Spring Game: Mettenberger stars as White beats Purple, 24-17

Zach Mettenberger got the biggest ovation from the crowd when he was introduced before Saturday’s Spring Game in Tiger Stadium.

A few imperfections aside, he did not disappoint.

Mettenberger completed 14-of-25 passes for 270 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, frequently airing the ball out deep as he led the White Team to a 24-17 victory over the Purple.

Mettenberger threw touchdown passes of 49 yards to Odell Beckham Jr. and 19 yards to Russell Shepard. Safety Eric Reid also picked off Purple quarterback Stephen Rivers and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown.

Mettenberger has three passes of 49, 53 and 54 yards, but did get picked off in the end zone by sophomore Ronald Martin when he under-lobbed a pass for Shepard. An obviously irritated Mett then raced 40 yards downfield to make the shoestring tackle, a moment that certainly had to give LSU coach Les Miles a fear-induced lump in his throat.

“In a game, certainly,” Miles said. “In practice, he’d better not.

“But he’s fiery. That’s who he is.”

Late in the game, freshman linebacker Lamar Louis (a midterm enrollee in January) grabbed a pass from Mettenberger that hit tight end Tyler Edwards in the hands, pulling it out of midair and racing 74 yards for the game’s final score.

Drew Alleman – working both sides of the field – kicked a 43-yard field goal for the Purple and a 47-yarder for the White after missing from 44 yards for the Purple earlier.

Stephen Rivers, quarterbacking the Purple Team, was 6-of-17 for 75 yards going against the No. 1 defense with an interception by safety Eric Reid. Fellow redshirt freshman Jerrard Randall played in the second half with clock running, completing 3-of-4 passes for 24 yards and rushing four times for a net 27 yards.

The White Team’s Alfred Blue led all rushers with nine carries for 73 yards, while teammate Spencer Ware had eight carries for 51. Kenny Hilliard led the Purple Team with eight carries for 40 yards, followed by freshman Jeremy Hill with six for 37.

Jarvis Landry had a big day receiving for the White team with a game-high six catches for 120 yards, while Beckham had three for 115. Armand Williams led the Purple Team with four catches for 43 yards.

And, just in case you’re already looking ahead, LSU opens the regular season five months from Sunday, Sept. 1 against North Texas right back in Tiger Stadium.



Halftime at Spring Game: White team leads Purple 24-3

We reached halftime 48 seconds early at Tiger Stadium in the LSU Spring Game, with the White Team (mostly starters and third-stringers) leading the Purple (second string) 24-3.

If you wanted to see LSU air the ball out offensively, the Tigers didn’t disappoint. Zach Mettenberger completed 10 of 18 passes for 242 yards with touchdown passes of 49 yards to Odell Beckham Jr. and 19 yards to Russell Shepard. Safety Eric Reid also picked off Purple quarterback Stephen Rivers and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown.

Mettenberger has three passes of 49 yards or more, but did get picked off in the end zone by sophomore Ronald Martin when he under-lobbed a pass for Shepard. An obviously irritated Mett then raced 40 yards downfield to make the shoestring tackle, a moment that certainly had to give LSU coach Les Miles a fear-induced lump in his throat.

Drew Alleman – working both sides of the field – kicked a 43-yard field goal for the Purple and a 47-yarder for the White after missing from 44 yards for the Purple earlier.

Rivers is 6 of 17 for 75 yards and has been “sacked” three times. Kenny Hilliard and Jeremy Hill have looked good running the ball with 7 carries for 36 yards and 6 carries for 37 yards, respectively. Alfred Blue leads the White team with 5 carries for 23 yards, while Spencer Ware has 5 for 19.

More after the game. The second half will be played with a running clock, so hopefully it’ll all be wrapped up by 3:30 or so.


Denham Springs’ Tevin Lawson commits to LSU

Denham Springs defensive tackle Tevin Lawson (6-4, 275) committed to LSU on Friday afternoon, getting the Tigers off to an early start on what could be a lucrative recruiting weekend surrounding Saturday’s Spring Game.

Denham Springs coach Dru Nettles said Lawson met with LSU coach Les Miles about 4:30 p.m. this afternoon to give him the word in person.

