Heading into the 2022 season, the LSU offensive line had a major question mark as the Tigers lost several key starters to the 2022 NFL Draft. Brian Kelly was able to retool a position group through the transfer portal and on the recruiting trail. There were some challenges for the offensive line during the 2022 season as they had to flip through different rotations as the depth chart was hit with the injury bug throughout the year. There is good news for the offensive line heading into the 2023 season as LSU is returning their starting offensive front for next season and it will be a group that will receive praise in the offseason.
Pro Football Focus (PFF) released their Top 10 players returning for the 2023 season for each position group and LSU’s Will Campbell was listed as the No. 6 returning offensive tackles. Hear from PFF on what impressed from Campbell’s freshman season with the Tigers and what is still to come:
“It’s not easy to survive at left tackle in the SEC, and it’s nearly impossible to do so as a true freshman. Not only did Campbell survive, but he also thrived.
The true freshman’s 85.6 pass-blocking grade on true pass sets ranked third in the country and trailed only Peter Skoronski among Power Five tackles. He only gave up pressure on 2.7% of his 515 pass-blocking snaps. He’s the early favorite to be OT1 on this list next season and in the 2025 draft, although the next guy might have something to say about that.”
Will Campbell Had a Stellar Freshman Season:
There was a lot of expectations for Campbell coming out of high school as he was regarded as one of the nation’s top offensive tackle prospects in the Class of 2022. Not only that, he was the top-rated high school player in the state of Louisiana. Campbell was a four-year starter on the offensive line for Neville High School and for his performance during his high school career he was selected to participate in the 2022 Under Armour All-American Game.
The Monroe, Louisiana native would begin to make quick impressions on the coaching staff in spring practice as he would begin to emerge as a starter on the offensive line. Brian Kelly spoke on what makes him unique from other freshman:
“It’s an emotional maturity that is rare as a freshman that’s made him a guy we can plug in as such a young player.”
As a true freshman left tackle in the SEC, LSU’s Will Campbell didn’t just survive, he thrived.
His 85.6 pass-blocking grade on true pass-sets trailed only Peter Skoronski among P5 tackles.
Awesome recovery here against Jared Verse in his first(!) game.pic.twitter.com/ELtRHFWdle
— Max Chadwick (@Chad_Maxwick) February 18, 2023
Campbell was able to make an instant impact on LSU’s offensive line as he started in 13 games for the Tigers at left tackle. He would serve a key role for an LSU offense that set a school record for 39 rushing touchdowns in a single-season. Campbell would miss only one game of the season and that came against Tennessee in early October. He would be ruled out as he was being treated for dehydration at the hospital and Anthony Bradford had to take Campbell’s place against the Volunteers.
The freshman offensive tackle would see 973 offensive snaps and allowed only three sacks on the season. Campbell started to receive recognition after his performance against Florida and he was named to the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) All-America team. The Monroe, Louisiana native would also receive second team All-SEC honors and Freshman All-SEC recognition.
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