The LSU football program brought in the New Year Friday with its 22nd signee for the class of 2021.
And he comes at a position of most significant need – the offensive line.
“We need more offensive linemen,” LSU coach Ed Orgeron said after signing day on Dec. 16.
Kimo Makaneole (6-foot-5, 285 pounds) of Niceville High in Niceville, Florida, is the No. 15 guard in the nation, according to Rivals.com. He switched to the Tigers after being a Florida State commitment from July 26 through Dec. 28.
Makaneole announced that he had signed with LSU just after midnight when the clock turned from 2020 to 2021.
He is just the second offensive line commitment in Orgeron’s class, joining No. 19 offensive tackle Garrett Dellinger (6-6, 265) of Clarkston, Michigan.
Makaneole entertained scholarship offers from Arizona State, Boston College, Brigham Young, Coastal Carolina, Louisville, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Missouri and Texas A&M, among others.
After being committed to Florida State for five months, he did not sign with the Seminoles during the early period in December as LSU continued recruiting him hard throughout.
“His film looks very good,” Mike Scarborough of TigerBait.com said Friday.
LSU’s class is ranked No. 3 in the nation by Rivals.com.
Makaneole is LSU’s second signee after Dec. 16 and second flip from a Florida school.
No. 15 strong side defensive end Bryce Langston (6-3, 241) signed with LSU on Dec. 18 after being a commitment to Florida from Dec. 2, 2018, through May 9, 2019. He had scholarship offers from Georgia, Miami, Ole Miss, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, Tennessee and Texas, among others.
LSU plans to sign three more prospects. The second national signing day will be Feb. 3.
LSU roster update
Two reserve LSU players – senior wide receiver Racey McMath of Karr High in New Orleans and senior tight end Tory Carter of Valdosta, Georgia – have announced they will not be returning to LSU in order to try to make themselves available for the NFL Draft this spring.
McMath played in six games in the 2020 season and caught 14 passes for 195 yards and a touchdown. He had 17 catches in the 2019-20 season for 285 yards and three touchdowns. McMath will be representing LSU in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, on Jan. 30.
Carter played in seven games in 2020 and had four catches for 42 yards.
Meanwhile, LSU junior defensive end Ali Gaye, a transfer from Garden City Community College in Kansas, has announced he is returning to the Tigers for the 2021 season. Gaye led LSU with 9.5 tackles for losses in the 2020 season. He also had five quarterback hurries, two sacks and six pass breakups.
Center Liam Shanahan has also said he will return for his senior season at LSU in 2021.