LSU Football: Tigers could have a surprise star true freshman in 2021

LSU football hasn’t been a stranger to star true freshmen in recent years.

Cornerback Derek Stingley wowed analysts as a true freshman in 2019, while tight end Arik Gilbert, who has since transferred to Georgia, impressed folks with his ridiculous athleticism in 2020.

Wide receiver Kayshon Boutte is another player who turned heads as a true freshman in 2020.

There could be another true freshman join that group in 2021.

Armoni Goodwin could be a star true freshman for LSU football in 2021

The Tigers didn’t have a star running back step up in 2020 in the absence of Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who went to the NFL after his stellar 2019 season.

Tyrion Davis-Price rushed for 446 yards last season, while John Emery rushed for 378 yards. Not bad numbers for a 10 game season, but nowhere near the level of production we’re accustomed to seeing from LSU running backs.

That should change in 2021 with new offensive coordinator Jake Peetz, who will move the Tigers back to the Joe Brady style of offense that was so successful in 2019.

And true freshman running back Armoni Goodwin could be a big part of that offense. In fact, it sounds like he could end up being LSU’s go-to running back as the season progresses.

On Tuesday, 247Sports’ Billy Embody suggested that Goodwin could end up drawing comparisons to Edwards-Helaire. He also noted that Goodwin, who was rated as the No. 7 running back in the 2021 recruiting class, should play “right away” for the Tigers in 2021.

“He’s short in stature, but has plenty of wheels and looks the part physically,” wrote Embody.

Goodwin’s 247Sports recruiting profile has him listed at 5-foot-8/190 lbs. Edwards-Helaire was listed at 5-foot-7/191 lbs coming out of high school, so it’s easy to see the early comparisons.

If Goodwin ends up playing at an Edwards-Helaire level, then the Tigers’ offense should be a treat to watch for the next couple of years. Having a good running game opens up an endless amount of options in the passing game (especially if the running back can also be a factor in the passing game).