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LSU vs. BYU - September 2nd, 8:30 PM CT
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7/25/17 5:40 am CST

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

In today’s report, we’ll continue to look at a few offensive players who will benefit most from Matt Canada’s new offense and touch on a variety of topics including recruiting and our Countdown to Game Day. Then, in closing, I’ll share a little tasty lagniappe. Here we go…

Five Tigers Who Could Benefit Most from LSU’s New-look Offense | Part 4

4. RBs Darrel Williams/Nick Brossette/Clyde Edwards-Helaire

Yeah, this is more than one guy, but this trio’s contributions lumped together loom as a major key for the offense under first-year offensive coordinator Matt Canada.

Derrius Guice will be the go-to back and figures to be among the SEC leaders in carries/offensive touches and expected impact for an offense that should look much different. But for most, if not all, of the above to come into focus, the Tigers need some diversification on offense and that’s where the three other primary backs in the stable come into play.

Last season at Pitt, Canada had a proven go-to back in James Conner, and like Guice is expected to, he got most of the carries (216). But the Panthers also got contributions from several other backs as Canada utilized players’ different skills. Freshman Chawntez Moss got 42 carries, Darrin Hall ran 36 times and big back Qadree Ollison toted it 33 times.

The Tigers can mirror that collection of backs with arguably more talent. 

Williams has slimmed down and gives Canada a bulldozer option inside. You have to figure Brossette is chomping at the bit to show what he can do with the dust on his shoulders from waiting in the wings and going through the grueling rehab of a knee injury. And Edwards-Helaire jumps into the “next great back” discussion from the beginning because of what he did at Catholic High once he stepped in for Guice. All of that swirled together — with the always-looming possibility that Guice could be slowed by injury and/or wear-and-tear — creates a lot of opportunities for the trio of backups.

With the diversity that Williams and Brossette provide, Edwards-Helaire could slide into a role similar to a third-down back in the NFL — a receiving threat out of the backfield who gives quarterback Danny Etling (or whoever it might be) a tantalizing safety-valve option in open space if defenses are able to take away other receiving threats.

Mike Detillier recently wrote in a Q&A with DandyDon.com that Williams is a one-cut blast runner and Edwards-Helaire is a shifty back who could excel as a receiver. Those attributes should compliment Guice well in Canada’s running back rotation.

In recruiting news, a day after Ja’Marr Chase shocked many with his pledge to Florida over LSU and TCU, another in-state wide receiver target committed out-of-state yesterday. This time it was John Ehret wide receiver Jammal Houston, the 19th ranked player on our list of Top LA Prospects. Houston would have been a solid get for LSU at a position of need and landing him would have lessened the sting of missing out on Chase, but I am not overly concerned. The word I’m getting is that Parkway’s Terrace Marshall, the No. 1 player on our list of in-state prospects, is still believed to be a strong lean to LSU and there are several other wide receiver targets on the board. In fact, just recently two four-star wide receivers named LSU in their final list of schools. Miles Battle (6-4, 188) of Houston (Cy Creek) announced that LSU is in his top-5 along with Ole Miss, TCU, Baylor, and Oregon, while Anthony Schwartz (6-0, 172) of Fort Lauderdale, FL (American Heritage) included LSU in his top-6 along with Florida, Georgia, Auburn, Tennessee, and USC. 

Mentioning Schwartz of American Heritage High School reminds me to give you an update on his teammate, 5-star cornerback Patrick Surtain. As mentioned in a previous report, Surtain visited LSU last weekend. What I’ve heard is that Surtain was accompanied by both of his parents and the visit went very well. Surtain visited Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide the day before and that visit also reportedly went well, but the word I’m getting is that LSU is still his undisputed leader and will likely remain that way, thanks in large part to Corey Raymond being LSU’s cornerback coach. Raymond and Surtain’s father, Pat Sr., are close friends. Landing this elite cornerback, rated as the nation’s top overall player in the class of 2018, would be a major boost to LSU’s recruiting class which currently contains 20 commitments and is ranked No. 6 in 247Sports Team Rankings.     

