Class of 2023 4-star wide receiver Shelton Sampson Jr. has the chance to join a long lineage of talented pass-catchers when he steps on campus for the LSU Tigers next season.
Sampson, who announced his commitment to the Tigers in August, will follow in the footsteps of Justin Jefferson, Ja'Marr Chase, Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. as the next potentially great receiver to don the Purple and Gold.
A 6'4", 181-pound speedster who attended Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Sampson is ranked as the No. 6 wide receiver in the nation, according to 247Sports' composite rankings. He was named an Under Armour All-American in March.
He also had offers from Alabama, Georgia, Texas A&M, Florida and Florida State, among others.
As a senior, Sampson displayed the ability to put up big numbers consistently. According to 247Sports recruiting analyst Gabe Brooks, he "averaged six-plus catches, about 90 yards, and 1.3 TD catches per game during 10-game regular season."
Brooks described Sampson as a "gifted natural wideout with immense long-term upside given physical tools and functional athleticism displayed over multiple seasons" who "should become an eventual impact starter with the long-term ceiling to develop into an early-round NFL draft candidate."
Sampson is the highest-ranked player in LSU's 2023 recruiting class. He will likely have the opportunity to contribute immediately on a team that doesn't have even an 800-yard receiver this year, LSU's third consecutive season without one after Chase and Jefferson each registered 1,500-plus yards in 2019's national championship season.
Sophomore Malik Nabers leads the Tigers with 58 receptions and 726 yards in 2022, but he found the end zone just once. He will benefit if Sampson can draw attention from the defense on the opposite side. Jaray Jenkins leads the team with five touchdowns, but he is a senior.
LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels has one more year of eligibility remaining. While it remains to be seen whether he will enter the 2023 NFL draft, the dual-threat signal-caller would surely enjoy having a target such as Sampson on the outside. Daniels has thrown 15 touchdown passes and rushed for a team-high 11 scores, so he may not have to rely on his legs as much.
No matter who is behind center for the Tigers in 2023, Sampson can be expected to make an impact as he embarks on what could be an exciting college career.