyond Taylor, the depth chart isn’t very clear. True freshman Jack Bech, a hybrid tight end, will likely see a lot of playing time in 2021.
Nick Storz, a tight end who is coming over from the baseball team, could see more playing time in the absence of Shead, too.
While it’s not clear how much playing time Shead was expected to see in 2021, he’s absolutely a player Coach O was counting on this season.
“We have Jalen Shead coming in, we’re going to count on him playing,” said Orgeron in March to 104.5 in Baton Rouge.
According to 247Sports, Shead hasn’t entered the NCAA transfer portal yet.