In other football-related news, The Advocate reported Monday that former LSU wide receiver Travin Dural passed his physical with the New Orleans Saints, allowing him to participate at the start of training camp. Dural was unable to pass the physical last week with a minor shoulder injury but has a nice track record of bouncing back from injuries. Dural recorded 280 receiving yards and a touchdown after rebounding from a gruesome hamstring injury in 2015. Hopefully, Dural remains healthy, makes waves at camp, and suits up in the black and gold this fall.

Now, with 39 days until LSU’s season opener against BYU at NRG Stadium, let’s conclude today’s update with our countdown to game day by remembering a 39-7 victory over Ole Miss in 1996. After snapping a six-year losing streak (1989-1994) in 1995, the 1996 squad was seeking to take it to the next level by winning an SEC championship. Unfortunately, the Tigers were dominated in Tiger Stadium against Alabama and fell to 6-2 overall and 4-2 in the SEC. Facing Ole Miss at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium the following week, it would have been easy for LSU to feel sorry for themselves and put in a subpar performance against the Rebels, but these Tigers were determined to make 1996 a special season.

Leading just 2-0 at halftime, the Tigers exploded for 37 second half points that included five rushing touchdowns, three from sophomore running back Kevin Faulk and two from sophomore quarterback Herb Tyler. Behind a defense that included stars such as linebacker Allen Stansberry, defensive linemen Chuck Wiley and Booger McFarland and defensive backs Raion Hill and Mark Roman, LSU suffocated Ole Miss’ offense all day limiting them to just 188 total yards (31 rushing) and forcing two turnovers. If not for a 100-yard kickoff return touchdown by the Rebels, the defense would have recorded its second SEC shutout of the season, the first being a 35-0 whitewash of Vanderbilt in Baton Rouge. Offensively, LSU tallied 474 yards, including 255 passing yards by Tyler that included 107 yards combined between tight ends David LaFleur and Nicky Savoie (Wouldn’t it be nice to see that kind of production from the tight ends in 2017!).

The Tigers would go on to win their final two regular season games, including a 17-7 victory in Little Rock against Arkansas in the first ever Battle for the Boot. With a 10-7 victory over Clemson in the Peach Bowl, LSU finished their season 10-2, the program’s first 10-win season since 1987 and just their second 10-win season in 35 years. The Tigers would certainly like another double-digit win season in 2017, which would be LSU’s first since 2013.

Closing tidbits:

• Attention gymnastics fans, LSU has announced its 2018 gym schedule. The slate features meets against five of the 11 teams that advanced to last year’s NCAA Championship as well as six meets inside the Maravich Center during the regular season. Times for each meet along with the television and streaming schedule will be released later this fall. For the full press release and a look at the schedule, click here.

• Lastly, as promised, I’ve added my recipe for Fried Shrimp to our collection of DandyDon Recipes. The shrimp I cooked that way last weekend, using Charles Alexander’s C’Mon Man seasoning, were outstanding and I look forward to trying his product again on these bass I caught yesterday. (Spoiler alert: My catch of fish was not overly impressive, but they’ll fry up nicely and it sure was good to get out there… so much so that I’m heading back out in just a minute for a real quick trip before heading back home.) 

Have a great day, Tiger Fans.




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7/25/17 5:40 am CST

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

In today’s report, we’ll continue to look at a few offensive players who will benefit most from Matt Canada’s new offense and touch on a variety of topics including recruiting and our Countdown to Game Day. Then, in closing, I’ll share a little tasty lagniappe. Here we go…

Five Tigers Who Could Benefit Most from LSU’s New-look Offense | Part 4

4. RBs Darrel Williams/Nick Brossette/Clyde Edwards-Helaire

Yeah, this is more than one guy, but this trio’s contributions lumped together loom as a major key for the offense under first-year offensive coordinator Matt Canada.

Derrius Guice will be the go-to back and figures to be among the SEC leaders in carries/offensive touches and expected impact for an offense that should look much different. But for most, if not all, of the above to come into focus, the Tigers need some diversification on offense and that’s where the three other primary backs in the stable come into play.

Last season at Pitt, Canada had a proven go-to back in James Conner, and like Guice is expected to, he got most of the carries (216). But the Panthers also got contributions from several other backs as Canada utilized players’ different skills. Freshman Chawntez Moss got 42 carries, Darrin Hall ran 36 times and big back Qadree Ollison toted it 33 times.

