LSU sophomore left tackle Dare Rosenthal watched the NFL Draft last month and could not help but look ahead.
"I was thinking that's where I will be in two or three years," Rosenthal said.
LSU quarterback Joe Burrow was the top draft pick.
"Joe is the complete package," Rosenthal said. "He was the leader and the heart of our team."
LSU junior left tackle Saahdiq Charles went in the fourth round to Washington. Rosenthal started three games in place of Charles last season.
"When I heard he was going all I could think of was, 'Next man up,'" Rosenthal said. "It really wasn't that big of a surprise when he announced he was going into the draft because he had been talking about it for a while."
The 6-foot-7, 314-pound Rosenthal played in five games last year. He started against Northwestern State, Utah State and Mississippi State, playing a total of 229 snaps, including a career high 92 against Utah State.
The top-rated defensive tackle in Louisiana did not see any game action as a true freshman.
Rosenthal was excited to be a part of LSU's championship season, ending with a 42-25 win over Clemson. He said he didn't get any sleep that Monday night.
He was too busy celebrating being a part of a national championship football team.
"It's great to be on top," Rosenthal said.
After the championship game, Rosenthal suffered a big personal loss when his uncle died. He was also dealing with other personal issues.
LSU head coach Ed Orgeron announced just before the start of spring practice that Rosenthal was leaving school for personal reasons, but said he would be back in the summer.
Rosenthal, who is majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies, was actually ahead in the classroom at the time.
And then came the corona virus, shutting down spring practice and classes at LSU.
"I don't think it hurt me at all," Rosenthal said of how spring turned out. "I have been working out on my own. You have to be disciplined and that's what I am when it comes to working out. I'll be ready to report whenever we get the word to come in."
Rosenthal said he is going in with a different attitude this year.
"I'm going to be the leader," he said.
LSU offensive line coach James Cregg told 104.5 ESPN Baton Rouge that Rosenthal has been phenomenal.
"The young man, he's in it," Cregg said. "When we first got him, he was a little distant about not really knowing what was going on and all of a sudden that light clicked on. Having that success of him going in that Mississippi State game last year, he played a little bit against Utah State and having success really triggers him to start to do the right things. I really, really feel good about Dare. He has to keeping continuing to grow and one thing that I really like that he's real football savvy and smart. He'd be telling Saahdiq what to do last year and Saahdiq would look back and say, "Hey man, you shut up.' He's that savvy and I'm really fired up about Dare."
Rosenthal said he expects junior quarterback Myles Brennan to step in and pick up where Burrow left off.
"'I'm expecting Myles to show out," Rosenthal said. "I don't see us being any different. I've watched Myles the two years I have been here and I've seen what he can do with my own two eyes."
Rosenthal said he wasn't surprised at the type of year Clyde Edwards-Helaire had last year.
"I watched him as a freshman and then I could really see it start clicking for him before last year," he said.
Rosenthal said he is never completely happy with his play, he always expects more.
"The main thing I need to work on for this season is my eyes, taking everything in," he said.
Rosenthal suffered a concussion against Mississippi State in the fourth quarter of a game he started and missed the rest of the season because it was not his first concussion.
"I think if I would not have gotten hurt I would have gone off the rest of the season," he said. "It would have been crazy. But I know I will have a bigger role to play this year."
Rosenthal expects LSU to be in the title picture once again this year.
"I am confident in the team," he said. "I'm ready to get going."
Rosenthal is glad to see LSU running the same type high octane offense.
"You need to be in shape to run our offense," he said. "But the defense better be in shape, too."