1/17/17 6:45 am CST
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Good morning, Tiger Fans,
In exactly one month from today, the south Lafourche community will passer du bon temps in honor of its native son, Ed “Bébé” Orgeron, by celebrating “Coach O Day.” The event, which is sure to be a hoot, will be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 17 at the Larose Civic Center. Raceland-based NFL analyst and frequent DandyDon contributor Mike Detillier will serve as master of ceremonies. The banquet will also celebrate the 40th anniversary of South Lafourche High School's 1977 Class 4A state championship football team which featured Orgeron and former New Orleans Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert.
Speaking of Mike Detillier, I want to let you know that I’ll be working on a new Q&A with him today on the topic of LSU football. If you have a question you’d like me to consider asking him, get it to me quickly as I’ll be contacting Mike shortly.
With just 15 days until National Signing Day, there are a few recruiting tidbits to pass long, starting with a word on several of LSU’s linebacker recruits. If you’ve noticed that we’ve been focussing a lot of the linebacker position in recent write-ups, there’s a good reason. LSU currently only has one linebacker committed in this class and the fact that no linebackers were signed in 2015 and only two were signed the previous year (including the departed Clifton Garrett) make this a big position of priority for the Tigers, not to mention the fact that seniors Duke Riley and Kendell Beckwith are moving on.
• Baton Rouge native and Alabama linebacker commit Chris Allen joined ESPN104.5’s Morning Drive with Jordy Culotta and Hunt Palmer yesterday to discuss his recent LSU visits and where things stand with his recruitment. Allen said the visit “went great” and noted that while he remains committed to the Crimson Tide, the Tigers “have a chance.” Asked why Louisiana kids who grow up dreaming of playing for LSU would cross over and sign with Alabama, Allen gave a simple answer that gets to the simple truth. “Mainly because probably every year, they're beating LSU and they are winning national championships,” Allen said. Even though this year they didn't win it, they made it to the game. That's a huge attraction.” As I’ve written many times, the best way for LSU to turn the Tide and prevent as many recruiting losses to the enemy is to beat Alabama. Simple, but true.
• Another linebacker recruit who had a great LSU visit this past weekend was K’Lavon Chaissson. In fact, Chaisson tweeted that it was the “One of the livest weekends of my life.” So where does that put LSU’s chances of signing this four-star pass-rusher extraordinaire? Well, according to Sam Spiegleman of SECCountry, sources indicate that the visit might have been enough to give LSU a slight lead over Texas in his recruitment. Of course, this see-saw recruiting battle could tilt the other way after Chaisson visits the Longhorns this coming weekend.
• Speaking of this coming weekend, all eyes will be on LSU inside linebacker target Jacob Phillips of Tennessee to see if he and his family make it in to LSU for an unofficial visit. As mentioned previously, if they do, that will bode extremely well for LSU signing this primary target. Make no mistake about it, landing Phillips would be huge. Just yesterday he was elevated to five-star status by Rivals.
• Earlier, I mentioned that LSU currently only has one linebacker committed in this class, Patrick Queen of Livonia. Yesterday, Queen was one of at least three recruits who Coach Ed Orgeron visited in-home. The other two were receiver Stephen Guidry and offensive lineman Saahdiq Charles. The good news is that all three of those commitments appear to be very solid. All three will be taking their official visits to LSU this coming weekend, where they’ll be joined by several other LSU commits as well as key LB targets Willie Gay and Markeviest Bryant, DE Justin Harris and wide receiver Marlon Williams.
Turning to basketball, Coach Johnny Jones met with the media yesterday in advance of tomorrow’s game at Auburn. Jones gave an update on injured sophomore guard Antonio Blakeney. As you might recall, Blakeney suffered an injury in the final minutes of Saturday’s game against Alabama. Jones said Blakeney rolled his ankle and would not practice yesterday, and that his availability for tomorrow’s game will remain unknown until he’s reevaluated later today. That tells me that the injury isn’t too serious, which is great to hear. If Blakeney is a no-go, freshman guard Kieran Hayward and sophomore guard Brandon Sampson will have to step up their play big-time to help make up the deficiency.
In gymnastics news, LSU checked in at No. 2 in the latest RoadToNationals.com rankings. With two of the four highest team scores in the country after two weeks, the Tigers are second only to Oklahoma who regained the top spot after totaling a score of 198.025 on Sunday afternoon. LSU returns to the Maravich Center for the annual Pink and Blue meet this Friday where they’ll take on Texas Woman’s at 7:30 p.m. CT. The match will be streamed live on WatchESPN.com through SECNetwork+.
A few tidbits in closing:
• ProFootballFocus revealed its 10 Early 2017 Heisman Trophy Candidates and in what should come as no surprise, LSU’s Derrius Guice made the cut. Here’s what PFF had to say about him: “As Heisman candidate Leonard Fournette battled injuries all season, Guice took advantage of his opportunities and flourished, finishing with an 83.3 rushing grade that ranked seventh among running backs. He was a big-play threat waiting to happen as 58.6 percent of his yards came on breakaway (15-plus yard) runs, third-highest in the country. With Guice’s big-play ability and LSU’s new misdirection-heavy offense, we may see monster numbers in 2017 with a full workload.”
• Although one time Heisman hopeful Leonard Fournette’s injury riddled season didn’t turn out as many had hoped, NOLA.com gives these seven reasons why the Browns should pick Fournette No. 1.
• Congratulations to LSU women’s basketball signee Raven Farley for being selected to play in the 2017 McDonald’s All-American Game. The annual event, in its 16th season for girls basketball, will be played at the United Center in Chicago on March 29. Farley is LSU head coach Nikki Fargas’ second Lady Tiger signee to be selected to participate in the prestigious game.
Have a great day, Tiger Fans, and please remember: If you value these daily doses of Tiger News, please consider showing it by donating to our annual fundraiser, which ends February 1. To find out why it’s important and how to help, please read this message. Thanks in advance for your support.