LSU recruits react to Brian Kelly hiring

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The surprising news broke Monday night that Brian Kelly would be leaving Notre Dame to take the LSU job and it raised even more questions.

Would Kelly, who spent nearly his entire coaching career dating back to the 1980s in the Midwest, be a fit in Baton Rouge? How did this all come together? Would he be able to recruit at the level LSU needs to compete for national titles?

It was a whirlwind night as Kelly was doing at least one in-home visit with a Notre Dame commit when the news broke. After Notre Dame beat Stanford Saturday night, Kelly reportedly stayed on the West Coast to start recruiting for the Irish.

By Monday night, he was sending a group text to his team telling them he was leaving Notre Dame and that he was flying back to South Bend overnight to meet with the team at 7 a.m. Tuesday.

For LSU commits and top recruits in the 2022 and 2023 classes, the situation was just as confusing. Some relished in the fact Kelly would be coming to town and that the LSU coaching situation has finally come to an impressive conclusion.

I traded messages with more than a dozen current commits and prospects from the state of Louisiana on the condition of anonymity so they could be frank and forthright about their feelings on Kelly’s hiring.

Reactions ran the gamut. …

** “He is doing great at Notre Dame right now and he would bring that winning mentality down to Baton Rouge.”

** “He’s going to reset the culture and bring us to the national championship caliber we once were.”

** “Glad they hired someone. I don’t know him though.”

** “Brian Kelly can make LSU great again. With a new coaching staff, (it) can change the whole organization to make it better.”

An elite recruit said he’s excited that Kelly is known for development along the offensive line and that he hopes Kelly keeps current offensive line coach Brad Davis. Another wondered how Kelly would recruit the South. Many others talked about not really knowing much about Kelly, except that he’s won a lot of games.

“Great hire,” one recruit said. “He has a great history of winning and that’s what type of program I want to be a part of.”

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