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Receiver Jhamon Ausbon spurns Aggies, commits to LSU

Jhamon Ausbon (247Sports.com)

Jhamon Ausbon (247Sports.com)


LSU won another battle with Texas A&M – this time off the field.

IMG Academy’s Jhamon Ausbon, a four-star receiver originally from Texas, committed to the Tigers on Saturday in a somewhat startling decision to many in the recruiting world. Ausbon, the 11th-ranked receiver nationally in the 2017 class, was seen as a hard lean for the Aggies during the entire process – until this week.

Ausbon told Geaux247.com earlier this week that he had narrowed his top two to A&M and LSU, and he visited Baton Rouge last weekend – apparently the final push needed to verbally pledge to the Tigers.

LSU has beaten A&M five consecutive times on the field, a run that began in 2010 with a 41-24 Cotton Bowl trouncing and continued in 2012 when the program joined the Southeastern Conference. The Tigers grabbed a fourth Texas native in a 2017 commitment class that’s now reached 14 prospects – six out of state.

Ausbon appears to be LSU’s first true recruiting catch from its first ever wave of satellite camps carried out earlier this month. LSU coaches spent time with Ausbon at the program’s satellite camp in Houston  on June 14 – a two-stop camp in Ausbon’s hometown and at one of his former schools (Episcopal High).

The SEC lifted a policy in May banning coaches from working camps outside of a 50-mile radius of their campus, opening the floodgates for SEC staffs to travel to these quasi recruiting-camps — something other conference coaches have done for years. The controversial camps are set up as evaluation-type events, but they quickly turn into recruiting affairs.

For example, at the school’s first satellite camp in Bossier City earlier this month, coach Les Miles met with at least one camper in a luxury RV just off the field. That camper: Parkway receiver Terrace Marshall, the most highly rated prospect at the event.

“I went inside the trailer and talked to (Coach Miles) for a little bit,” Marshall said after the June 2 camp. “He was telling me it’s open for me to commit. He told me to just keep working hard and getting better.”

Ausbon transferred in January from St. Thomas, another private school in Houston, to IMG Academy, a snazzy, sport-specific school outside of Tampa that draws highly touted prospects from around the nation.

LSU’s 2017 commitment class

  • RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Catholic (Baton Rouge)
  • WR Jhamon Ausbon, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida)
  • QB Jontre Kirklin, Lutcher (Lutcher)
  • Nannie Netherly, Crosby (Crosby, Texas)
  • DT Tyler Shelvin, Notre Dame (Lafayette)
  • OLB Patrick Queen, Livonia (Livonia)
  • QB Lowell Narcisse, Saint James (Saint James)
  • QB Myles Brennan, St. Stanislaus (Bay St. Louis, Mississippi)
  • OG Edward Ingram, DeSoto (DeSoto, Texas)
  • OT Austin Deculus, Cy-Fair (Cypress, Texas)
  • WR Stephen Guidry, Hinds CC (Morganza)
  • FB Tory Carter, Lee County (Leesburg, Georgia)
  • OG Saahdiq Charles, MRA (Ridgeland, Mississippi)
  • DE Aaron Moffitt, Catholic (Baton Rouge)

LSU’s 2018 commitment class

  • DB Kelvin Joseph, Scotlandville (Baton Rouge)
  • DB Corione Harris, Landry-Walker (New Orleans)
  • QB Zadock Dinkelmann, Somerset (Somerset, Texas)
  • WR Devonta Jason, Landry-Walker (New Orleans)
  • DB Nadab Joseph, Edison (Miami, Florida)

LSU’s 2019 commitment class

  • CB Derek Stingley, Dunham (Baton Rouge)

Houston-area receiver Mannie Netherly commits to LSU

Mannie Netherly. (247Sports.com)

Mannie Netherly. (247Sports.com)

LSU has itself another Texan.

Mannie Netherly, a Houston-area four-star receiver, committed to the Tigers on Friday, according to a message posted on his Twitter account. Netherly, the 29th-best receiver in the 2017 class, chose LSU over notable offers from Georgia, Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, Alabama and Texas A&M.

https://twitter.com/yovng_netherly/status/746523759083827200

The 6-foot-2, 183-pounder is from the Houston suburb of Crosby, and he’s the third Texas native in this 13-member 2017 class. A former Texas A&M commit, Netherly is shutting down his recruitment, he wrote on the Twitter post.

As a junior at Crosby, Netherly caught 60 passes for 1,002 yards and 18 scores, according to 247Sports.com. Netherly last visited A&M two weeks ago, and Auburn paid him a visit in May, according to 247Sports.com. He de-committed from the Aggies on May 5.

LSU’s 2017 class is now ranked sixth nationally, and third in the Southeastern Conference, in 247Sports.com’s composite team rankings.