The Tigers can mirror that collection of backs with arguably more talent. 

Williams has slimmed down and gives Canada a bulldozer option inside. You have to figure Brossette is chomping at the bit to show what he can do with the dust on his shoulders from waiting in the wings and going through the grueling rehab of a knee injury. And Edwards-Helaire jumps into the “next great back” discussion from the beginning because of what he did at Catholic High once he stepped in for Guice. All of that swirled together — with the always-looming possibility that Guice could be slowed by injury and/or wear-and-tear — creates a lot of opportunities for the trio of backups.

With the diversity that Williams and Brossette provide, Edwards-Helaire could slide into a role similar to a third-down back in the NFL — a receiving threat out of the backfield who gives quarterback Danny Etling (or whoever it might be) a tantalizing safety-valve option in open space if defenses are able to take away other receiving threats.

Mike Detillier recently wrote in a Q&A with DandyDon.com that Williams is a one-cut blast runner and Edwards-Helaire is a shifty back who could excel as a receiver. Those attributes should compliment Guice well in Canada’s running back rotation.

In recruiting news, a day after Ja’Marr Chase shocked many with his pledge to Florida over LSU and TCU, another in-state wide receiver target committed out-of-state yesterday. This time it was John Ehret wide receiver Jammal Houston, the 19th ranked player on our list of Top LA Prospects. Houston would have been a solid get for LSU at a position of need and landing him would have lessened the sting of missing out on Chase, but I am not overly concerned. The word I’m getting is that Parkway’s Terrace Marshall, the No. 1 player on our list of in-state prospects, is still believed to be a strong lean to LSU and there are several other wide receiver targets on the board. In fact, just recently two four-star wide receivers named LSU in their final list of schools. Miles Battle (6-4, 188) of Houston (Cy Creek) announced that LSU is in his top-5 along with Ole Miss, TCU, Baylor, and Oregon, while Anthony Schwartz (6-0, 172) of Fort Lauderdale, FL (American Heritage) included LSU in his top-6 along with Florida, Georgia, Auburn, Tennessee, and USC. 

Mentioning Schwartz of American Heritage High School reminds me to give you an update on his teammate, 5-star cornerback Patrick Surtain. As mentioned in a previous report, Surtain visited LSU last weekend. What I’ve heard is that Surtain was accompanied by both of his parents and the visit went very well. Surtain visited Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide the day before and that visit also reportedly went well, but the word I’m getting is that LSU is still his undisputed leader and will likely remain that way, thanks in large part to Corey Raymond being LSU’s cornerback coach. Raymond and Surtain’s father, Pat Sr., are close friends. Landing this elite cornerback, rated as the nation’s top overall player in the class of 2018, would be a major boost to LSU’s recruiting class which currently contains 20 commitments and is ranked No. 6 in 247Sports Team Rankings.     

In other football-related news, The Advocate reported Monday that former LSU wide receiver Travin Dural passed his physical with the New Orleans Saints, allowing him to participate at the start of training camp. Dural was unable to pass the physical last week with a minor shoulder injury but has a nice track record of bouncing back from injuries. Dural recorded 280 receiving yards and a touchdown after rebounding from a gruesome hamstring injury in 2015. Hopefully, Dural remains healthy, makes waves at camp, and suits up in the black and gold this fall.

Now, with 39 days until LSU’s season opener against BYU at NRG Stadium, let’s conclude today’s update with our countdown to game day by remembering a 39-7 victory over Ole Miss in 1996. After snapping a six-year losing streak (1989-1994) in 1995, the 1996 squad was seeking to take it to the next level by winning an SEC championship. Unfortunately, the Tigers were dominated in Tiger Stadium against Alabama and fell to 6-2 overall and 4-2 in the SEC. Facing Ole Miss at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium the following week, it would have been easy for LSU to feel sorry for themselves and put in a subpar performance against the Rebels, but these Tigers were determined to make 1996 a special season.

