NCAA Baseball Championships:
DandyDon is proud to recognize David Toms as a great ambassador of the Tiger Nation.
4/24/14 5:55 am CT
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
By the time most of you are reading this, I’ll be on my way out-of-town for a much anticipated fishing trip. I’ll be gone for four days, but I’ll still be posting daily updates (and hopefully some fishing pics) while away, although my reports may be a bit shorter than usual. To help fill in and optimize my fishing/camping time, we’ve prepared a series on LSU football players who saw their stocks rise this spring, and I’ll be posting one segment of the series each day, starting today with Danielle Hunter. (Thanks to my friend Jake Martin for his help with this feature). We’ll get that in just a bit, but first a bit of good news on the basketball front.
Yesterday LSU basketball fans breathed a sigh of relief when freshman forward Jordan Mickey announced he will return to LSU for his sophomore season instead of entering the NBA draft. After having a super freshman season that earned him second team All-SEC honors and landed him a place in the All-SEC freshman team, Mickey was projected to go in the second round of the NBA draft, but instead decided to return to LSU to help his team while working to get bigger, stronger and faster. That is certainly great news, and I can’t wait to see this Tiger team continue to improve with the return of starters Mickey, Jarell Martin, and Anthony Hickey. The three will be joined by several newcomers including the nation’s No. 51 overall prospect in 7-foot center Elbert Robinson of Garland, TX, and 6-foot-9 power forward Aaron Epps of Tioga, LA. I feel comfortable in saying that the future of LSU basketball looks brighter than it’s looked in quite some time.
Now lets’s get to part one of our seven-part series on LSU football players who saw their stock rise this spring. Here we go…
â€¨(DE, 6-6, 241, Katy, Texas)
Danielle Hunter is morphing into a defensive end opposing schools in the SEC will have to scheme around. The foreshadowing of Hunter’s dominance was always present with his exceptionally muscular build, but like most raw football players, it took him time to develop last season. Once he did, he earned the starting position opposite of Jermauria Rasco. Before he earned that spot, one of my buddies in the media told me, “He looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane,” one day after practice. Safe to say, he’s not making those comments anymore.
With Jordan Allen transferring from LSU, Hunter had to step up this spring and give confidence to his team that he could build off of last year’s success, a success that brought him total 57 tackles and three sacks. Hunter made splashes throughout the spring, and in the spring game he recorded two sacks for the White team.
Because of Hunter’s emergence and because of Rasco’s flashes of brilliance (four sacks in 2013), the Tigers will possess something they haven’t had since Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery pursued their NFL careers two years ago – a nice one-two punch at defensive end. It’s vital for LSU’s defense too, because without strong play from LSU’s defensive line, teams will be able to pass on LSU, despite LSU’s gifted secondary. A lot of folks believe the secondary is only as good as the pass rush in front of them, and I think there’s a lot of truth in that.
One more tidbit about Hunter: His first name is pronounced “Da-neal,” and I’m betting that will become a household name among Tiger fans this fall.
I’ll close today’s report with a link to this outstanding article by Tiger Rag’s Luke Johnson on former Tiger tailback Jeremy Hill: With the NFL draft approaching, Jeremy Hill is leaving his past in the dust
4/23/14 6:05 am CT
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
The LSU baseball team collected its second shutout in a row and 13th of the season as it defeated Tulane 6-0 last night. The win was the Tigers’ 11th in 13 games, and with it LSU is now 31-10-1.
Kyle Bouman got the start for the Tigers, lasted four and two-thirds innings, and allowed three hits while striking out two and walking two. It wasn’t an outstanding outing, but it was definitely a step in the right direction for the junior left-hander from Ferguson, Missouri. Coach Mainieri was able to work six bullpen pitchers in the game and they combined to allow only three hits. It was certainly a positive outing for the LSU pitching staff.
The Tigers collected 14 hits in the game and were led at the plate by freshman Jake Fraley who went 3-for-4 with three RBI. I’ve been really impressed with Fraley, a freshman from Middletown, Delaware, who batted in the six hole yesterday and also made an outstanding catch in left field. Andrew Stevenson and Mark Laird each went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Sean McMullen went 1-for-3 with one RBI double. It was good to see Alex Bregman have a good night at the plate (two-for-three), but he did make one careless base-running mistake that cost LSU a run.