LSU’s 2017 commitment class

  • RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Catholic (Baton Rouge)
  • WR Mannie Netherly, Crosby (Crosby, Texas)
  • QB Jontre Kirklin, Lutcher (Lutcher)
  • DT Tyler Shelvin, Notre Dame (Lafayette)
  • OLB Patrick Queen, Livonia (Livonia)
  • QB Lowell Narcisse, Saint James (Saint James)
  • QB Myles Brennan, St. Stanislaus (Bay St. Louis, Mississippi)
  • OG Edward Ingram, DeSoto (DeSoto, Texas)
  • OT Austin Deculus, Cy-Fair (Cypress, Texas)
  • WR Stephen Guidry, Hinds CC (Morganza)
  • FB Tory Carter, Lee County (Leesburg, Georgia)
  • OG Saahdiq Charles, MRA (Ridgeland, Mississippi)
  • DE Aaron Moffitt, Catholic (Baton Rouge)

LSU’s 2018 commitment class

  • DB Kelvin Joseph, Scotlandville (Baton Rouge)
  • DB Corione Harris, Landry-Walker (New Orleans)
  • QB Zadock Dinkelmann, Somerset (Somerset, Texas)
  • WR Devonta Jason, Landry-Walker (New Orleans)
  • DB Nadab Joseph, Edison (Miami, Florida)

LSU’s 2019 commitment class

  • CB Derek Stingley, Dunham (Baton Rouge)

Quarterback Brandon Harris: ‘I take full responsibility for last year. I was terrible’

(SCOTT THRELKELD)

(SCOTT THRELKELD)

THIBODAUX – Brandon Harris has watched enough tape to know that he wasn’t tough enough during LSU’s 9-3 season last year.

He’s watched enough tape, he said, to know that he wasn’t good enough either.

“I take full responsibility for last year,” he said. “I was terrible. I was straight-out bad. I’m telling you right now, people can sleep if they want to about this season, but we’ll see who gets the last laugh.”

Harris spoke to reporters for 30 minutes Friday during Day 2 of the Manning Passing Academy at Nicholls State. He joins more than 30 other college quarterbacks this weekend at the camp, mentoring high school and youth players while also learning from each other and competing in a skills challenge Saturday.

Brandon Harris speaking with reporters on Friday.

Brandon Harris speaking with reporters on Friday.

This is a respite for Harris, a break from LSU’s grueling summer workouts, an avenue, also, for him to vent about a 2015 season that irked him.

Surrounded by reporters Friday, Harris discussed his weight, the woes of last year and the hurdles of 2016 – while also oozing his usual confidence.

“I really do feel like I have the best arm in college football and got the best team in college football,” he said. “I get it all of the time. ‘Can you throw?’ I just look at it and laugh at it. As we continue to grow as a team, we’ll get the last laugh.”


Q: How’s the Manning camp so far?

Harris: It’s a really unique thing getting an opportunity to come here. First time seeing Peyton and Eli in person. Two great guys that have been very positive so far, very up-lifting.

Q: How cool is it to be alongside Super Bowl champs and MVPs?

Harris: It’s really unique. We like to think as quarterbacks in college that they’re on a pedestal and they’re different, but they are just two normal guys like everybody sitting here. Two guys who have accomplished things that every kid that played quarterback grows up dreaming about.

Q: Did you have any experience with this camp?

Harris: No, I wasn’t familiar with it. I get a call from Archie Manning (in May). I’m still shocked about that. He asked me to be a part of this. I didn’t hesitate. I said, ‘Absolutely. When do I come? When do I show up?’ Their whole family has been first class.

Q: Did you believe it was him when Archie called you?

Harris: First of all, if I don’t have the number saved on my phone, I normally don’t answer the phone, but since it was a 504 area code, I said, ‘Maybe I should answer the phone.’ I answered it, and he said, ‘Hey, this is Archie. I want you to come to the camp.’

Any time something like this is being hosted in your backyard, it’s a great opportunity for you to come.

Q: How ready are you for tomorrow’s passing competition between the college quarterbacks?

Harris: I’m not overly dramatic about it. It’s a competition. Any time I’m able to compete, I take advantage of it. It’s not something going to make or break me. I’m more so trying to take more out of these passing things we have, later in the day, and all of these opportunities we have to throw with the Mannings and throw with these other quarterbacks. Watch those guys and apply it to my game.

Q: How excited are you to get back on the field?

Harris: The thing is, we’ve been working our tail off. Got a great freshman class. This year we’ve got a (big) senior class. That hasn’t (been the case) the last decade or so. Great senior group, a lot of leadership over there.

We’re all just working hard, in the weight room trying to get bigger, stronger and faster. I like our team right now, like the leadership we’ve exhibited during voluntary 7-on-7s, which are mandatory as far as players. We make those mandatory. Our receivers are working their tails off. Our running backs are doing a great job.