“The (LSU) coaches called me Wednesday and asked me to come in, so I figured why not do it today?” Lawson said.

Lawson technically becomes LSU’s eighth commitment, though Winnfield defensive end Michael Patterson (6-3, 235) is reportedly waiting until the Spring Game to make his commitment official in person.

All of LSU’s commitments so far have been from Louisiana, heralding what is expected to be a strong in-state recruiting class for 2013.

Lawson said he also received offers from Ole Miss and Auburn, but that he doesn’t plan to take any future visits to other schools.

“LSU is the only place I’m going to,” Lawson said. “I’m glad I did it today, got it off my chest, and now I can focus on school.”

Lawson played left tackle on offense before making the switch to defense midway through his junior season. Lawson said he could also play at defensive end for LSU.

“Tevin has got a big upside,” Denham Springs coach Dru Nettles said.

“Big guys who can run are at a premium in the SEC these days. He’s got a great frame and is a very athletic kid who continues to improve daily. He can be a 300-pound guy.”

Ratings by the major recruiting services are still scant – possibly because Lawson switched to defense at midseason last year. So far he’s listed as a three-star prospect by Rivals, the No. 26-ranked defensive tackle nationally.

According to Scout.com, other high-profile recruits expected to be on hand Saturday will include Mesquite (Texas) West Mesquite wide receiver Eldridge Massington (6-3, 205), Sugar Land (Texas) Dulles cornerback Maurice Smith (5-11, 180) and defensive end Torrodney Prevot (6-4, 205) of Houston Alief Taylor. Loranger athlete prospect Jeryl Brazil (5-9, 180), LSU’s first 2013 commitment, is also expected to attend.


Chuck Baker, WR, 6-1, 190, Slidell Salmen

Josh Boutte, OG, 6-4, 305, New Iberia Westgate

Jeryl Brazil, ATH, 5-9, 180, Loranger (HS)

Jeremy Cutrer, S, 6-2, 180, Kentwood Jewel Sumner

John Diarse, ATH, 6-0, 210, Monroe Neville

Tevin Lawson, DT, 6-4, 275, Denham Springs (HS)

Tre’Davious White, ATH, 5-11, 170, Shreveport Green Oaks

LSU Spring Game rosters, info

The LSU Spring Game is set for 12:30 p.m. Saturday in Tiger Stadium. Admission is free.

If you want to see how the Tigers look this spring, you’ll have to do it in person. While the game will be on radio (locally on 104.5 FM and 105.5 FM in Spanish), it won’t be televised live or tape-delayed in any fashion.

Here are the roster breakdowns for the Spring Game. Clearly the White Team is loaded with the best players – a quick glance to see the names of Tyrann Mathieu, Zach Mettenberger and Sam Montgomery tells you that – but the Purple Team will have head-turners in Kenny Hilliard, Anthony “Freak” Johnson, and freshmen Ronnie Feist and Jeremy Hill.

The kickers – Brad Wing, Drew Alleman and James Hairston – will play it both ways.

Following the rosters you will find some key times for Saturday’s activities:


No.      Name                           Pos.     Ht.       Wt.      Class

1          Eric Reid                     S          6-2       208      Jr.

3          Odell Beckham Jr.      WR      5-11     183      So.

4          Alfred Blue                 RB       6-2       215      Jr.

7          Tyrann Mathieu           CB       5-9       175      Jr.

8          Zach Mettenberger      QB      6-5       222      Jr.

11        Spencer Ware              RB       5-11     223      Jr.

17        Myles O’Brien            LB       6-2       210      So.

21        Tre’ Sullivan                DB      5-9       179      So.

24        Tharold Simon            CB       6-3       187      Jr.

27        Dexter Alexander       DB      5-9       179      Jr.

28        Ronnie Vinson            DB      5-11     185      So.

34        Micah Eugene             DB      5-11     194      Fr. (RS)

35        Tommy LeBeau          S          6-1       190      Fr. (RS)

40        Rockey Duplessis        S          6-1       209      Jr.

41        Robert Smith               WR      5-11     183      So.

43        Connor Neighbors       FB       5-10     233      So.

44        J.C. Copeland             FB       6-1       280      Jr.

46        Kevin Minter               LB       6-2       242      Jr.

47        Tyler Edwards                        TE       6-4       235      Sr.

47        Jeremy Peeples            DL       6-4       240      So.

49        Barkevious Mingo       DE       6-5       240      Jr.

51        Michael Petty              S          5-10     185      Fr. (RS)

52        Luke Muncie               LB       6-3       220      Jr.

53        Grant Leger                 LB       6-1       215      Fr. (RS)

54        Justin Maclin               DE       6-4       241      So.

55        Jarrett Hardnett           LB       6-1       235      Jr.

57        Lamin Barrow             LB       6-2       229      Jr.

62        Edwin Johnson           LB       6-1       210      Sr. (TR)

63        Branch Kampe            LB       5-11     200      Fr. (RS)

64        P.J. Lonergan              C         6-4       305      Sr.

70        La’El Collins               OG      6-5       320      So.

72        Alex Hurst                  OT       6-6       340      Sr.

74        Josh Williford             OG      6-7       324      Jr.

76        Chris Faulk                  OT       6-6       325      Jr.

77        Josh Downs                 DT       6-1       287      Sr.

80        Jarvis Landry              WR      6-0       190      So.

82        James Wright              WR      6-2       201      Jr.

88        Chase Clement            TE       6-5       251      Sr.

91        A’Trey-U Jones           DL       6-0       271      Jr.

93        Bennie Logan              DT       6-3       287      Jr.

95        Quentin Thomas          DL       6-3       279      Fr. (RS)

98        Jordan Allen                DE       6-6       252      So.

99        Sam Montgomery       DE       6-4       245      Jr.


No.      Name                           Pos.     Ht.       Wt.      Class

5          Jarrett Fobbs               WR      5-11     195      So.

9          Ego Ferguson              DT       6-3       283      So.

10        Russell Shepard          WR      6-1       185      Sr.

10        Nick Rice                    LB       6-1       229      Jr.

13        Chris LaBorde                        WR      6-1       185      Fr. (RS)

15        Jerrard Randall            QB      6-1       180      Fr. (RS)

17        Stephen Rivers            QB      6-7       212      Fr. (RS)

21        Paul Turner                  WR      5-11     186      Fr. (RS)

22        Ronnie Feist                LB       6-2       225      Fr.

23        Lamar Louis                LB       6-0       220      Fr.

25        David Jenkins             DB      6-1       193      Fr. (RS)

26        Ronald Martin             DB      6-1       199      So.

27        Kenny Hilliard            RB       5-11     240      So.

29        Sam Gibson                 S          6-1       203      So.

30        Drew Alleman*           P/PK    5-11     183      Sr.

30        James Hairston*          P/PK    6-0       200      So.

31        D.J. Welter                  LB       6-0       226      So.

32        Jalen Collins                DB      6-1       184      Fr. (RS)

33        Jeremy Hill                  RB       6-2       225      Fr.

36        Cleveland Davis          FB       6-0       260      Jr.

38        Brad Wing*                P          6-3       184      So.

39        Jason Slaydon             FB       5-9       198      Jr.

40        Trabari Williams          RB       5-7       167      Jr.

41        Travis Dickson            TE       6-3       230      So.

45        Charles Mitchell          RB       6-1       200      So.

48        Seth Fruge                   LB       5-11     200      Jr.

48        Devante Meullion       FB       5-10     240      Fr. (RS)

50        Reid Ferguson             SNP     6-2       235      Fr.