Next up for the Tigers is a home series against Tennessee starting Friday at 7 p.m. I want to remind Tiger Fans that after this weekend’s series LSU will only have one more home series this season. If you live in the area and are able to attend the game (especially those of you who already have tickets), please head out to the Box and show your support for this team that has really been playing well lately. Last night’s paid attendance was 11,033 and actual attendance was 5,731.
Changing gears now… It’s been a while since I’ve written about football recruiting, so today let’s take a look at where LSU stands with the 2015 class.
Coach Miles currently has nine commitments for the LSU 2015 recruiting class which is currently ranked 7th in the nation in 247Sports’ composite team rankings. Of the nine commits, five are from Louisiana and four are from out-of-state. The headliners of the group are five-star cornerback Kevin Tolliver, who is the top-rated cornerback in the nation, and offensive tackle Maea Teuhema, also a five-star, who is the third highest ranked OT in the country. Teuhema is the younger brother of LSU DE signee Sione Teuhema who will be reporting to LSU in the fall. The other two out-of-state commits are TE Hanner Shipley of Marble Falls, Texas and LS Blake Ferguson (current LSU long snapper Reid Ferguson’s younger brother) of Buford, Georgia. The five in-state commits are Nick Brossette (RB, 6-0, 207, University Lab), Jazz Ferguson (WR, 6-5, 205, West Feliciana), Kevin Henry (S, 6-1, 200, Central of BR), David Ducre (FB, 5-11, 238, Lakeshore), and Isaiah Washington (DE, 6-4, 225, Edna Karr). These five are currently ranked 2, 4, 7, 16, and 21 respectively on my list of Top LA Prospects for 2015.
Without a doubt, the biggest need in the 2015 class is for offensive linemen. LSU’s O-line will be among the best on the nation this year with four starters returning, but four of the projected starters are upperclassmen (three seniors and a junior), and six of the O-linemen on my projected depth chart are upperclassmen. That gives you a pretty clear picture of why offensive linemen are a priority in the 2015 class. The LSU staff is working hard to shore up depth at the position, as evident by the fact that they have extended 20 offers to O-linemen in this class. The two most highly coveted in-state offensive linemen with offers are Jerry Tillery (OT, 6-5, 315, Evangel of Shreveport, No. 5 on my list of Top LA Prospects) and Adrian Magee (OT, 6-4, 290, Franklinton, No. 13 on my list). Tillery is currently committed to Notre Dame but is said to have really enjoyed his visit to LSU for Junior Day. Magee is considered a very strong lean to LSU.
Looking ahead a bit, 2016 could be another very special year for LSU in recruiting as the state is loaded with talent. LSU is already off to a good start with commitments from in-state sensations Edwin Alexander (DT, 6-3, 280, Hammond) and Stephen Sullivan (WR, 6-6, 200, Donaldsonville).
While on the topic of football, I want to let you know that tomorrow we’ll begin our series on seven LSU players who stood out this spring. Stay tuned!
In other news, congratulations are in order for LSU baseball’s Sean McMullen and softball’s Simone Heyward for being chosen as LSU’s nominees for the SEC’s prestigious H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship. Each year, the SEC, in conjunction with AT&T, provides the league’s male and female McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship recipients with a $15,000 post-graduate scholarship. The 26 remaining male and female finalists for the award will also receive a $7,500 post-graduate scholarship.
Reader Comments: Scott, here’s something many of your readers will surely want to read. T-Bob Hebert On 2012 BCS Title Game in Reddit AMA: "Nothing out of the ordinary happened.”
4/22/14 6:00 am CT
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
After winning three games last week including two out of three at Ole Miss, the LSU baseball team moved up considerably in the polls. In the Perfect Game and USAToday Coaches polls, the Tigers came in at No. 6. In Baseball America’s rankings, LSU climbed three spots to No. 9. In Collegiate Baseball’s poll, LSU moved up four spots to No. 10.
