4/25/17 5:45 am CST
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
IT’S TIME FOR TUESDAY’S TIDBITS: Your Daily Dose of Tiger News Delivered in a Baker’s Dozen Quick-Hitters
1. Adding to LSU’s quarterback competition intrigue… The Advocate first reported and LSU later confirmed that projected starter Danny Etling underwent minor back surgery yesterday. Etling has been dealing with back pain for several months and the procedure is expected to relieve his pain. I have no way of knowing whether this issue affected Etling’s play on the field, but as someone who has dealt with chronic back pain for many years, I can’t imagine that it didn’t. Etling’s recovery time is expected to be brief and I know I speak for Tiger fans everywhere when I wish him a fast and full recovery.
2. As expected, after losing two of four games last week, the LSU baseball team dropped anywhere from two to six spots in the weekly polls. LSU now checks in as high as No. 11 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and as low as No. 15 in Baseball America and Perfect Game.
3. LSU continues its stretch of seven consecutive road games tonight, as the Tigers are set to battle Tulane at 7 p.m. in a revenge game of sorts. LSU fell to Tulane 7-6 early this year when the teams met in late March. While retribution would be nice, what’s more important is RPI. In the latest RPI index, LSU is at 13 and Tulane is at 81. A Tiger win won’t do much to elevate LSU, but a loss would surely drop the Tigers a few notches.
4. LSU is expected to start freshman right-hander Matthew Beck (1-0, 2.16 ERA, 16.2 IP, 4 BB, 13 SO) on the mound tonight, while Tulane will counter with Sam Bjorngjeld (3-2, 4.91 ERA, 33.0 IP, 24 BB, 19 SO). With the Alabama series starting on a Thursday, I suspect Coach Mainieri would like to preserve as much of his bullpen as possible while also giving Hunter Newman a bit of work since neither he nor Caleb Gilbert pitched against Kentucky.
5. Here’s a look at this week’s baseball schedule and TV/internet coverage:
6. In football recruiting news, LSU appears to be in great shape to land its top target at its biggest position of need, running back Harold Joiner of Alabama, but there’s a catch. “If I stay 6-foot-3 until like October or November, then it’s going to be LSU,” Joiner told SECCountry.org. “If I end up 6-foot-4 or 6-foot-5, I might have to move out to receiver, so I’d have to pick a receiver school.”
7. In other recruiting news, LSU has emerged as the leader for four-star offensive tackle Rafiti Ghirmai of Frisco, Texas. Ghirmai visited LSU over the weekend and enjoyed it so much he has named LSU his leader, despite holding offers from a bevy of big-time programs including Alabama, Texas, TCU, Georgia, Michigan, Oregon and UCLA. So how did LSU separate itself from the pack? Well, in addition to letting Ghirmai know what a priority he is, Coach Jeff Grimes reportedly has a special connection to the talented tackle of Ethiopian decent. Grime’s adopted daughter is from the same part of Ethiopia as Ghirmai’s parents.
8. Want to hear what it's liked to be within earshot of a legendary football coach doing his thing? Check out this latest LSU football “Mike’d Up” video featuring defensive line guru Pete Jenkins.
9. And while checking out videos, here’s a heartfelt ‘Dear LSU’ video by LSU senior standout gymnast Ashleigh Gnat. What a class act and extraordinary athlete!
10. Before closing out, I want to let you know that I’m working on a Q&A with Mike Detillier on the topic of LSU football and what we learned this spring. I’m also planning a much-needed camping getaway this weekend, so I’ll probably wait to publish his Q&A on those days while I’m away.
11. Speaking of “camping” that reminds me that LSU has published dates for its Summer Football Camps. This year, all of the camps will be in June so that the staff can take some time off in July. (Everyone needs a break, right?) For more information and registration details, click here.
June 3: O-Line/D-Line Camp
June 4: Tiger Skills Camp
June 8 & 9: Youth Camp
June 9: Kicking Camp
June 17: 7 on 7 & Lineman Camp
June 22: High School Camp
12. Today I’m going to close out with two non-LSU related tidbits. This first one is an outstanding article by the New York Times on Mondo Duplantis, the brother of LSU centerfielder Antoine Duplantis. As you’ve problem heard, Mondo is a world-class, world-record holding pole vaulter, and he’s only a junior at Lafayette High School. The article is aptly titled, “At 17, ‘the Tiger Woods of Pole Vaulting’ Soars Ahead of His Time.”
13. Now, as promised, here’s a little bit of tasty lagniappe. Last week, my wife cooked up something that was simply too good to not share. In fact, it was so good we cooked it again last night. If you’re a meat and potatoes, comfort food kind of person, I know you love it. I call it “Best. Meatloaf. Ever.” and I’m willing to bet you’ll agree.