Leading just 2-0 at halftime, the Tigers exploded for 37 second half points that included five rushing touchdowns, three from sophomore running back Kevin Faulk and two from sophomore quarterback Herb Tyler. Behind a defense that included stars such as linebacker Allen Stansberry, defensive linemen Chuck Wiley and Booger McFarland and defensive backs Raion Hill and Mark Roman, LSU suffocated Ole Miss’ offense all day limiting them to just 188 total yards (31 rushing) and forcing two turnovers. If not for a 100-yard kickoff return touchdown by the Rebels, the defense would have recorded its second SEC shutout of the season, the first being a 35-0 whitewash of Vanderbilt in Baton Rouge. Offensively, LSU tallied 474 yards, including 255 passing yards by Tyler that included 107 yards combined between tight ends David LaFleur and Nicky Savoie (Wouldn’t it be nice to see that kind of production from the tight ends in 2017!).

The Tigers would go on to win their final two regular season games, including a 17-7 victory in Little Rock against Arkansas in the first ever Battle for the Boot. With a 10-7 victory over Clemson in the Peach Bowl, LSU finished their season 10-2, the program’s first 10-win season since 1987 and just their second 10-win season in 35 years. The Tigers would certainly like another double-digit win season in 2017, which would be LSU’s first since 2013.

Closing tidbits:

• Attention gymnastics fans, LSU has announced its 2018 gym schedule. The slate features meets against five of the 11 teams that advanced to last year’s NCAA Championship as well as six meets inside the Maravich Center during the regular season. Times for each meet along with the television and streaming schedule will be released later this fall. For the full press release and a look at the schedule, click here.

• Lastly, as promised, I’ve added my recipe for Fried Shrimp to our collection of DandyDon Recipes. The shrimp I cooked that way last weekend, using Charles Alexander’s C’Mon Man seasoning, were outstanding and I look forward to trying his product again on these bass I caught yesterday. (Spoiler alert: My catch of fish was not overly impressive, but they’ll fry up nicely and it sure was good to get out there… so much so that I’m heading back out in just a minute for a real quick trip before heading back home.) 

Have a great day, Tiger Fans.

7/24/17 5:40 am CST

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

It was great hearing from a lot of you yesterday about our write-up on tight end Foster Moreau and how he could really excel under the direction of offensive coordinator Matt Canada. In today’s report, we’ll continue our series with a look at a third player who should really shine in LSU’s new-look offense, and then I’ll dish out a few interesting briefs before closing out with our Countdown to Game Day which has already reached the 40-day mark. Here we go…

Five Tigers Who Could Benefit Most from LSU’s New-look Offense | Part 3

3. WR DJ Chark

One might think the attention almost certain to fall on the 6-foot-3, 190-pound senior will make life awfully difficult for Chark as the only veteran in a very green receiver corps. Fair enough, because in a traditional, predictable offense, that would almost certainly be the case. But based on all indications, new offensive coordinator Matt Canada’s offense figures to be anything but traditional or predictable. Chark should get plenty of chances to operate with the ball should Canada follow the blueprint he’s laid out in previous stops around the college football world and spread the ball around. If that happens, it should be difficult for defenses to lock Chark down, and his blinding speed and knack for explosive plays in open spaces will come in handy as well. NFL Draft analyst Mike Detillier predicts that Chark will emerge into a big-time receiver and explosive playmaker. “He has size, speed, and improved route-running skills, but where he is off the charts is running with the ball in open field so you’ll see him used a lot on the jet sweeps,” Detillier said in a recent DandyDon.com Q&A.

Chark compares favorably to a receiver that Canada was able to bring the best out of in his one season at Pitt last fall. Jester Weah hadn’t done much in his three previous seasons with the Panthers, but in Canada’s diversified offense with a bell cow running back in James Conner and veteran quarterback who knew how to get the ball to his playmakers in Nathan Peterman– sound familiar at all? – Weah evolved quickly and led the team with 36 catches for a whopping 24.2 yards per grab, 10 of which wound up in the end zone.

It’s fair to say Chark has already taken the first several steps in the right direction with 26 receptions a year ago and 13 career chances running the ball – three that have resulted in touchdowns – since carving a niche in an offense not nearly as conducive to his skills. Now as the main man, that experience and the potential for offensive versatility make Chark a dangerous weapon for LSU as long as other parts of the system click around him to take some of the added attention away.