One of the main contributors to LSU’s success last week was infielder Connor Hale, and for his efforts he was named SEC Player of the Week. Against No. 10 Ole Miss, Hale hit .625 (5-for-8) with one double, one homer, one RBI, five runs scored and a .667 on-base percentage. In Game 1, Hale went 3-for-5 at the plate with a double and three runs scored. His double with one out in the top of the 13th inning was an example of great clutch hitting. In Game 3, Hale was 2-for-3 with a homer and two runs scored. Of the seven total runs scored by LSU in the series at Ole Miss, five were scored by Hale, and what makes that all the more remarkable is that he didn’t even play in Game 2. In that contest, Ole Miss sent their lefty to the mound and Coach Mainieri decided to switch up his lineup to better match the southpaw pitching and Hale was left out of the mix.
The Tigers return to action tonight against Tulane at 6:30 p.m. in a game that will be televised by CST. The game can also be viewed on ESPN3 and can be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network, including Baton Rouge flagship WDGL-FM 98.1 FM. Live video, audio and stats of the games may be accessed in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net.
The Tigers will sport a different look tonight as they’ll be wearing camouflage caps for Military Appreciation Night. All U.S. servicemen and women dressed in uniform will be admitted to the game for only $5.
Coach Mainieri has decided to start junior left-hander Kyle Bouman (3-2, 3.24 ERA) in tonight’s game to give him a chance to redeem himself after his dismal outing in the series finale against Arkansas on April 13. As most of you will recall, the Razorbacks’ first four batters quickly rocked Bouman for four run on a double, single, walk and grand-slam home run. Tulane will start senior right-hander Tyler Mapes (4-2, 1.97 ERA) who is normally a weekend starter. Mapes was scheduled to pitch last Saturday but didn’t get a chance to as the game was rained out.
After tonight’s game, the Tigers will have a three-game home series against Tennessee starting Friday. Here is this week’s complete schedule:
April 22 (Tue.) – TULANE, 6:30 p.m. CT (Cox Sports Television)
April 25 (Fri.) – TENNESSEE, 7 p.m. CT
April 26 (Sat.) – TENNESSEE, 6:30 p.m. CT (Cox Sports Television)
April 27 (Sun.) – TENNESSEE, 12 p.m. CT
Since things are a little slow in football news at this time, we’ll soon start turning our attention to football recruiting. LSU’s 2015 recruiting class currently contains nine commitments and is ranked sixth in the nation in 247Sports’ composite rankings. With Spring Break and the Easter holiday behind us, the staff will be busy on the recruiting trail this week, and if any news breaks I’ll be sure to let you know.
Also, please note that later this week we’ll start a 7-part series profiling current LSU players who saw their stocks rise during spring practice. The seven I’ve selected are Daniel Hunter, Evan Washington, Ronnie Feist, Travin Dural, Kendell Beckwith, Desean Smith, and, of course, Brandon Harris. Stay tuned!
In other news, LSU gymnastics coach D-D Breaux was named National Coach of the Year and Jay Clark and Bob Moore shared National Assistant Coach of the Year honors. These awards are coming on the heels of what was arguably the finest season in LSU history in which the Tigers took third place at the NCAA Super Six on Saturday.
Before closing out with a couple of reader comments, I want to give you a quick update on former Tiger football player Tahj Jones’ condition. According to this article by NOLA.com, Jones continues to improve and could be released from the hospital as early as tomorrow. Considering the severity of his injury, this is truly remarkable. As most of you know, Jones was shot by another former LSU player, Brandon Winey, just 11 days ago. Please continue to keep Jones and his family in your prayers.
Reader Comments: Hi, Scott, not sure if you saw this, it's a little dated, but it's a video From wwl in New Orleans about Malachi Dupre working out with Keenan Lewis from the Saints....great comments from Lewis about Dupre.
Reader Comments: Scott, LSU Orlandeaux Chapter is having a Crawfish Boil on May 17th from noon to four at “Belle Isle Bayou.” Cost is $35.00 for Paid Chapter Members, $45.00 for Non Members. Cut off is May 3rd! For more info, www.lsuorlandeaux.com
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