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LSU Tigers Land Two on the Butkus Award Watch List

In 2022, the LSU Tigers overachieved in year one of the Brian Kelly era. But this year, the Tigers have earned a lot of respect and will be led on defense by linebackers Harold Perkins and Omar Speights. Both have been named to the 2023 Butkus Award Watch List.

Perkins, from Cypress, TX, arrived in Baton Rouge and took Death Valley and the SEC by storm. As a true freshman, Perkins was prowling and growling, sideline to sideline. He racked up 73 tackles, 8.5 sacks (led the team), 14 tackles for loss, 4 forced fumbles, and 1 INT.

After a home loss to Tennessee, the Tigers went on a five game winning streak. During that streak, Perkins recorded 31 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 6 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. For his efforts, Perkins was named a Freshman All-American, All-SEC 1st Team selection, and 4th Team All-American.

Against Arkansas, Perkins tied an LSU record by racking up 4 sacks in a 13-10 win over the Razorbacks.

This preseason has also seen Perkins named to the Bronco Nagurski Award and Walter Camp Player of the Year Watch Lists.

Speights transfers in from Oregon State after a stellar career out west and has over 300 tackles to his credit. In 2022, he led the Beavers in tackles with 83 and had 8 tackles for loss, earning All-Pac-12 honors.

This linebacker corps, led by Perkins and Speights, looks to be the strength of the LSU defense in 2023. This unit is ranked 3rd in the country by Phil Steele, behind only Georgia and Clemson.

LSU is ranked #5 in the preseason USA Today Sports/AFCA Coaches Poll. The Tigers kick off the 2023 season on the road in the unhappiest place on Earth, Orlando, FL. There they will take on the #8 Florida State Seminoles on September 3rd.



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