Brian Kelly was dealt with a roster with talent leftover after the 2021 season, but there were some holes as the offseason was getting underway. Kelly was able to use the transfer portal to be able to fill some of those holes on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. LSU had to navigate their way throughout the offseason and they were able to add 14 total transfers. Those 14 players added, according to 247sports, ranked the Tiger’s transfer portal class No. 13.
The transfer portal has become the norm in college football and in college sports. Here are four LSU transfers that will have the biggest impact going into the 2022 season:
Noah Cain, Running Back (Penn State Transfer)
LSU’s rushing attack was inconsistent in the 2021 season and with Tyrion Davis-Price heading to the NFL draft there is shoes to be filled. It is expected that John Emery will be the lead back of the LSU running back committee, but Noah Cain will be the RB2.
The former Penn State product rushed for 778 yards and 12 touchdowns in his three years with the Nittany Lions. Cain will bring experience to the backfield and experience is lacking in the young Tiger running back group.
Cain had a stellar freshman campaign in 2019. He set a Penn State freshman record with eight rushing touchdowns. Cain also became the first Penn State freshman to run for 100 yards in back-to-back games since Saquon Barkley.
The star running back would suffer a season-ending injury in the season opener in 2020 against Indiana. In his junior season in 2021, he would rush for 334 yards with four touchdowns.
He will have two years of eligibility at LSU and will look to provide a spark out of the backfield. Cain did grow up in Baton Rouge and he spoke on what it means playing for LSU:
“When I entered the transfer portal, I saw the Coach Frank (Wilson) had returned to LSU. So, when the opportunity presented itself, it made sense. Coach (Brian) Kelly’s record and with the players that Coach Frank has coaches and put in the NFL, I wanted to be coached by one of the best in the country.”
Miles Frazier, Offensive Lineman (Florida International Transfer)
Offensive line will be one of the question marks as the 2022 season for the Tigers near. LSU lost four of their starters on the offensive line in Ed Ingram, Austin Deculus, Chasen Hines and Liam Shanahan.
Miles Frazier is a redshirt sophomore transfer from Florida International. In his freshman season in 2020, Frazier played in just one of FIU’s games. His lone start of the year was against Western Kentucky.
He saw more action on the field in 2021 where he earned All Conference USA offers.
Frazier chose LSU over Ohio State and Florida State when he decided that he was going to put his name into the transfer portal. Frazier spoke on why he ended up choosing transferring to LSU:
“The relationship with Coach (Brad) Davis, who the offensive line coach, and Coach Kelly, the head coach, is special. When I got to Baton Rouge I talked to all the coaches, training staff, weight room staff and got to know how they can help develop me. I know how Coach Davis and Coach Kelly, over the years, have developed some of the best O-lines in the country.”
Mekhi Garner, Cornerback (Louisiana-Lafayette Transfer)
LSU’s secondary lost some key aspects due to players entering their name into the transfer portal and those moving on to the NFL. The Tigers lost Eli Ricks, Dwight McGlothern and Derek Stingley Jr. in the offseason. The secondary will have some question marks heading into the new season.
Mekhi Garner, a transfer cornerback from Louisiana-Lafayette will look to provide some experience to a young secondary. Garner has made a name for himself in spring practice as a player who will step in and make an immediate impact.
In his three years at Louisiana-Lafayette, Garner had 19 starts with the Ragin’ Cajuns. He racked up 63 career tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. Garner also has three career interceptions and 18 pass breakups.
In 2021, Garner received third team All-Sun Belt Conference honors. In that 2021 season, he recorded 31 tackles to go along with 2.5 tackles for loss. He would also have eight pass breakups and a forced fumble.
Jarrick Bernard-Converse, Cornerback (Oklahoma State Transfer)
Bernard-Converse transferred in from Oklahoma State where he had a successful career in Stillwater. During his career at Oklahoma State, Bernard-Converse earned first team Academic All-Big 12 team twice.
The Shreveport native started in 47 consecutive games in four years with the Cowboys. He would rack up 216 tackles, 7.0 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks, 23 passes defended and a pair of interceptions.
The 2021 First-Team All-Big 12 selection will be set to return to his home state and make an impact on the Tiger defense. He will have a year of eligibility.
Bernard-Converse did miss out on spring practice with an injury, but the expectation is that he will be healthy heading into the 2022 season. The star cornerback has been out with a Jones fracture in his foot. Brian Kelly spoke on the injury updates surrounding Bernard-Converse:
“Trying to gain some continuity at the cornerback position so getting him back, he’s been a great leader for us. We’re anxious to see what he can do. Obviously had a great career at Oklahoma State, we expect that to continue here. He had a good summer, he’s healthy and he’s played a lot of football so the expectation is he’s gonna impact what we do.”
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