We’re coming together man. We’re gelling at the right moment. We understand the team we can be if we just stay the course.

Q: You’re the older guy now. What’s it like for you to try to take a leadership role?

Harris: First of all, after a year being a starting quarterback, now you’re going into your second year, you understand the speed, you know how to get your body where it needs to be. I’ve gained 10 pounds since last season, just body structure and body mass.

Hopefully I’ll go into the season at 222 and hopefully sustain it through the course of the season and stay healthy.

Brandon Harris enters Season 3 with the Tigers. (HILARY SCHEINUK)

Brandon Harris enters Season 3 with the Tigers. (HILARY SCHEINUK)

Main thing is leading. We lost games last year. I’ve got to do a better job of grasping our team. I think I’m doing that. I’m taking a bigger role this off-season. Now, I can be the guy. Guys look at you. They played with you last season. They know what to expect. They know what their expectations are. My confidence is really high.

Q: High much do articles written about you motivate you?

Harris: I hear it all of the time. The majority of people don’t know what they’re talking about. I really do feel like I have the best arm in college football and got the best team in college football.

I get it all of the time. ‘Can you throw?’ I just look at it and laugh at it. As we continue to grow as a team, we’ll get the last laugh.

Q: You thought about playing at Lambeau Field?

Harris: That’s exciting. I would freak out even more if Aaron Rodgers (is there). If Aaron Rodgers gets to come to the field, it’s even more exciting. I’m just excited to play at that field. It’s one of the best venues in all of sports. You know the history of that team and what Lambeau Field means to the NFL. It’s exciting. I’m looking forward to it.

Q: You say you weigh 222? That’s getting close to Leonard’s weight.

Harris: I was just joking with Leonard. Leonard was 228 the other day, but he can jump up (in weight quickly). I say, ‘Hey man, I’m almost to you.’ He laughed it off. Leonard, he’s a freak. Nice-looking guy. I think everybody is just excited. The summer is the toughest grind. It’s the hardest part.

Q: Excluding the mid-year enrollees, who of the freshman class has stood out?

Harris: I’m impressed with all of them. Drake Davis is a freak. He’s 6-4 and runs a 4.3, a guy who I think is going to help us a lot this year in different roles – special teams, wide receiver, anything.

I’m impressed with those DBs. Our defensive tackle from Neville (Rashard Lawrence), I’m very impressed with him as a leader. Great guy. (Quarterback) Lindsey Scott, he’s leading that group of freshman. Getting to class on time, getting to breakfast in the morning. I’m very impressed with those guys.

Q: You and Lindsey are close right?

Harris: Lindsey is like a sponge, man. He wants to know a lot of information. I’m very impressed with how he’s picking up the offense. I think he’ll be a great quarterback in years to come at LSU.

Brandon Harris appears to have a comfy lead in the QB race heading into preseason camp. (Travis Spradling)

Brandon Harris appears to have a comfy lead in the QB race heading into preseason camp. (Travis Spradling)

Q: What’s your daily schedule like in the summer?

Harris: (I do) stuff in the morning with ESPN (radio).  That’s an internship. Then I go class. I have one class on campus and the other is online. 11 o’clock, it’s workouts and, in the afternoon, I spend a lot of time on football. A lot of time on football. That’s where we watch film with receivers, which is something he try to hone in this year. Obviously school work.

Q: You already studying opponents?

Harris: Our defensive coordinator came from Wisconsin, if that helps indicate anything.

Q: How has he helped?

Harris: Coach (Dave) Aranda, he’s one of the most intelligent people I’ve met. Really, he’s somebody you sit down and talk to and some things he’ll tell you will kind of screw you up a little bit because he’s so smart. He’s a guy who I really think is going to enhance my game and take me to the next step. He’s been around and seen different types offenses. I think he’s one of the brilliant minds in college football, if not one of the top defensive coordinators in the country.

Q: How much has he told you about Wisconsin’s defense?

Harris: If I told that, I’d be giving our game plan away.

Q: Will they be similar to the one he coached?

Harris: If I told, you’d be given our game plan away. They’re Wisconsin, one of the most well-coached teams in the country. They’re not going to do things to beat themselves. That game is a ways away. We’re not ready to play Wisconsin tomorrow, but come the day we get ready to play Wisconsin, we’ll be ready.

Q: What’s the immediate focus and goals for you this summer?

Harris: Summer goals are to get through our installs we have, be focused, take it one day at a time and get ready for a good team (in Wisconsin). We continue to grow our leadership.

Q: What’s the toughest thing about strength coach Tommy Moffitt’s summer workouts?

(SCOTT THRELKELD)

(SCOTT THRELKELD)

Harris: We have to go run sprints and stuff like that before we even go into the weight room. He’s tough but has high expectations for us and asks a lot out of us.

Q: What did you think of the NBA finals?

