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The Purple and Gold People Eaters of Death Valley

Updated: Jul 18, 2023

The 2022 LSU defense ranked in the top fifty in the nation in three defensive categories: forty-first in total defense, thirty-second in passing defense, and thirty-third in scoring defense. The Tigers return five starters from last year’s team, including three of their top four tacklers. They have also loaded up at key defensive positions via the transfer portal to help those starters. The Tigers project to be much, much better in 2023.

Here is a look at the Purple and Gold People Eaters of Death Valley.

“Tho they walk through the valley of the shadow of death, they will fear no evil.”

DL Mekhi Wingo: In 2022, Wingo earned third team All-American honors from the AP. He posted fort-six tackles, six tackles for loss, three sacks, four pass breakups, and forced one fumble. Wingo will be one stalwart anchor on the defensive line, with Maason Smith as the other.

DL Maason Smith: Smith missed all of 2022 after suffering a knee injury in the opener against Florida State. He has, however, been cleared to play and will be counted on heavily in 2023. In 2021, Smith collected nineteen tackles, five tackles for loss, and four sacks.

LB Harold Perkins, Jr.: Perkins burst onto the scene as a true freshman and did not disappoint. He racked up 73 tackles (third best on the team), 8.5 sacks, fourteen tackles for loss and forced four fumbles. Perkins recorded TEN tackles in the SEC Championship Game against eventual national champion Georgia. For his outstanding efforts, Perkins was named a Freshman All-American, LSU’s first ever at the linebacker position. His selection makes him the fifth LSU freshmen to earn All-Americans in the last three years!

LB Omar Speights, Oregon State Transfer: Speights was a “cocaine beaver” on the football field, recording eighty-three tackles and eight tackles for loss and was named First Team All-PAC-12. Speights was a four-year starter for the Beavers, and has 308 career tackles to his credit. He fills a much-needed position for the Tigers and will be called upon to produce for the Tigers as effectively as he did as a Beaver. In fact, with Perkins and Speights (and Greg Penn III) in the same position group is why LSU’s linebacker unit is ranked #2 in the country by Athlon Sports 2023 College Football Preview Magazine, vol.29/2023.

LB Greg Penn, III: Penn was second on the team in tackles for the Tigers with seventy-seven. In addition, he collected six tackles for loss.

DB Greg Brooks, Jr.: Brooks recorded sixty-five tackles in 2022, good enough for fourth on the team. He also picked off two passes, recorded three tackles for loss, broke up the passes, and forced a fumble.

Bolstered by the presence of 1000’s of LSU fans on a Saturday night in Death Valley, the Tigers defense will have the raucous support needed to propel them to even greater results in 2023, and push them back into the National Championship picture.

Geaux Tigers!!!

This article was originally published on It is republished here with permission.


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