NCAA Baseball Championships:
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6/12/19 5:40 am CST
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
It was great hearing from many of you yesterday about Part 1 of the football series with Mike Detillier, and about my fishing/gardening pics. It’s evident from yesterday’s piece on newcomers that Mike is high on this team. Of course, there are concerns, too, which is what he tackles in today’s post. Click the link below to read it and then come back for a few newsy tidbits and our Countdown to Game Day to close things out.
In football recruiting news, LSU lost the commitment of offensive tackle Courtland Ford of Cedar Hill, Texas. Ford announced the news on Twitter, but really this has been a little while in the making. Ford is coming off of two knee surgeries and from what I understand it showed during his summer camp performance. I don’t think this is so much a case of Ford spurning LSU as it is both parties rethinking things. I wish Ford nothing but the best of luck moving forward. Without his pledge, LSU’s 2020 class is back down to 17 commitments, with the only offensive lineman being three-star guard Marlon Martinez of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. That makes offensive linemen, especially offensive tackles, the biggest remaining position of need in this class. A few targets that immediately come to mind are four-star OTs Marcus Dumervil (Martinez’s teammate at St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale), Ty’kieast Crawford (currently committed to Arkansas), five-star OT Paris Johnson, and three-star Brady Ward, son of former Tiger Brian Ward.
In baseball news, LSU sophomore catcher Brock Mathis and freshman pitcher Will Ripoll have entered the transfer portal and are expected to transfer. Mathis played a huge role this year by starting 40 games behind the plate while Saul Garza was recovering from a torn meniscus. Mathis was great defensively, but gave up a lot of stolen bases and only hit .164 with three home runs and 12 RBI. But with Garza fully healed and expected to return next year, plus with three catcher signees coming in – Alex Milazzo, Raymond Torres, and Hayden Travinski – it’s not all that surprising to see Mathis on his way out. As for Ripoll, he saw very little action this year at the bottom of the bullpen and knows that LSU should be loaded at the pitcher position next season, presuming there’s not another rash of injuries like this year.
Our countdown to the start of LSU football continues to fly by, and today we find ourselves at 80 days from kickoff. That brings to mind an outstanding former LSU tailback who continues to produce for LSU today,
No matter how many all-time great tailbacks tote the rock in Baton Rouge — and listen, there have been several just within the last decade — Kevin Faulk will always hold a special place in the hearts of the LSU faithful. And throughout the years of doing this countdown, we’ve written about many moments from Faulk’s phenomenal career at LSU, but I don’t believe we’ve ever written about this one. In 1996, Faulk dazzled Tiger fans with a 246-yard performance against Houston. And it wasn’t until recently that Derrius Guice and Leonard Fournette broke Faulk’s two-decade reign for most rushing yards in a single game. The highlight of this historic performance was an 80-yard run (hence the 80-day selection) by Faulk where he simply cut to the outside and blew by the Houston defense for a long touchdown run. What’s crazy about this game is Faulk broke the school record for most rushing yards in a single game and also had a 78-yard punt return in the fourth quarter that would help LSU edge out Houston, 35-34. Though this was the most yards in a single game by an LSU running back for 20 long years, it was almost commonplace for Faulk to eclipse the 200-yard mark. In fact, Faulk did it four times in his LSU career. Only Fournette has more 200-yard rushing games (five) than Faulk in an LSU uniform. Faulk holds numerous other LSU records, though. After all, Faulk is still the all-time rushing leader in school history with 4,557 yards, which were accumulated from 1995-98. Dalton Hilliard is second, by the way, with 4,050 yards. Faulk is the school leader in most 100-yard rushing games with 22 and is second for most 100-yard rushing performances in a single season with seven. He also has the third-longest streak of 100-yard rushing performances (five). Fournette and Charles Alexander are tied for the school record with nine. To watch that 80-yard run and all of Faulk’s other memorable runs in that historic performance, click here.
By the way, that comment I made about Faulk still producing for LSU today is a reference to his current position of Director of Player Development. According to his LSU bio, Faulk’s responsibilities include working with LSU’s football student-athletes on their academic direction, social development and overall quality of life to enhance their development in the classroom, the community and on the football field.
That’s it for now, but don’t forget to read Part 2 of Mike Detillier’s comments and to come back tomorrow for the final installment. In it, Mike dishes on how different he expects the LSU offense to be.
6/11/19 5:35 am CST
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
As promised, we’ve got a “Scott’s semi-day-off” style report today since I’m out of town. What that means is that I’ll quickly fill you in on a couple of newsy tidbits, post Part 1 of Mike Detillier’s series on LSU football, and continue with our countdown to Game Day. Then I’ll close out with a quick update on my fishing trip, all in a half-dozen quick hitters. Here we go…
1. Following an outstanding visit to LSU over the weekend, JUCO defensive end Ali Gaye of Garden City C.C has announced his commitment to the Tigers. At 6-6, 275, Gaye is ranked by 247Sports as a Top 25 prospect in JUCO and one of the five best strong-side defensive ends in the 2020 class. He chose LSU over offers from Oklahoma, Nebraska and Washington, and others, and will have two years of eligibility. With his pledge, the Tigers’ 2020 class now contains 18 commitments and is back at No. 2 in the nation, slightly ahead of No. 3 Alabama and behind No. 1 Clemson. Kudos to Coach O and his staff for tearing it up on the recruiting trail.
Gaye is one of two players whose commitment led Coach Ed Orgeron to tweet “Hold that Tiger!” twice on Sunday. The other commitment has not yet been made public.
2. On the baseball front, here are two good reads on a couple of young men who will always be among my favorite Tigers, partly because they come from my hometown of Lafayette, but also because their family are such great representatives of LSU. Dear LSU: A Letter From Mondo | For the Duplantis Brothers, Every Moment Matters
3. LSU football announced yesterday the jersey numbers for the incoming class. One thing that might catch your eye in this list is seeing linebacker Marcel Brooks at No. 9, the number formerly worn by LSU All-American safety Grant Delpit. That’s because Delpit has been switched to the prestigious No. 7. As for who will be awarded No. 18, we’ll likely have to wait until the start of fall camp to find out.
4. Mentioning that incoming class makes for a good transition to Part 1 of Mike Detillier’s Series on LSU football. That’s because in this installment, Mike shares his thoughts on incomers who will make the biggest impact in 2019. Good stuff from Mike, as always.
5. Now for our countdown: With just 81 days until kickoff, we can only hope a new LSU player will make an instant splash like Justin Jefferson did a year ago against Miami in the season opener For months, we had talked about how tough LSU’s first few weeks were going to be, and as the Tigers took center stage for a Sunday night contest, Jefferson made an instant impact with 81 receiving yards in his debut as a Tiger. Though the 33-17 victory against the Hurricanes might’ve technically been Jefferson’s first start, his five catches for 81 yards were not a big surprise to hardcore fans who watched Jefferson showcase his skills in LSU’s spring game. And it was evidently clear from the jump, Joe Burrow and Jefferson had a special chemistry. It showed throughout the season, as Jefferson went on to lead the Tigers in receptions (54), receiving yards (875) and touchdown receptions (six).
Have a great day, Tiger Fans.
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