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12/06/18 5:20 am CST

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

As promised, I’m happy to share with you today Part 1 of a three-part Q&A with NFL and College Football Analyst Mike Detillier on the topic of LSU football. In this first installment, I ask Mike for his thoughts on Coach Ed Orgeron’s second full season as LSU’s head coach and on whether he expects to see any chances on the offensive staff. Mike also gives his reasons to be optimistic about next year’s offense, and much more. In tomorrow’s installment, we’ll focus more on defense and draft projections, and then on Saturday we’ll wrap up with special teams, the upcoming bowl game, and a few miscellaneous topics. So, without further ado, click the link below to get started. Then come back here so we can close out this brief “day away” report with a few tidbits.

DandyDon.com Q&A with Mike Detillier Part 1:  Coach Orgeron’s Second Full Season, Steve Ensminger, Joe Burrow, & the LSU Offense 

A couple of days ago, I conducted a poll asking how you felt about LSU playing in the Fiesta Bowl against UCF but then I completely forgot to give you the results. With a little more than 3,000 votes cast (a very low turnout for our polls), 56 percent said they “Love it!” while 36 percent said they’re very happy but would have preferred an opponent like Michigan. Eight percent said it either didn’t excite them or they couldn’t care less. One thing is for sure, this will be a game of great interest to a large national audience. Sports Illustrated ranks this matchup No. 1 out of all 37 bowl games in terms of “watchability.” With practically the whole college football world watching, one way or another a statement will be made. Whether that statement is about UCF proving they can stand strong against another SEC power (they beat Auburn last year), or LSU proving it’s a top-10 team program on the rise, will depend on how seriously the Tigers take this game and how they perform without three defensive starters.

In football recruiting news, LSU quarterback commit Peter Parrish went head to head with Alabama quarterback commit Taulia Tagovailoa last night in the Alabama Class 7A State Championship and came out on top. Parrish earned MVP honors while leading his Phenix City Central team to its first state championship in 25 years with a 52-7 win over Thompson.

Also, yesterday I called linebacker target Nakobe Dean a Devin White caliber prospect. Coincidentally, he was named as the High School Butkus Award winner later in the day. Dean and his cornerback teammate at Horn Lake High (Miss.), Raydarious Jones, will be visiting LSU this weekend.   

Louisiana High School Football state championships are being played this week in all divisions beginning tonight with the Class 1A and select Division IV title games. DandyDon contributor Blaine Viator has this overview of all the games that will played at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome this weekend.

In my previous update, I mentioned that I was going fishing and that I hoped I’d have a photo worth sharing today. Well, I didn’t fish long and didn’t catch anything big enough to brag about, but it sure did me some good to get out there. Here’s a pic of my light catch, which I hope to beat this morning.  

Again, please don’t forget to check out Part 1 of the Q&A with Mike Detillier, which is where the bulk of today’s content is. And stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow. As always, your feedback is welcomed

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Reader Comments: Scott, here’s an article on NOLA.com that I hope you’ll share: Why is Greedy Williams skipping LSU's bowl game? Ask his family.

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12/5/18 5:35 am CST

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Good morning, Tiger Fans,

For the second day in a row, we start our “daily dose” with some great news about Devin White. This time, it’s to announce that he has won the prestigious Butkus Award given to the nation’s top linebacker. This is a big deal, folks. White is the first LSU Tiger to ever win the award and the first to claim a national award since wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. won the 2013 Paul Hornung Award. White beat out finalists Josh Allen (Kentucky), Devin Bush (Michigan), Tré Lamar (Clemson), and Dylan Moses (Alabama) to claim the honor and become the winner of LSU’s 25th national award in program history. Here’s more on White and the season that made him so deserving of the honor, as pulled from LSU’s press release:

White, who was named first-team All-SEC by the AP and the league's coaches this week, had a career-best 17 tackles and 4.0 tackles for loss, including a sack, and a forced fumble in LSU's season finale against Texas A&M. He was named Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Week twice in 2018.

In 2018, White ranks second in the SEC in total tackles with 115 and his 12.0 tackles for loss stands No. 10 in the league. White is only the seventh player in LSU history to record 100 tackles in back-to-back seasons.

Now in his second year as a starting linebacker for the Tigers, White has 278 career tackles to go along with 29.0 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. He's also responsible for eight takeaways (four fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles and an interception).

Last season, White set an SEC record by being named the league's defensive player of the week four times. He led the SEC in tackles last year with 133, which ranks as the fourth-highest total in school history.

I know I speak for Tiger Fans everywhere when I congratulate White for the well-deserved award. What an exemplary Tiger and team player he’s been!  White is projected to be a top-10 pick in the first round of the upcoming NFL draft and will likely bypass his final year of collegiate eligibility, but when one is projected to go that high I certainly can respect that decision.  

Speaking of respecting one’s decisions, I want to briefly follow up on Greedy Williams’s decision to sit out of the upcoming bowl game. As I’ve said before, I don’t agree with the decision. I would have preferred to see him follow the examples of Derrius Guice, White, and others who were projected to be high draft picks but still risked injury for the sake of the team, the fans, and the program. That said, yesterday I was reminded that he has a young daughter. As a father who values his family more than anything else, I can only imagine what its like to know that the only thing separating you from providing complete financial security for your family for many years to come is a few weeks without injury. So, while I don’t condone his decision, I certainly understand it.