Harris: I rooted for the Warriors because I like Steph Curry. I think he’s just different. LeBron to bring a championship back to Cleveland … that’s a storybook ending.

Q: After what Leonard did last year, you know that teams are going to gang up on him. You kind of embrace the fact you’ll be the other option?

Harris: Regardless of what anybody says, Leonard is going to get the ball because he’s a great player. That’s understandable. Obviously, we’ve got to do things better to execute in our passing game as far as hitting throws that need to be hit.

Our receivers will tell you they want to catch every ball. I want to make every throw. The line wants to pick up every pass protection. The thing is, I feel like we were balanced (last year), but if we execute early on, we’ll be unstoppable. You just got to control the things you can control. That’s by executing what’s being called.

Q: How much did that sports hernia bother you last year? (he had surgery 

Harris: I’m fine man. I’m all good. It’s a problem we had to get taken care of. You guys know you’ve got to control your health and be smart when you’re in different situations and report things when you have some discomfort.

Q: Are you now more aware of maintaining your body?

Harris: That’s the thing and a reason why I’m coming into the season bigger. If you play at 210, you drop to 205 over the season. It’s hard to maintain that weight because you’re taking licks and shots. I’m trying to come into camp at 225 and probably drop to 220 opening day. That way you’re able to run the ball, be able to be an opposing threat rather than a fragile guy in the backfield.

That’s the biggest thing – you’re not able to work out as much as you are (in the off-season). I’ve been asking all of these quarterbacks, ‘What’s been the biggest thing for you?’ It’s the same thing – all of them dropping weight. You’re saying, ‘Hey guys, what are you guys doing to keep your weight on?’ None of us are working out like we are in the summer during the season.

Q: This will be the first year you’ll go into the season as the starter. Are you recognized more, like around campus or wherever?

Harris: It’s been that way since I came to LSU. I was … I don’t know … you know how it is, when you’re the guy coming in. Zach (Mettenberger) was leaving. I came in with that 2014 class, really special. You know that now because I think we have, like, 16 people projected in the first through third rounds (of the NFL draft). You kind of know now, that class is so special. It’s always been that way. I was the quarterback of that class coming in.

Q: What are some things yall have improved on as far as the passing game goes?

Harris: I think we’ve always been able to pass the ball. If you’re the head coach, you give the ball to Leonard, too, because Leonard is good.

I think we’ve been very balanced over the last couple of years. It’s just about execution. But to answer your question, our receivers are catching the ball very well. They’ll tell you the same thing. I’ve been very impressed with the maturation process of the freshmen we brought in. I think they’ve really adapted to the older guys in that room. I look forward to this upcoming season. We’re going to light it up this year. I really think so.

Q: How about your maturation?

Harris: Guys are starting to respond. I’m leading the guys. Guys are buying in. More so, speaking up, you’ve got a year under your belt. Guys are just starting to respect you because they know … you look at every guy’s eyes and they’re looking at your eyes and they understand they’re getting the play call from you.

It’s a neat feeling. It’s giving me chills every time I think about it and think about what this season is going to mean and how special it’s going to be.

Q: What about the impact of Dameyune Craig?

Harris: I love that dude to death. He’s been honest with me. Talking about a dude who can still throw the ball. He thinks he can still throw better than me. I try to tell him all of the time … he thinks he can get me on distance and all of this stuff. He can spin it. He can spin it.

Q: He recruited you at Auburn right:?

Harris: Yes he did. He said … one of the reasons he came to LSU – it was a good reason – because of me. He knew the talent I had. I’m honored for him to be on our side. He’s a dude that can still play.

Q: What’s been his biggest impact on you?

Harris: He knows what it’s like. When he feels like I’m not doing something right, he calls me out on it. He calls me out on it in front of anybody. He doesn’t sugar coat anything – he calls you out.

Biggest impact he’s had on me is mechanics, throwing the ball with touch and maturation process.

Q: When he recruited you, did he mention that he’s a better passer than you?

Harris: Nah. The man can spin it, I can tell you that much. I don’t think he thinks he can throw it better than me. I think he thinks he’s still got it. I tell him every day, ‘Whenever you want to go out there and test me, I’m open for it.’

Q: Y’all haven’t competed?

Harris: He wanted to do it in Shreveport (at the satellite camp), but the ball was apparently too wet.

Q: Is the preparation any different than last summer?

Harris: I think more so … got a year under your belt (as a starter). You know the offense now, understand things you need to do to accomplish and what the expectations are. My expectations are probably higher than any guy in this room. Every time I touch the field, I expect to be the best, and I think I am the best. That’s the mindset you’ve got to have.

I tell everybody quarterback, I don’t care if you’re small, big, tall, anything. If you’re not carrying confidence, pretty much can’t do what you’ve set out to be. Got to stay confident.

Q: How much easier is the game now than two years ago?

Harris: You’ll probably see when we play Wisconsin. I think it’s going to be easier.

