Expectations are high for the 2023 LSU Tigers football team. Moreover, one player, in particular, is expected to play a massive role in the upcoming season.
Harold Perkins is meeting or exceeding expectations if the 2023 LSU Tigers are better than 2022. Suffice it to say; the Sophomore linebacker is expected to dominate the competition. Such is not a stretch considering Perkins’ impact on LSU’s defense last season. However, the former 5-star recruit from Cypress, TX, is likely playing a different position for the Tigers this season.
With a new position comes more considerable expectations in Baton Rouge.
Most outlets believe Perkins is the next to follow a line of stout LSU defenders to fill the JACK linebacker role. Most recently, the position was filled by BJ Ojulari, who departed Baton Rouge for the NFL Draft. Moving to the JACK position doesn’t require much of an adjustment from Perkins. JACK is a linebacker and defensive end hybrid, thus, allowing Perkins plenty of pass-rushing opportunities.
Conversely, much speculation around LSU’s offseason is that Brian Kelly will move Perkins to inside linebacker. Inside linebacker will further develop Perkins’ NFL prospectus as the position includes expanded responsibilities. On the inside, Perkins will play a significant role in stopping inside run plays in addition to some intermediate pass coverage.
Perkins’ freak-athletic ability serves him well as the JACK, but LSU will rely on his mental capacity for the game if he’s moved to inside linebacker.
Perkins is poised for a monstrous season regardless of his position. It was noted that the LSU Tigers limited Perkins’ playing time in the early games of 2022. Some believe the slow build was due to a learning curve. However, another offseason to continue learning and refining techniques can elevate Perkins to elite college football player status.
Perkins’ explosiveness led to his emergence as a premier SEC pass rusher by the close of 2022. He tallied 72 tackles, 7.5 sacks, and four forced fumbles. He was recently named to a list of ‘top 10 college football players of 2023’. He is ranked 7th, behind Michigan running back Blake Corum and ahead of Penn State lineman Ole Fashanu.
Perkins looked as good as expected during the LSU Tigers’ spring workouts. He switched from jersey No. 40 to the number he wore in high school, No. 4. Perkins also takes