Former LSU starting left tackle Dare Rosenthal announced Thursday afternoon that he will attend Kentucky this fall. The news was first reported by Kentucky Sports Radio and comes nearly two weeks after Rosenthal entered the NCAA transfer portal.
The transfer sets up a reunion on Oct. 9, when LSU is scheduled to play at Kentucky. The Tigers and Wildcats will be meeting for the first time since LSU won a 41-3 matchup in 2014 at Tiger Stadium.
Rosenthal entered the transfer portal after violating team rules, and the 6-foot-7, 327-pound lineman said in a Twitter post that "leaving LSU was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make."
Choosing Kentucky was partly based on attending a university that "can help mold and shape me into a better man and help me reach my full potential on the field," Rosenthal wrote.
He also alluded to the similar experience of former LSU safety Kelvin Joseph, who transferred to Kentucky after he was suspended for the 2019 Fiesta Bowl for a violation of team rules. Joseph, a Baton Rouge native, started in nine games for the Wildcats last season and was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the second round of the 2021 NFL draft.
"I look forward to changing the narrative and my new journey at UK," Rosenthal wrote.
Rosenthal was expected to be a solid option going into his junior season, although he'd missed several games throughout his career, and LSU coach Ed Orgeron viewed him as a highly talented tackle with the potential to be a top draft choice next spring. Multiple reports had pegged Baylor as a potential landing spot for Rosenthal.
Rosenthal, who missed 12 games in two seasons in Baton Rouge, was suspended indefinitely from the team in October and was reinstated against Arkansas after missing two games. Wire started in Rosenthal's place at left tackle. Rosenthal returned to the starting lineup four games later in LSU's home loss to Alabama.
"Listen, LSU loves Dare," Orgeron said. "Dare loves LSU. I recruited him out of Ferriday High School as a defensive lineman. Came here. Is going to be a great offensive tackle. He had some personal situations that he had to take care of. It was a hard decision for him, but we wish him the best. We're going to miss him."
Orgeron has said that junior lineman Cameron Wire is set to replace Rosenthal as the team's starting left tackle.
Wire, a 6-6, 311-pound East Ascension High graduate, is the most tenured option to replace Rosenthal in 2021. Wire has been a utility lineman for LSU in the past two seasons, and he started in six games last season while playing tackle and guard.
Garrett Dellinger, an early enrollee who was recruited as a tackle, will have to become LSU's sixth-man lineman in place of Wire. Beyond that, Orgeron said, LSU's depth at offensive tackle remains questionable.
"I don't know who's the second left tackle right now, to be honest with you," Orgeron told "Off the Bench" on WNXX-FM, 104.5
Behind Wire and LSU's returning starters — left guard Ed Ingram, center Liam Shanahan, right guard Chasen Hines and right tackle Austin Deculus — third-year sophomore Charles Turner is the only player of the remaining 10 offensive linemen on the roster to have started a game.
Turner, who was recruited as a center, has played in 11 games in the past two seasons; his only start came at left guard against Missouri in 2020.
The other linemen who have played — Anthony Bradford (10 career appearances), Marlon Martinez (nine), Kardell Thomas (one) and Marcus Dumervil (one) — have mostly seen time as interior linemen.
The 6-5, 310-pound Dumervil is a former four-star prospect who was ranked the nation's No. 11 offensive tackle in the 2020 recruiting class, according to 247Sports, and could be one of the backup options at left tackle.
Orgeron said LSU may also try out Bradford or Hill at tackle. The 6-5, 365-pound Bradford is an athletic lineman and former four-star prospect who was recruited as a guard. He was expected to push incumbent starter Chasen Hines for the starting right guard position once fall camp began.
Hill is a third-year redshirt freshman, a 6-3, 307-pound former three-star prospect who was recruited as a guard and played in one game last season against South Carolina.