Our defensive coordinator, he throws a lot of different things at you as a quarterback. If you’re able to grasp those things and handle those things, you can be where you want to be.

More LSU Football

LSU QB Brandon Harris takes a line from LeBron James on leadership (and discusses other stuff)

Brandon Harris is LSU's spring game. (Bill Feig)

Brandon Harris is LSU’s spring game. (Bill Feig)

Brandon Harris is an NBA fan, so, naturally, he watched the NBA finals.

“One thing I did take away from the finals,” Harris said, “LeBron (James) was telling his guys, ‘Be a star in your role, wherever that’s at.’

“Whether that’s me trying to help the quarterbacks … Regardless of if I’m trying to be the leader of the team, we’ve still got young quarterbacks in the room, whether that be Lindsey Scott, who’s coming in and he’s a freshman. We’re trying to help him. All of the quarterbacks in the room is trying to help everybody.”

Brandon Harris enters Season 3 with the Tigers. (HILARY SCHEINUK)

Brandon Harris enters Season 3 with the Tigers. (HILARY SCHEINUK)

LSU’s starting quarterback discussed leadership, Cam Cameron’s offense, off-season work and more during an 11-minute interview with Culotta & The Prince on ESPN 104.5 FM Thursday morning. Harris heads to Thibodaux later Thursday to join a handful of other college quarterbacks as a counselor at the Manning Passing Academy.

He’ll take a brief break from LSU’s player-run 7-on-7 workouts to spend time mentoring high school quarterbacks then competing with the college guys Saturday at the 21st annual event.

  • Naturally, Harris has high expectations for a team that returns 18 of 22 starters and an offense equipped with a Heisman hopeful at running back, tall, athletic receivers and an offensive line with a good chunk of experience (not to mention an upperclassman at QB for the first time since 2013).

“The most important thing is consistency. I think you can see that we’re trying to go for it and hit this thing post-bowl game and the things we’ve done in the spring. The sky’s the limit. If we can stay healthy and continue to be consistent in our approach and what we’re trying to do – obviously I think we’ve got a great scheme – when we’re on and able to execute, I think we’re going to be dangerous to stop.”

  • Many wonder if RB Leonard Fournette can replicate the record-breaking performance of last season. The New Orleans native broke LSU single-season records for yards (1,935) and touchdowns (22). Harris has no doubts.

“I look for him to have a great, great season. I think it’s better than what he did last year.”

“The unique thing about Coach Craig … with him playing quarterback at Auburn, coach Craig was a guy who recruited me to Auburn. I’m very impressed with his knowledge for the game. He’s a veteran coach now. He’s coached in a national championship game. He’s able to help the receivers understand what exactly the quarterback is looking for, going through reads.

He’s really come in and helped our receivers, and now they’ve got an understanding of ‘This is why Brandon throws this ball in this coverage.’”

More LSU Football

LSU, Arizona State games pushed back

LSU and Arizona State played in 2005. (Bill Feig)

LSU and Arizona State played in 2005. (Bill Feig)

LSU and Arizona State have agreed to push back their home-and-home series, according to a release from the Sun Devils.

The teams were scheduled to play in Tempe, Arizona, in 2022 and in Baton Rouge in 2023. They’ll now meet at Arizona State on Sept. 12, 2026 and at LSU on Sept. 8, 2029.

The Arizona State and LSU series dates back more than 10 years.

They were originally slated to play in Baton Rouge in 2005 and in Tempe, Ariz., in 2008, but Hurricane Katrina caused a change in location. LSU’s 2005 home game was moved to Tempe and became a fund-raising effort for hurricane relief.


 

2017

Non-conference

  • vs. BYU (NRG Stadium, Houston)
  • Chattanooga
  • Syracuse
  • Troy

SEC in-division

  • vs. Arkansas
  • vs. Auburn
  • vs. Texas A&M
  • at Alabama
  • at Ole Miss
  • at Mississippi State

SEC cross-division

  • at Tennessee
  • vs. Florida

________________________________

2018

Non-conference

  • vs. Miami (AT&T Stadium, Arlington)
  • vs. Southeastern Louisiana
  • vs. Louisiana Tech
  • vs. Rice

SEC in-division

  • at Arkansas
  • at Auburn
  • at Texas A&M
  • vs. Alabama
  • vs. Ole Miss
  •  vs. Mississippi State

SEC cross-division

  • vs. Georgia
  •  at Florida

________________________________

2019

Non-conference

  • at Texas

SEC in-division

  • vs. Arkansas
  • vs. Auburn
  • vs. Texas A&M
  • at Alabama
  • at Ole Miss
  • at Mississippi State

SEC cross-division

  • at Vanderbilt
  • vs. Florida

________________________________

2020

Non-conference

  • vs. Texas

SEC in-division

  • at Arkansas
  • at Auburn
  • at Texas A&M
  • vs. Alabama
  • vs. Ole Miss
  • vs. Mississippi State

