LSU's football is having a makeover.
First-year Tigers coach Brian Kelly and new his staff are in the process of reshaping the roster following coach Ed Orgeron's departure and an 11-12 record over the last two seasons.
With so many players leaving for the NFL Draft and coming and going from the transfer portal, here's a look at LSU's roster.
Who's gone: Sophomore starter Max Johnson transferred to Texas A&M.
Who's back: Arizona State transfer Jayden Daniels will battle sixth-year senior Myles Brennan for the starting job. Brennan changed his mind and came back to LSU while Daniels didn't join LSU until March, but will be eligible for spring practices. Behind Brennan and Daniels, freshman Garrett Nussmeier should return, and four-star quarterback Walker Howard, who signed with LSU during the early signing period, adds more depth and upside.
Who's gone: Junior starter Tyrion Davis-Price bypassed his senior year to declare for the NFL Draft.
Who's back: Junior John Emery Jr. should return. The former five-star recruit didn't play a snap in 2021 after the NCAA ruled he was academically ineligible. Freshmen Armoni Goodwin and Corey Kiner may see increased roles after combining to rush for over 380 yards in 2021. Sophomores Josh Williams and Tre Bradford provide additional depth. LSU also added Noah Cain, who rushed for 806 yards and scored 12 touchdowns in three seasons at Penn State.
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Who's gone: No notable contributors.
Who's back: Sophomores Jack Mashburn and Kole Taylor are expected back. Neither contributed much in the passing game, but may see increased roles with Mike Denbrock, LSU's offensive coordinator and tight ends coach, taking over. The Tigers also signed three-star tight end Mason Taylor, the son of NFL Hall of Famer Jason Taylor.
Who's gone: Trey Palmer and Alex Adams transferred to Nebraska and Akron, respectively. Devonta Lee transferred to Louisiana Tech. Deion Smith and Koy Moore have also entered the portal.
Who's back: Sophomore Kayshon Boutte will be back and junior Jaray Jenkins passed up the NFL Draft to return. Boutte missed most of 2021 due to injury but both he and Jenkins are likely LSU's top two wideouts. Behind them, freshmen Jack Bech, Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr. accounted for over 1,200 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. The Tigers also added UL wideout Kyren Lacy (304 yards and six touchdowns) and signed three-star recruit Landon Ibieta.
Who's gone: Four starters in Austin Deculus, Chasen Hines, Liam Shanahan and Ed Ingram. Hines, Deculus and Ingram have declared for the draft.
Who's back: Junior left tackle Cam Wire is the only returning starter. Freshman Garrett Dellinger, sophomores Anthony Bradford and Marlon Martinez and redshirt freshman Xavier Hill have starting experience but not much. LSU has added senior Tre'Mond Shorts and freshman Miles Frazier from the transfer portal. Frazier was a Freshman All-American at Florida International and Shorts started for four seasons at East Tennessee State. The Tigers also signed five-star offensive tackle Will Campbell, four-star offensive guard Emery Jones and three-star recruits Fitzgerald West Jr. and Bo Bordelon.
NOAH CAIN TRANSFERS TO LSU: Penn State running back Noah Cain transfers to LSU
Who's gone: Neil Farrell Jr. declared for the NFL Draft and Andre Anthony is likely moving on following his sixth year with the program. Landon Jackson also transferred to Arkansas.
Who's back: Junior Ali Gaye is expected to return after missing most of 2021 due to injury. Sophomore B.J. Ojulari had 57 total tackles and seven sacks. Senior Soni Fonua (28 total tackles) provides depth. Maason Smith was a Freshman first-team All-SEC selection. Sophomore Jaquelin Roy, sophomore Joseph Evans and freshman Jacobian Guillory all could grow into bigger roles on the interior. All-SEC freshman Mekhi Wingo has transferred in from Missouri and LSU signed four-star recruit Quency Wiggins and three-star prospect Tygee Hill.
Who's gone: Damone Clark declared for the draft.
Who's back: Micah Baskerville announced on Tuesday that he would be coming back. He will be a definite starter likely alongside either sophomore Mike Jones Jr. — (34 total tackles) or freshman Virginia transfer West Weeks — who started for the Cavaliers. Former four-star recruits, sophomore Josh White and freshman Greg Penn III, could also earn a role in the rotation. After those two is four-star prospect DeMario Tolan, who signed in December, and South Carolina transfer Kolbe Fields.
Who's gone: Fifth-year senior Cam Lewis declared for the draft.
Who's back: Junior Jay Ward passed up a chance at the NFL to return. Major Burns missed most of the season due to injury but should be back and playing an important role. Freshman Sage Ryan, also a cornerback, missed the majority of 2021 due to injury as well. The former five-star recruit could break out next season. LSU also brought in three-year Arkansas starter Joe Foucha (72 total tackles in 2021).
Who's gone: Every starter. Derek Stingley Jr. and Cordale Flott declared for the draft. Eli Ricks transferred to Alabama and Dwight McGlothern transferred to Arkansas.
Who's back: Nicholls State transfer Pig Cage started in the Texas Bowl but didn't play much during the regular season. And freshman Damarius McGhee hadn't appeared in a game until the bowl. As a result, LSU retooled the unit, adding UL transfer Mekhi Garner, Oklahoma State transfer Jarrick Bernard-Converse and Arkansas transfer Greg Brooks Jr. Garner was a two-year starter with the Ragin' Cajuns while Bernard-Converse was an All-Big 12 first team selection in 2021 and Brooks was the lead nickelback for the Razorbacks. The Tigers also signed four-star recruit Laterrance Welch and three-star prospect Jordan Allen.
Who's gone: Starting kicker Cade York and starting punter/kickoff specialist Avery Atkins declared for the draft.
Who's back: Freshman Peyton Todd, the No. 1 punter in the 2021 class, is projected to return but he probably won't be the starter. LSU brought in Notre Dame punter and three-year starter Jay Bramblett from the portal to likely take that spot instead. At kicker, former Arkansas transfer Preston Stafford is a candidate to start. Freshmen Damian Ramos and Ezekeal Mata were backups last season, but the Tigers have also signed three-star recruit Nathan Dibert. Quentin Skinner is expected to return as the long snapper, but LSU also brought in competition by adding East Carolina freshman Slade Roy.
This article originally appeared on Lafayette Daily Advertiser: LSU football roster tracker heading into the 2022 season