Stay tuned for the final two installments of this series later this week. 

Sticking to the topic of football, here’s a really good scouting report by CFB Film Room on LSU pass rusher extraordinaire Arden Key. It starts with a subhead that reads: “With 87 QB pressures through his first two seasons, Arden Key is the SEC's most dominant pass-rusher” and it ends by stating that “Key could potentially emerge as the best all-around prospect in this draft class.”

In recruiting news, wide receiver JaMarr Chase (6'2", 195) of Archbishop Rummel surprised a lot of folks yesterday when he committed to Florida after his weekend visit to Gainesville. Chase, ranked No. 7 on our list of Top Louisiana Prospects, was believed to be torn between TCU and LSU before his commitment. LSU’s 2018 recruiting class currently has commitments from two very good in-state wide receivers in Jaray Jenkins of Jena and Kennan Jones of Berwick (numbers 22 and 6 on our list of Top LA Prospects) and is believed to be the leader for the state’s No. 1 prospect, five-star wide receiver Terrace Marshall of Parkway.

In baseball news, big congratulations are in order for a former Tiger from my hometown of Lafayette – Andrew Stevenson. Yesterday his dream came true as he received a Major League call-up from the Washington Nationals and played his first big league game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. 

Now, with LSU’s season opener against BYU just 40 days away, let’s continue our countdown to game day by remembering LSU’s big 40-3 win over the Miami Hurricanes in the 2005 Peach Bowl in which the Tigers scored 40 unanswered points. This was LSU’s first year under former Head Coach Les Miles, and the Tigers entered the game 10-2 following their most devastating defeat of the season, a disappointing 34-14 loss to Georgia in the SEC championship game. This was also the first start for quarterback Matt Flynn who was called to step in for JaMarcus Russell after he suffered an injury in the 3rd quarter of the SEC championship game a few weeks earlier, and man did Flynn respond! The sophomore quarterback from Tyler, Texas, led the Tigers to eight consecutive scoring possessions and ended the night with 196 yards passing and MVP honors. All told, the Tigers piled up 468 yards, the most allowed by Miami all season, and were just as impressive on defense, holding the Hurricanes to only 153 yards and six first downs. I can think of no ending more appropriate for this 2005 Tiger team than this remarkable rebound against the Hurricanes. After all, the Tigers and the people of Louisiana had already had to overcome hurricanes Katrina and Rita earlier in the season. Take a walk down memory lane by reviewing that historic game’s video highlights.

While on Day 40,  it wouldn’t seem right to not give a shout out to this year’s current Tiger who wears No. 40 – Devin White. As a true freshman last season, the Springhill (La.) native made an immediate impact as a reserve middle linebacker in Defensive Coordinator Dave Aranda’s 3-4 defense. Besides tallying 30 tackles, three tackles for loss and a sack, White made a huge impact play in the Tigers’ regular season finale at Texas A&M. With the Tigers clinging to a 13-7 lead late in the second quarter, White stripped an Aggie ball carrier for a forced fumble and recovery on the same play, giving LSU’s offense possession at the A&M 20. The Tigers would score two plays later to take a 20-7 lead with just 32 seconds remaining before halftime and would go on to dominate the Aggies 54-39 in College Station. With seniors Kendell Beckwith and Duke Riley gone, White (6-1, 255) and senior Donnie Alexander (6-1, 230) are the projected starters at middle linebacker and could even help improve LSU’s defensive performance from last season in which the Tigers allowed just 15.8 points per game (5th nationally).

Folks, remember that creek I mentioned in my previous report? Well, I’m up in North Louisiana today for an afternoon appointment and it’s calling my name. So, let me wrap this up with a couple of brief tidbits and get on out there. With any luck, I might have a pic or two to share with you in tomorrow’s report.

Closing Tidbits:

• Here’s an interesting article by GridIronNow.com that quotes Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada as saying quarterback Danny Etling “couldn’t feel his leg” at times last season due to his back injury. We already knew Etling was tough as nails, but if that statement is accurate he might even tougher and more determined than we thought.

• Lastly, I’ve updated our Ticket Exchange with several new listings.



 

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