SEC cross-division

  • vs. South Carolina
  • at Florida

________________________________

2021

Non-conference

  • at UCLA

SEC in-division

  • vs. Arkansas
  • vs. Auburn
  • vs. Texas A&M
  • at Alabama
  • at Ole Miss
  • at Mississippi State

SEC cross-division

  • at Kentucky
  • vs. Florida

________________________________

2022

Non-conference

  • None

SEC in-division

  • at Arkansas
  • at Auburn
  • at Texas A&M
  • vs. Alabama
  • vs. Ole Miss
  • vs. Mississippi State

SEC cross-division

  • vs. Tennessee
  • at Florida

________________________________

2023

Non-conference

  • None

SEC in-division

  • vs. Arkansas
  • vs. Auburn
  • vs. Texas A&M
  • at Alabama
  • at Ole Miss
  • at Mississippi State

SEC cross-division

  • at Missouri
  • vs. Florida

________________________________

2024

Non-conference

  • vs. UCLA

SEC in-division

  • at Arkansas
  • at Auburn
  • at Texas A&M
  • vs. Alabama
  • vs. Ole Miss
  • vs. Mississippi State

SEC cross-division

  • vs. Vanderbilt
  • at Florida

________________________________

2025

Non-conference

  • None

SEC in-division

  • vs. Arkansas
  • vs. Auburn
  • vs. Texas A&M
  • at Alabama
  • at Ole Miss
  • at Mississippi State

SEC cross-division

  • at Georgia
  • vs. Florida

LSU Football Twitter Mailbag: You asked about the punter, cornerback depth, Travonte Valentine and more

Kristian Fulton will start his LSU career behind plenty of other cornerbacks. (A.J. SISCO)

Kristian Fulton will start his LSU career behind plenty of other cornerbacks. (A.J. SISCO)

Twitter Mailbag is a blog series running each Tuesday or Wednesday answering readers’ questions about the LSU football team. Readers submit their questions through Twitter each Tuesday, and the best are posted here with answers. Follow us on Twitter at @RossDellenger to submit a question.

LSU’s punter is expected to be Josh Growden, an Australian who redshirted last season while practicing behind Aussie starter Jamie Keehn.

Trent Domingue is LSU’s backup punter.

I’m not sure this ever really happened. Les Miles in January said he planned to do this – send coaches to spring practices to learn from successful spread offenses.

Miles said later this spring that LSU coaches did not visit other schools but that coaches from other schools visited LSU and the Tigers staff studied film of successful spread offenses.

You forgot Kevin Toliver, too. Dwayne Thomas has been working mostly at safety, but he’s a do-it-all guy who can play cornerback if LSU needs him. Here’s what appears to be the pecking order heading into preseason camp: Tre White, Kevin Toliver, Donte Jackson (Corey Raymond calls that trio all “starters”), Ed Paris, Saivion Smith, Dwayne Thomas.

Remember that Smith, a mid-year enrollee, played cornerback with the first-string in the nickel package during LSU’s spring game. The Tigers were without Jackson and Toliver during that game.

Either way, Fulton has work to do to crack LSU’s four-to-five man cornerback rotation.

Rashard Lawrence and Drake Davis are two names who immediately come to mind. Lawrence, the highest rated player in the Tigers’ 2016 signing class, is listed as a 6-3, 310-pound defensive tackle on the team’s updated roster. He’s a big body who can play a variety of positions, including end and nose tackle. The Tigers have been searching for a nose tackle. Is he the guy?

Davis is an athletic freak, a former Dunham product who graduated from IMG Academy. The 6-3, 212-pounder ran a 4.31 40-yard dash recently at IMG.

Keep your eye on a guy like Devin White, a mid-year enrollee out of North Webster. He’s playing both inside linebacker positions (Rover and Mack) while also expected to be on special teams. LSU loves putting young, aggressive linebackers on the kickoff team. White fits that bill.

Freshman kicker Connor Culp is high on Les Miles’ list of freshman breakout players. In fact, asked during signing day for a signee who could immediately see time, Miles said Culp, an Arizona native. He’s expected to battle for place-kicker and kickoff duties.

I hate to give odds or a percentage, but I’ll refer you to our latest story on Valentine’s situation, which can be found here. LSU requested a ruling from the SEC on Valentine and received an all clear from the league. That should tell you how serious the situation is.

I’ll refer you to a full-time recruiting reporter for the second questions – like Shea Dixon or Mike Scarborough. 

More LSU Football

LSU DE Sione Teuhema not on roster but situation still in ‘limbo'; freshmen get jersey numbers

Defensive end Sione Teuhema, a rising junior, was not listed on LSU’s updated roster released Monday, but team spokesman Michael Bonnette said Teuhema’s situation remains “in limbo.”

