This is a player transaction to get excited about.
The transfer portal never sleeps, and with training camp starting in a month, Kentucky has added its seventh Power Five transfer of the offseason. Dare Rosenthal was a former four-star recruit out of Louisiana who spent three seasons at LSU.
The redshirt junior started three games at left guard in 2019 before sliding out to left tackle in 2020 to become a full-time starter. At 6-foot-7 and 327 pounds, the former defensive line prospect brings excellent size, length, play strength, and movement ability to the offensive tackle position.
Now is the time to step into the KSR Film Room to show what type of player the Big Blue Wall and offensive line coach Eric Wolford is getting in Rosenthal. The former blue-chip prospect in the class of 2018 has NFL Draft potential if he can put everything together.
Once the tape rolls, the major trait that pops is the potential Rosenthal has as a pass blocker. The left tackle is long and round with some nice bend and movement ability which makes it tough for edge rushers to turn the corner. When forced inside, Rosenthal has enough strength to handle power moves. If the footwork and hand placement are on point, this can be a dominant pass blocker. On this rep against Florida, Rosenthal flashes some high-level play recognition in a big spot.
On a third down in the fourth quarter, LSU goes to seven-man protection to give quarterback Max Johnson time to take a shot deep. However, the boundary cornerback comes on a blitz at the snap. Rosenthal recognizes this quickly and lays out to get his right shoulder on the defensive back preventing a hit on the quarterback and simultaneously blocking two players. Johnson can set his feet and get off a clean throw. The result is a splash play that leads to a touchdown in the upset victory on the road.
However, there is not always going to be shifty pass rushers that offensive tackles must defeat in isolation situations. When the play calls for five-man protection, left tackles could be left alone with a large defensive lineman where the power game takes over.
On this pass set, Rosenthal does a very good job absorbing the punch of the Ole Miss defender. After that, the left tackle counters by using his length to readjust on the set. This allows Rosenthal to get back in control and creates a very clean pocket for the quarterback.
Despite an NFL offense coming to town, Kentucky is still going to be a run-heavy attack in 2021. The Kentucky offensive line has established an identity of being able to run the ball against crowded boxes weekly as the Wildcats are one of the best rushing teams in the country yearly. Rosenthal brings value to this part of the game.
On the zone blocking concept, Rosenthal takes one outside step before the nickel defender steps into his lane. From there, the left tackle delivers a powerful punch followed by a solid drive block. This results in a big gain where the running back runs into the alley that Rosenthal created.
Do you want power? He has power.
Tedarrell Slaton (No. 56) of Florida was a fifth-round pick of the Green Bay Packers in the 2021 NFL Draft and was considered a really good interior defensive line player last season at 6-4 and 330 pounds. On the down block, Rosenthal delivers a violent punch that results in a pancake block. The power and athleticism combination is something to get very excited about.
Before this addition, Kentucky's offensive line had a chance to be top-notch
this season. Darian Kinnard could be a first-round talent at tackle while Luke Fortner's positional versatility makes him one of the most valuable interior line players in college football. Austin Dotson, Kenneth Horsey, and Quintin Wilson received starter's reps at guard last season while junior college transfer Jeremy Flax appears poised to become a solid contributor at tackle. There is a lot there for Wolford and now Kentucky adds Rosenthal to the equation.
The LSU transfer has NFL potential. This is a prospect with some big-time traits as a pass protector to go along with power and athleticism that can make him a very effective run blocker in both zone and gap schemes. Kentucky just enhanced its biggest positional strength just before the season.
The coaching staff has some shuffling to do to get the best five on the field, but Rosenthal is a quality player that can make the offense better in 2021.