51        Logan Bourdreaux      SNP     6-1       210      Fr. (RS)

52        Gabe Langlois             OL       6-2       312      Fr. (RS)

55        Elliott Porter               OL       6-4       278      So.

56        Trai Turner                  OL       6-2       332      Fr. (RS)

59        Jermauria Rasco          DE       6-3       255      So.

61        Ben Domingue            C         6-3       272      Jr.

67        Corey White                OL       6-3       328      Fr. (RS)

68        Josh Dworaczyk          OG      6-6       301      Sr.

71        Jonah Austin               OL       6-6       322      Fr. (RS)

73        Chris Davenport          OT       6-4       320      Jr.

75        Evan Washington        OL       6-5       326      So.

78        Vadal Alexander         OG      6-6       315      Fr.

81        Armand Williams        WR      6-3       200      So.

83        Allen Buniger              TE       6-3       257      So.

84        Nic Jacobs                   TE       6-5       253      So.

85        Jordan Johnson           WR      5-10     175      Jr.

87        Chancey Aghayere      DE       6-4       279      Sr.

89        Lavar Edwards           DE       6-5       264      Sr.

89        Jeffrey Lang                DB      5-11     188      So.

90        Anthony Johnson        DT       6-3       310      So.


No.      Name                           Pos.     Ht.       Wt.      Class

6          Craig Loston               S          6-2       208      Jr. (toe)

14        Terrence Magee           RB       5-9       212      So.

42        Michael Ford               RB       5-10     215      Jr. (knee)

58        Tahj Jones                   LB       6-2       205      Jr.

86        Kadron Boone                        WR      6-0       195      Jr. (shoulder)

96        Mickey Johnson          DL       5-11     310      Fr. (RS) (shoulder)


* 8 a.m.: Tiger Stadium parking lots open (no charge)

9 a.m.: Tiger Stadium tour (members of Mike’s Kids Club only)

9 a.m.-noon: Andonie Museum open

10 a.m.: Fan Fest begins, Lot A (west side of Tiger Stadium); LSU SportShop opens

11 a.m.: Tiger Stadium gates open; LSU student tailgate party (Lot A)

12:30 p.m.: SEC championship celebration, Tiger Stadium

1 p.m. (approx.): LSU National L-Club Spring Game, Tiger Stadium (no admission charge)


Junior-college guard Fanaika signs with LSU

The LSU football team added a late signee Friday when College of San Mateo (Calif.) offensive guard Fehoko Fanaika picked the Tigers over Florida and Hawaii.

“He signed yesterday,” San Mateo assistant coach Tim Tulloch told The Advocate on Friday afternoon. “We faxed the papers this morning.”

Fanaika, of Tongan descent, played high-school football at Florin High in Sacramento. He played two seasons at San Mateo, helping the team to a bowl game both years.

He will graduate in July and join the Tigers in time for fall camp. He plans to use a redshirt this season and start 2013 with two years of eligibility remaining.

“That’s something we’ve been pushing for,” Tulloch said. “I think for him to have a redshirt year will ensure he’s a guy who has a chance to be a two-time all-conference guy if he has time to pick up the scheme.”

The Tigers can afford to be patient with Fanaika, 6-foot-6, 340 pounds, since they return four starters up front and welcome back senior guard Josh Dworaczyk, who missed 2011 with a knee injury after starting every game as a sophomore and junior. 

Tulloch described Fanaika as a dominant run-blocker.

“We were the No. 1 rushing team in the nation last year averaging over 300 yards a game,” he said. “Most of it was behind him.”

This marks the second year in a row LSU has added a post-signing day addition. Prep quarterback Jerrard Randall from Hollywood, Calif., signed with the Tigers last March. 

Tulloch said LSU was one of five schools Fanaika visited before narrowing his list to the three finalists.

“It was down to the wire,” Tulloch said.

Fanaika becomes the 23rd member of the LSU signing class after the Tigers landed 22 prospects on signing day Feb. 1.





Isom doesn’t make cut to play football, may try again in fall

LSU spring football practice has reached the halfway point, but Mo Isom’s candidacy to be a kicker for the Tigers has come to an end – at least for now.

LSU coach Les Miles said Tuesday the former Tiger soccer goalkeeper turned homecoming queen didn’t make the cut after a tryout last week that drew international attention media attention. Isom is welcome to try again when LSU begins preseason drills in August, he said.

“We reviewed what she can do and can’t do well, and frankly there are four guys on the team right now that would be ahead of anyone who tried out the other day, including Mo,” Miles said.

Isom is going to concentrate on extra points and field goals, Miles said.

“She said, ‘Do I get another opportunity if I get a lot better?’ and I said, ‘Sure,’” Miles said.

Isom tweeted about her talk before Tuesday’s practice with Miles and termed it a “wonderful meeting.”