Walk-on quarterback Jake Clise and walk-on running back Miquel James were also not listed on the roster, and both appear to have left the program.

A part of LSU’s 2014 signing class, Teuhema was suspended a month into spring practice for unknown reasons. Coach Les Miles said then that he’s unsure “the suspension will conclude ever.”  A month ago the coach said he hadn’t made a decision on the rising junior’s future. Teuhema will “make” the decision for himself, Miles said then, by taking a class this summer.

Teuhema had participated in the first month of spring drills before Miles announced the suspension on April 9. It’s Teuhema’s second suspension in the calendar year. He missed the final three regular season games last year and did not travel with the Tigers to the Texas Bowl against Texas Tech. He was withheld for what Miles termed as a “coach’s decision.”

During spring practice, Teuhema was moved to the Buck position, an outside linebacker/defensive end hybrid role in LSU’s new 3-4 defense. He was playing behind starter Arden Key, along with Isaiah Washington. It’s a “natural position” for Teuhema, defensive line coach Ed Orgeron said before his suspension.

Sione is the brother to LSU starting offensive lineman Maea Teuhema. The Texas natives signed with LSU a year apart. Maea is a 2015 signee who started as a true freshman last year.

Under defensive coordinator John Chavis in 2014, Sione was mostly used his freshman season as a rushing defensive lineman in Chavis’ passing defense, Mustang. He played sparingly through the first seven regular season games last year.

Clise, fourth or fifth in the QB pecking order last year, joined the University of Richmond in January, according to richmond.com. James was a walk-on from Kentwood who played in one game of his career against New Mexico State in 2014, running for 24 yards on two carries in that game.

Freshman Jersey Numbers (excluding mid-year enrollees)
In parentheses is the player who had that number last season

  • DE Sci Martin: 87 (Kevin Spears – transferred)
  • DT Edwin Alexander: 95 (Quentin Thomas – exhausted eligibility)
  • OL Willie Allen: 74 (Vadal Alexander – exhausted eligibility)
  • DE Andre Anthony: 93 (M.J. Patterson – changed numbers)
  • OL Donavaughn Campbell: 71 (N/A)
  • K Connor Culp: 34 (Darrel Williams – changed numbers)
  • WR Drake Davis: 25 (N/A)
  • DB Kristian Fulton: 22 (Ronnie Feist – transferred)
  • DT Rashard Lawrence: 90 (N/A)
  • DB Cameron Lewis: 31 (Josh Growden – changed numbers)
  • DE Glen Logan: 96 (N/A)
  • DB Eric Monroe: 30 (N/A)
  • TE Jamal Pettigrew: 80 (N/A)
  • DE Caleb Roddy: 85 (Dillon Gordon – exhausted eligibility)
  • OL Jakori Savage: 65 (Jerald Hawkins – left for NFL)
  • QB Lindsey Scott Jr.: 14 (Trent Domingue – also occupies number)
  • LB Rasshan Thornton: 43 (N/A)
  • DB Andraez Williams: 29 (Rickey Jefferson – changed numbers)
  • OL Lloyd Cushenberry: 79 (N/A)

More LSU Football

Baseball’s over. Now what? Get caught up on LSU football

Leonard Fournette signs autographs after LSU's student day at spring practice. (Patrick Dennis)

Leonard Fournette signs autographs after LSU’s student day at spring practice. (Patrick Dennis)

LSU’s baseball season ended a week earlier than many wanted and a week later than many expected.

The Tigers dropped the first two games of a best-of-three super regional series against Coastal Carolina, suffering a 4-3 season-ending loss on Sunday night.

So, now what? Football, of course. The Tigers, poised to be a championship contender this season, began summer workouts last week, and Southeastern Conference football media days are just around the corner (July 11-14).

Catch up on LSU football with 10 football stories from the last month…

LSU snags another commitment from a Florida defensive back

Corey Raymond has him another Florida defensive back.

Nadab Joseph, a safety from Miami, committed to LSU on Saturday – a second verbal pledge in 24 hours for the program. Joseph is a 2018 prospect, entering his junior year of high school.

Dunham defensive back Derek Stingley, a 2019 prospect, committed to the Tigers on Friday. 

Joseph continues a trend for LSU and its defensive backs coach. Raymond, in charge of recruiting his position and the state of Florida, has signed 16 defensive backs since 2013. Five of those were from the talent-rich Sunshine State. The list includes guys like Kevin Toliver, a freshman starter last season, Rashard Robinson, a fourth-round draft pick this year, and highly touted 2016 signee Saivion Smith, poised to secure a significant role as a rookie.

Nadab, who has not been ranked on recruiting sites, chose LSU over offers from Mississippi State, Syracuse, Temple and Bowling Green, according to 247Sports.com. He’s the third defensive back to commit in LSU’s 2018 class and the fifth verbal pledge overall.

