May 21, 2024

Interpreting LSU coach Brian Kelly’s declaration that Tigers are ‘not in the market of buying players’

Brian Kelly is casting a contrarian imaginative and prescient for a way LSU will assemble its soccer groups in the NIL period. While acknowledging that NIL “is a part of this,” the Tigers’ third-year coach told WAFB that “we’re not in the market of buying players.” 

“Unfortunately, right now, that’s what some guys are looking for,” Kelly told WAFB. “They want to be bought.”

Instead, Kelly defined, the Tigers are pitching one thing different than simply money to potential additions as they search to construct off consecutive 10-win seasons coming into the 12-team period of the College Football Playoff.

“If you like all the things that we do here in developing our players, bringing you in to a championship program, playing in front of the best fan base in America, playing for championships and having an opportunity for NIL, you should be a Tiger,” Kelly mentioned. “But if you just want to get paid, this is not the place for you.”

Kelly’s feedback on LSU’s roster constructing method come after a spring switch window in which the Tigers failed to land the potential high-impact additions they had been trying so as to add to their defensive entrance by way of the portal. In a switch class grades piece final week, CBS Sports gave LSU’s haul a C+

Defensive tackles had been at a premium in the switch portal and LSU was after two of the hottest commodities in Damonic Williams and Simeon Barrow. Williams dedicated to switch to Oklahoma and Barrow is headed to Miami. 

“I think I made it clear in a number of the press conferences that I had that we were in the market in recruiting in the transfer portal looking for defensive linemen,” Kelly informed WAFB. “It hasn’t fared very well quite frankly, because we’re selling something a little bit differently.”

Interpreting Brian Kelly’s feedback

Kelly, 62, left Notre Dame after a profitable 12-year run to take the LSU job, saying to the Associated Press that “I want to be in an environment where I have the resources to win a national championship.”

If LSU is struggling to supply the NIL assets wanted for Kelly to draw high portal expertise, it raises questions on whether or not a nationwide title push is in the playing cards for the Tigers, who’ve struggled defensively in Kelly’s tenure.

However, given the relative shortage of expertise that was accessible throughout the spring portal window, it may merely be that Kelly didn’t need to overpay for transfers and upset the locker room when there’s a precedent in place of expertise mined from the highschool ranks thriving at LSU even in the portal period.

“I think what Kelly is really saying in those remarks is that NIL can be one of many factors that makes LSU an appealing place to play but it won’t be the most important one,” mentioned Glen West of Geaux247. “LSU is more than willing to play ball in the NIL space. Just look at its start to the 2025 high school recruiting class — LSU’s class ranks in the top 3 of most recruiting services with several five-star prospects already on board and there is real interest from other top players at their respective positions in the Tigers. Kelly wants to build this program through the high school ranks and the NIL opportunities are reflective in the current roster and freshman recruiting.”

West mentioned LSU was aggressive in its pursuit of the aforementioned Williams and Barrow however and “put together strong pitches,” however famous Kelly’s remark that the Tigers weren’t in moving into high-priced bidding wars for spring transfers. 

LSU’s incoming 2024 high school recruiting class ranked No. 7 nationally in the 247Sports Team Rankings. But its switch haul is just 42nd and noticeably missing in star energy. However, the Tigers clearly stay dedicated to a sturdy highschool recruiting effort, as evidenced by the three top-10 lessons landed by Kelly and his workers to date and the robust begin to their 2025 class, which already features 12 commitments.

“We will develop you, we will get you ready for the next step as we did with Jayden Daniels, as we did with Malik Nabers, as we did with Brian Thomas,” Kelly said. “We developed three defensive linemen that all got drafted this year. We’ll do that again. But if you’re just looking to get paid, you’re looking in the wrong place.”

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