“Received great constructive feedback,” Isom tweeted. “Will continue working my hardest w/the team thru Spring&Summer&see where I stand in August. There is still much to this journey & I will not give up on my dream.”

Miles indicated the concern wasn’t Isom’s kicking as much as her ability to tackle, despite the fact that she goes 6-foot-1, 190 pounds.

“We go to kicking off in the corner and we count on our kicker making some tackles,” Miles said. “It’s just not something I’m comfortable she’s ready to do.”

The coach quickly put to rest any notion that Isom’s try was some sort of publicity stunt.

“It’s too painful,” he said. “Who would go through this for publicity? She’s accomplished too much here as an athlete to be trivialized.”

The Tigers practiced for about two hours indoors and outside Tuesday, their seventh practice session of the spring. They’ll hit the practice fields again Thursday in preparation for a major 100-plus play scrimmage Saturday.

Hamilton earns community service honor

LSU center Justin Hamilton is one of 12 players honored by the SEC as part of the league’s annual Community Service team.
The conference released the team Monday, the 14th year the SEC has honored a Community Service team for men’s basketball. One player from each of the league’s 12 schools is honored for his efforts away from the field of competition.
Hamilton, a junior from Alpine, Utah, made his mark off the court by contributing to the American Heart Association’s Go Healthy Challenge geared toward teaching young kids the importance of exercise and nutrition, volunteering at the Halloween BOOzar on the LSU campus and visiting Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital during the Christmas holidays. He also participated in Roaring into the Halls in which he and teammates helped freshmen move into their dormitories.
Hamilton is in his second year as a Student-Athlete Advisory Committee member representing men’s basketball.
Here’s the entire team:
Trevor Releford – Alabama So. | G | 6-1 | 180 | Kansas City, Mo.: Assisted greatly with various team and individual efforts to help aid tornado victims and assist in recovery with an emphasis on work done in the Holt community … Also participated in a free basketball clinic hosted by the program for children affected by the devastation … Additionally participated in various free clinics for youth players at various locations across the state.
Michael Sanchez – Arkansas Sr. | F | 6-8 | 236 | Springdale, Ark.: Currently growing his hair out for “Locks of Love,” an organization that makes wigs for children with Cancer … Major contributor to the SEC Together We Can Food Drive … Participant in Arkansas’ Leadership Academy; reads to area elementary school children as a part of Razorback’s “Book Hogs” Program … Regular visitor to the Arkansas Children’s Hospital … Speaker at various events/camps about Staying in school and being good citizens … Other Activities, Awards, etc.: Fifth-year senior who earned his bachelor’s degree in four years and is currently working on his Masters degree … Multi-time member of Arkansas’ Academic Honor Roll and SEC Academic Honor Roll … 2009 member of the SEC Community Service Team
Kenny Gabriel – Auburn Sr. | F | 6-8 | 209 | Charlotte, N.C.: Mentors children and works with 4 year olds twice per week at the Auburn University Early Learning Center Preschool … Read to elementary school students in the Pine Hills Literacy Program at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lee County … Served as the Men’s Basketball representative on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), assisting with the organization of Student-Athlete Day and the annual Toys for Tots toy drive … Visited cancer patients at East Alabama Medical Center’s Cancer Center … Participates annually in the SEC’s Together We Can Food Drive … Participated in the AORTA (Auburn Opelika Running and Track Association) two mile run for Breast Cancer Awareness … Received the Paul Lambert/Tommy Joe Eagles Memorial Trophy, the most prestigious basketball award for leadership, at the team’s awards banquet last year.
Will Yeguete – Florida So. | F | 6-7 | 222 | Bourdeaux, France: During his time in Gainesville, Yeguete has volunteered with his Gator teammates for events … At the Climb for Cancer Foundation’s Brandon Ling Memorial Sports Camp, Yeguete and other UF student-athletes spend time with cancer patients and their siblings doing fun activities, taking pictures and signing autograph … Assisted in a Thanksgiving food drive where he and several other Gators helped unload, pack, reload and distribute food to feed over 500 needy and homeless families in Gainesville and the surrounding communities … Additionally, Yeguete and his teammates have taken time out of their season to visit children at Shands Hospital.