In other LSU football news involving White and Williams, they and two other Tigers – Grant Delpit and Cole Tracy - were named to the Coaches’ All-SEC first teams. This comes a day after they were named to the AP first team. For the complete list of coaches’ first- and second-team All-SEC selections, click here

Now, with 27 days until LSU’s bowl game, four days until LSU basketball returns to action, and another day before I’m ready to roll out Part 1 of my newest Q&A with Mike Detillier on LSU football, this seems like a perfect time to talk recruiting. So here we go…

LSU’s 2019 recruiting class currently contains 20 commitments and is ranked No. 4 in 247Sports’ composite team rankings. By comparison, last year at about this time, LSU’s 2018 class had 19 commitments and was ranked No. 13. The year before, the 2017 class was at 18 commitments and ranked No. 4 at this time. That class ended up finishing 7th in the nation and last year’s class finished 15th. This year, the Tigers are looking at the distinct possibility of finishing in the top-five for the first time since the 2016 class finished at No. 2. As you might recall, that class was highlighted by two five-star prospects, DL Rashard Lawrence and CB Kristian Fulton. Well, this year’s class already has three five-stars – CB Derek Stingley, RB John Emery, and OG Kardell Thomas – and has a good chance of finishing with more.  

In today’s report, we look at a handful of four- and five-star prospects who give LSU a legitimate chance of signing its best recruiting class in several years. Now, I’m not saying LSU will sign all of these guys, and I am certainly not expecting that. But LSU is in the picture with all of them and several others (topic for another day) who could make this a very special class. 

And if you’re wondering why I chose these five in particular to highlight, it’s just because two are the top uncommitted in-state prospects, two are expected to visit this weekend, and one is coming off a very good visit last weekend.

Ishamael Sopsher
DT, 6-3.5, 334, Amite High (La.), 5-star 

This one’s an LSU-Alabama battle that will likely play out all the way until February, but don’t believe folks who say Sopher is a lock to the Crimson Tide. Reports I’ve received this week suggest that is far from the case. As the top DL (and top uncommitted prospect) in the state, Sopsher is a major priority for LSU and you’d better believe Coach O knows that. 

Davonté Lee
S, 6-2, 212, Amite High (La.), 4-star 

LSU has an even better chance of signing Lee than it does his Amite High teammate, Sopsher. In fact, I’d be very surprised of LSU does not ink Lee’s signature. With no safeties currently committed, this homegrown talent is a major priority for LSU.

Raydarious Jones
CB, 6-2, 160, Horn Lake, Miss., 4-star 

Jones is one of two prospects from Horn Lake who will be visiting LSU this weekend. He plays quarterback for his high school team, which won a Mississippi State title last weekend, but will play cornerback at the next level. He’s been high on the Tigers since attending an LSU camp this past summer and LSU is a real contender here, although most consider Ole Miss his leader at this time. Perhaps that changes this weekend.

Nakobe Dean
LB, 6-0, 220, Horn Lake, Miss., 5-star 

Dean is the other player from Horn Lake visiting LSU this weekend. He’s a big-time prospect at middle linebacker. I’m talking Devin White caliber. Admittedly, LSU stands a better chance of signing his teammate (Jones) than him, but LSU is certainly in the mix. 

George Pickens
WR, 6-3.5, 190, Hoover, Ala., 4-star 

Pickens is currently committed to Auburn but is coming off an official visit to LSU last weekend. The word I’m getting is the visit went very well, and with the coaching changes going on at Auburn there’s a distinct chance he could flip. Remember, Auburn’s offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey is out the door and could end up coaching for Les Miles over at Kansas.

Today’s Closing Tidbits:

• Speaking of coaching changes… The college football coaching carousel spun into overdrive with the announcement of Urban Meyer stepping down as Ohio State's coach after the Rose Bowl. It's not a wholly unexpected move and one that will ripple across the landscape. Offensive coordinator Ryan Day is stepping in permanently with a five-year contract. Also, former Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury is set to take the offensive coordinator job at USC and Memphis assistant Will Hall is expected to become the offensive coordinator at Tulane, Dan Wolken reports. Hall was once offensive coordinator at UL-Lafayette.

• How’s this for December LSU sports content?  With temperatures in the 30s, the last thing on your mind might be LSU baseball, but that doesn’t mean the team is taking it easy, just kicking back in their easy chairs and getting fat on gumbo. To prove it, LSU released the first LSU baseball workout hype video that I ever recall seeing. Watching it gets me thinking about New Year’s resolutions.  

• On a more serious note, here’s a brief memoir published by the LSU Alumni Association on recently departed former President George H. W. Bush and his connection to LSU. Regardless of your political persuasion, I think you’ll find it to be an interesting story, just as I did. 

• Lastly, I’m heading out for a business meeting with some fine folks up in Natchitoches, and you probably know what that means. Every time I get up in the north-central part of the state, I can’t leave without hitting one of my favorite fishing holes. I plan on doing that this afternoon, and hope to have a pic worth sharing with you tomorrow. Perhaps of more interest to you as a Tiger fan, my two-day trip also means I won’t have much time to write updates. But don’t worry, that’s probably a plus for you. Instead, I’ll use this opportunity to roll out my Q&A with Mile Detillier on LSU football. Stay tuned for Part 1 in tomorrow’s daily dose of Tiger News.

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