 

LSU’s 2017 commitment class

  • RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Catholic (Baton Rouge)
  • QB Jontre Kirklin, Lutcher (Lutcher)
  • DT Tyler Shelvin, Notre Dame (Lafayette)
  • OLB Patrick Queen, Livonia (Livonia)
  • QB Lowell Narcisse, Saint James (Saint James)
  • QB Myles Brennan, St. Stanislaus (Bay St. Louis, Mississippi)
  • OG Edward Ingram, DeSoto (DeSoto, Texas)
  • OT Austin Deculus, Cy-Fair (Cypress, Texas)
  • WR Stephen Guidry, Hinds CC (Morganza)
  • FB Tory Carter, Lee County (Leesburg, Georgia)
  • OG Saahdiq Charles, MRA (Ridgeland, Mississippi)
  • DE Aaron Moffitt, Catholic (Baton Rouge)

LSU’s 2018 commitment class

  • DB Kelvin Joseph, Scotlandville (Baton Rouge)
  • DB Corione Harris, Landry-Walker (New Orleans)
  • QB Zadock Dinkelmann, Somerset (Somerset, Texas)
  • WR Devonta Jason, Landry-Walker (New Orleans)
  • DB Nadab Joseph, Edison (Miami, Florida)

LSU’s 2019 commitment class

  • CB Derek Stingley, Dunham (Baton Rouge)

Dunham sophomore, ‘football junkie’ Derek Stingley commits to LSU

Derek Stingley played no more than three middle school games before Neil Weiner realized something.

Derek Stingley (247Sports).

Derek Stingley (247Sports).

“We figured it really wasn’t worth his time playing those games,” said Weiner, the third-year Dunham coach. “We quickly bumped him up to varsity.”

The result: He picked off two passes in the latter half of that season and cemented himself as a starter – in the eighth grade.

Stingley committed to LSU on Friday afternoon during the Tigers’ on-campus, three-day high school camp, becoming the program’s first verbal pledge in the 2019 class. Stingley, a 6-foot, 165-pound cornerback, tweeted the news Friday after a meeting with coach Les Miles and his parents.

“He came out and said, ‘We want to offer you right now,'” said Derek Stingley, Sr., Stingley’s father. “That’s the first or second thing he said to us. Derek immediately committed. For him, this is where he truly wanted to be.”

Stingley is a “football junkie,” Weiner said, with a coach as a father. Derek Stingley Sr., is an arena league football coach. At various points since 2005, he’s led the Pittsburgh Power, New Orleans Voodoo, Philadelphia Soul and will soon leave for China to coach one of six arena teams in an upstart league mixing American and Chinese players.

That was a topic of discussion in the meeting with Miles, Stingley’s father said. Each of the six eight-man football teams will play six games starting in October. The draft for the new Chinese arena football league was scheduled for Friday night.

“We’re going to have four Chinese players and four American players,” he said.

Stingley spent 10 years playing arena football, a run that ended in 2004. His son was born three years earlier.

“He’s been very athletic his whole entire life,” Stingley said of his son, who will turn 15 in two weeks. “He’s a competitor, and he’s not used to losing.”

As a freshman last season at Dunham, Stingley returned “two to three” kicks for touchdowns and had five interceptions. He plays receiver, too, and is the snapper on punts.

“He just has great football skills, great football IQ,” Weiner said. “He’s an outstanding receiver. He could be a college receiver. But he takes pride in being a defensive back. He’s excited about being a defensive back. To be  apart of DBU and that lineage, that’s exciting for him.”

LSU’s 2017 commitment class

  • RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Catholic (Baton Rouge)
  • QB Jontre Kirklin, Lutcher (Lutcher)
  • DT Tyler Shelvin, Notre Dame (Lafayette)
  • OLB Patrick Queen, Livonia (Livonia)
  • QB Lowell Narcisse, Saint James (Saint James)
  • QB Myles Brennan, St. Stanislaus (Bay St. Louis, Mississippi)
  • OG Edward Ingram, DeSoto (DeSoto, Texas)
  • OT Austin Deculus, Cy-Fair (Cypress, Texas)
  • WR Stephen Guidry, Hinds CC (Morganza)
  • FB Tory Carter, Lee County (Leesburg, Georgia)
  • OG Saahdiq Charles, MRA (Ridgeland, Mississippi)
  • DE Aaron Moffitt, Catholic (Baton Rouge)

LSU’s 2018 commitment class

  • DB Kelvin Joseph, Scotlandville (Baton Rouge)
  • DB Corione Harris, Landry-Walker (New Orleans)
  • QB Zadock Dinkelmann, Somerset (Somerset, Texas)
  • WR Devonta Jason, Landry-Walker (New Orleans)

LSU’s 2019 commitment class

  • CB Derek Stingley, Dunham (Baton Rouge)