Matt Bucklin – Georgia Sr. | G | 6-0 | 170 | Marietta, Ga.: Christmas Shopping with a member of the Athens Boys and Girls Club … Active Participant in the “Friends Of Jaclyn” Foundation to help improve the quality of life for children with pediatric brain tumors … Volunteer at the annual “Do It For Broph” 5K Run/Walk … Featured speaker at Clarke Central High School FCA chapter … Visited campers at Camp TBI (To Be Independent/Traumatic Brain Injuries) … Has made the SEC Honor Roll every year on the team … Named to the UGA Student-Athlete Advisory Council for the 2012 academic year … Named “Most Inspirational Player” at 2011 UGA Basketball Team’s post-season awards banquet.
Darius Miller – Kentucky Sr. | G | 6-8 | 235 | Maysville, Ky.: Darius has logged several hours in the community, including working with God’s Pantry, packing backpacks and delivering them to local elementary schools to children and families in need … He also visits children at the UK Children’s Hospital as well as other local elementary schools … Miller has also donated his time at the Ronald McDonald House as well as joined in the Cats’ Samaritan Feet project … He was also selected as one of 30 candidates for the 2011-12 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
Justin Hamilton – LSU Jr. | C | 7-0 | 260 | Alpine, Utah: American Heart Association’s Go Healthy Challenge young kids learning exercises and nutritional guidelines … Halloween BOOzar … Roaring into the Halls – helping freshman move into their new dormitories … An annual trip Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital Christmas visit … In his second year as SAAC member representing men’s basketball.
Nick Williams – Ole Miss Jr. | G | 6-4 | 210 | Mobile, Ala.: Williams is a regular participant in Reading with the Rebels (a program which helps promote reading to area students) and spends time with children at local day care centers … He has visited patients at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and has taken time to visit with underprivileged children from the local Boys and Girls Club … Among the activities with the Boys and Girls Club have been building scarecrows with them and delivering Christmas gifts.
Charles Parker – Mississippi State Jr. | G | 5-10 | 168 | McKinney, Texas: Participated in Soles4Soul … Organized Thanksgiving canned food drive … Led pep rallies at local schools to promote reading … Oversaw local HeadStart’s Fall Festiva … Did art projects throughout campus to promote athletics … St. Jude Fundraisers … Bulldogs on the Move – exercise program for handicapped children … Coaches basketball at local park and rec.
Malik Cooke – South Carolina Sr. | F | 6-6 | 215 | Charlotte, N.C.: Cooke has participated in numerous hours of community service during his career at South Carolina … During the 2011-12 campaign, Cooke has visited Alcorn Middle School in Columbia to help promote literacy and the importance of reading to the middle school students … He also read to a grade school class, visited with at-risk youth prior to a women’s basketball game, participated in the Fourth Annual Darrin Horn Ladies Clinic, a clinic hosted by the South Carolina staff that raises awareness for breast cancer and breast cancer research … Cooke also participated in the World Wide Day of Play, and, along with his teammates and the South Carolina staff, spent a day at Fort Jackson, a military base in Columbia, visiting with soldiers, Wounded Warriors, and also participating in an after school fan experience at Pinckney Elementary School at Fort Jackson.
Cameron Tatum – Tennessee Sr. | G | 6-7 | 193 | Lithonia, Ga.: Built a home for a Knoxville family of three through Habitat for Humanity … Taught children with disabilities about playing basketball with Hoops for Hope … Handed out shoes to elementary school children through Shoes for School … Visited patients at St. Jude’s, UT Medical Center & Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center … Volunteered at Vine Magnet School, an inner-city Knoxville school.
Steve Tchiengang – Vanderbilt Sr. | F | 6-9 | 245 | Douala, Cameroon: Tchiengang volunteers many hours at two Vanderbilt hospitals – the Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital and the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital … He works with African refugees in the Nashville area, and invites them to a few games at Memorial Gym every year … He also speaks with middle schools in the Houston and Nashville areas, and gives free basketball lessons to elementary school children in both Houston and Nashville … Other Activities, Awards, etc.: Member of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee on campus, which helps organize the annual Christmas Party and Field Days for underprivileged children.