[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image="3737" img_size="large"][vc_column_text]
Ryan Yaites, a four-star, class of 2023 safety out of football powerhouse Guyer High School in Denton, Texas has committed to the LSU tigers and head coach Brian Kelly. According to the 247 sports composite rankings, Yaites is rated as the seventh best safety nationally and the twenty-fourth best player overall in the state of Texas. Before announcing his decision to head to Batton Rouge, Yaites had announced a top four of Texas Tech, Cal, Michigan State, and LSU.
Roster Outlook for 2023-24
Heading into the 2023-2024 football season, Yaites will be one of two freshman safeties on the team. The other, fellow four-star Michael Daugherty out of Grayson High School in Georgia. Three-star class of ’22 safety Jordan Allen will be heading into his sophomore season with the team. Jordan Toles will be heading into his senior year, but he will be draft eligible after next season. If new transfer in Mekhi Williams-Garner uses his extra year of eligibility he could also be back for the 23-24 season before graduating. All other safeties on the LSU roster are expected to have graduated and moved-on before the 2023-24 season begins. Due to lacking depth, we can expect coach Kelly to pull from the transfer portal next season to add some depth at the position as well. And of course the 2023 class isn’t close to being finished yet.
Opportunities for Playing Time
With a possible lack of depth coming into the 23-24 season, Yaites will have a prime opportunity to compete for playing time early on. If Jordan Toles is back for year 4, you can realistically expect him to start. The other starting safety spot will be up for grabs. I would expect Brian Kelly to lean towards upper classmen like Garner early on, but both highly rated freshman in Yaites and Daugherty will be given the chance to compete for the starting spot. If Jordan Toles instead opts to enter the draft next year, then there could be an open competition to get on the field.
Realistically, we can expect Ryan Yaites and Daugherty to get some solid playing-time opportunities as freshman. If the safety room has any health issues, the two freshmen will certainly be positioned to see the field early on in their careers. By their sophomore years, I expect Yaites to be a near lock as a starter due to a lack of upperclassmen at the position. With the transfer portal, this could all be subject to change, but as of right now Yaites has positioned himself to compete early on.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]