Pro Football Focus (PFF) released their Top 10 returning interior defensive lineman in college football for the 2023 season list. LSU’s Mekhi Wingo checks in as the No. 3 returning interior defensive lineman heading into the new season. According to PFF, now that we know who will continue playing on Saturdays next fall, they take an early look at the top returning players for each position. Hear from PFF on what impressed Wingo from his first season in Baton Rouge:
“After an impressive freshman season at Missouri, Wingo transferred to LSU this past season. He practically never came off the field for the Tigers this year, as the sophomore’s 821 snaps were 30-plus more than any other interior defensive lineman in college football. His 84.3 run-defense grade was third among SEC interior defensive lineman while his four sacks were tied for the most.”
Get 1 shot at this🥷🎲 #GeauxTigers pic.twitter.com/0KTVitI3IF
— mekhi wingo (@WingoMekhi) January 25, 2023
Mekhi Wingo Has Been Impressive at Missouri and LSU:
Wingo chose to stay close to home coming out of high school and he had high expectations when commiting to Missouri. During his freshman year at Missouri, Wingo would see action in 11 games with the Tigers with three of them being starts on the defensive line. The St. Louis native would start against North Texas, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt. Wingo would be listed on Freshman All-SEC honors after recording 27 tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss and a sack during his freshman campaign. He would also have an interception return for a touchdown in a win against North Texas.
Wingo would decide to enter his name into the transfer portal and would stay in the SEC. He would transfer to LSU prior to the start of the 2022 season. He was able to take part in spring practice and was impressive leading up to the season. Wingo’s performance landed him a spot in the defensive line rotation with LSU and would serve a vital role with the Tiger defense. Everything would change for Wingo’s production on the field in the first game against Florida State as Maason Smith went down with an injury on the first drive of the game.
Smith would go down with a torn ACL and would be out for the year leaving an open door for someone to take over. Wingo was able to fill in Smith’s shoes while he would be sidelined for the rest of the year and he was able to have a breakout season on a talented LSU defensive line. During the 2022 season, Wingo racked up 43 tackles (24 solo tackles), three sacks, one fumble forced, two fumble recoveries and four pass deflections. He was able to excel with his ability to explode off the football and with his functional strength.
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