Missouri DL transfer Mekhi Wingo commits to LSU, reunites with Robert Steeples

Billy Embody01/18/22
Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Missouri transfer defensive lineman Mekhi Wingo committed to LSU on Tuesday, he announced on Twitter. Wingo earned a nod on the SEC’s All-Freshman Team in 2021 and is now set to head to Baton Rouge. He has three years of eligibility remaining.

Programs like Nebraska, Oklahoma State, USC and others offered and hosted the 6-1, 275-pounder, but LSU landed his commitment. His former high school coach at DeSmet in St. Louis, Robert Steeples, was hired by LSU as cornerbacks coach after a stint with the Minnesota Vikings.

In 2021, Wingo notched 27 tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack and an interception he returned for a touchdown against North Texas. As a senior at DeSmet, he had 54 tackles as a senior in a COVID-shortened 2020 season. That followed a monster 2019 season when he had 97 tackles including 29 for loss and 15 sacks.

According to the On3 Consensus, a complete and equally weighted industry-generated average that utilizes all four major recruiting media companies, the three-star prospect ranked as the No. 598 overall prospect in the country, No. 54 defensive lineman in the nation and No. 9 prospect in Missouri.

LSU continues to stack transfer portal additions

LSU’s staff has added 10 other transfers into the fold to shore up the roster, and more are on the way. So far, Florida International offensive lineman Miles Frazier, East Carolina long snapper Slade Roy, Arkansas safety Joe Foucha, Arkansas defensive back Greg Brooks, Louisiana defensive back Mekhi Garner, Notre Dame punter Jay Bramblett, Virginia linebacker West Weeks, Penn State running back Noah Cain, Louisiana wide receiver Kyren Lacy and East Tennessee State offensive lineman Tre’Mond Shorts have all pledged to transfer to LSU.

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Steeples made the jump from coaching high school to the Vikings last year as an assistant special teams coach. He transformed DeSmet Jesuit High School in Creve Coeur, Missouri, into a powerhouse in just four years. Under his guidance, De Smet’s football team went from 2-8 in his first season in 2016 to a state championship in 2019.

Kelly and his staff have had to use the NCAA Transfer Portal to address needs with the Tigers right away, rather than using the high school ranks to build his roster. That’ll change as time goes on with Kelly at the helm.

“In this instance, unfortunately, from my perspective, I would love to build everything through your freshmen class and develop your football team that way,” Kelly said on the Texas Bowl broadcast, “But we are going to have to use the transfer portal. This will have to be a transitional build this first year through the transfer portal. Moving forward, I want to build this football team through your freshmen players that you bring in and you develop. We’re going to have to use the transfer portal so it is a little easier.”