Tag Archives: #LSU

Report: Chevis Jackson to return; LSU confirms Ryan Pugh hire

Former LSU cornerback Chevis Jackson is returning to the program as an “analyst” on the football staff, according to 247Sports, and the school has confirmed the hiring of former Auburn center Ryan Pugh as part of the program’s support staff.

Chevis Jackson returns a pick for a touchdown in the title game in 2007. (Bill Feig)

Chevis Jackson returns a pick for a touchdown in the title game in 2007. (Bill Feig)

Chevis, who returned an interception for a touchdown in LSU’s 2007 national title game, has been a graduate assistant at South Alabama, working with defensive backs. The South Alabama 247Sports site reported that Chevis is leaving Mobile for Baton Rouge.

Pugh, a four-year starting center for Auburn in 2007-10, has joined the staff as an offensive quality control assistant, a school spokesman confirmed. Pugh played under current LSU offensive line coach Jeff Grimes at Auburn and coached with him as a grad assistant at Virginia Tech. He spent last year as a grad assistant at Cincinnati.

Report: Ryan Pugh joins LSU’s staff as grad assistant

Former Auburn center Ryan Pugh has joined the staff at LSU as a an offensive graduate assistant, FootballScoop tweeted Tuesday and a source confirmed Wednesday.

(University of Cincinnati)

(University of Cincinnati)

Pugh was a four-year starting center at Auburn (2007-2010) and earned first team All-SEC honors and was a Rimington Trophy finalist. He played under current LSU offensive line coach and then-Auburn OL coach Jeff Grimes for the final two seasons on the Plains.

The Birmingham native served as an offensive grad assistant at Cincinnati under head coach Tommy Tuberville, the ex-Auburn coach. He spent 2013 doing the same at Virginia Tech while Grimes was on the staff with the Hokies. His college career began as a grad assistant at Auburn in 2012.

Pugh replaces Sean Patterson, the brother of highly touted 2016 quarterback Shea Patterson. He left the staff two weeks ago and is expected to be hired by Ole Miss, where Shea committed last week.

LSU Twitter Mailbag: You asked about Jared Foster, Kade Scivicque and a breakout football player

Jared Foster is off to a hot start this season. (HILARY SCHEINUK)

Jared Foster is off to a hot start this season. (HILARY SCHEINUK)

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

Great question, Hunter.

  1. Malachi Dupre, CF
  2. Travin Dural, RF
  3. Leonard Fournette, 1B
  4. Sione Teuhema, DH
  5. John Diarse, C
  6. Deion Jones, 3B
  7. Jamal Adams, SS
  8. Lamar Louis, 2B
  9. D.J. Chark, LF

Yes, for now. The guy is, after all, batting .545. I imagine that he’ll play the majority of time in left field for the next few weeks and for the entire season if he keeps up the hot hitting. But don’t be surprised to see Jake Fraley start a game here and there.

Not many LSU baseball players have what Foster has: speed, size, strength, athleticism (play-making) and power. He struggled so much at the plate last season (seven hits) because he felt the pressure of the draft, coach Paul Mainieri said.

Mainieri knows Foster’s hot start at the plate won’t continue through the entire season. Left field is still a revolving door, but it’s Foster – not Fraley – who will start at the position for the most part, at least for now.

“Obviously, Jared Foster has really emerged as a force,” Mainieri said earlier this week. “He’s a grown man. He’s a physical guy. He’s an elite athlete. I’ve seen him just crush balls. Don’t think he’s going to hit like this the whole year. He’s going to have his lulls and when he has his lulls somebody else can step up.”

Jared Foster is quite the hot topic, ay?

I’m sure I answered much of your question above, but Mainieri says he “hasn’t given up” on Jake Fraley. He’ll see time.

Kade Scivicque is batting .500 and has a team-leading three homers. He’s also picked off three of five batters and seems to be a solid blocker behind the plate.

If you remember, Scivicque got off to a hot start through the first month of last season and then his production waned. Like much of the team, he endured a nasty hitting skid in the middle of the year as SEC play really got going.

Who knows what will happen this year, but he has a year’s more experience and seems to have a boat load of confidence right now.

Here’s an easy one: Brandon Harris.

As a freshman last season, the quarterback had a rough outing in his first start at Auburn, but he had played impressively before that game. Coaches never gave him another shot after the debacle on the Plains.

Harris will compete with Anthony Jennings for the starting job again this spring practice and in fall camp. Don’t expect a starter to be named after spring, but don’t be surprised if Harris has a much larger role this season than he did last year.

I think so. My money’s on Stevenson winning that race. Fournette has about 40 pounds on them. Stevenson, Laird, Foster are all pretty quick guys.

LSU football roster changes: Host of freshmen redshirt; Lamar Louis, Clifton Garrett change jerseys; Walk-ons added

LSU released its 2015 football roster ahead of spring practice, which begins March 7.

Here are some noted changes to it.

Notable players who redshirted in 2014:

  • S Corey Thompson
  • DT Trey Lealaimatafao
  • OL William Clapp
  • OL Garrett Brumfield
  • DT Travonte Valentine
  • WR Tony Upchurch
  • TE Jacory Washington

Notable players missing from the roster:

  • DL Mickey Johnson – expected to transfer
  • PK Chris Sciambra – he’ll focus on baseball this spring

Notable freshmen who did NOT letter (but played) in 2014:

  • S John Battle
  • LB Clifton Garrett
  • DB Russell Gage
  • WR D.J. Chark
  • WR Kevin Spears

Notable freshmen who did letter in 2014 (does not include the obvious ones):

  • DB Ed Paris
  • S Devin Voorhies
  • LB Donnie Alexander
  • DE Sione Teuhema

New players who were not part of last year’s season-ending roster (presumed walk-ons):

  • PK Alex Kjellsten (No. 29) – sophomore transfer from McNeese State
  • PK Ronald Brown (No. 35) – sophomore
  • QB Tiger Scheyd (No. 17) – redshirt freshman
  • QB Caleb Lewis (No. 14) – freshman
  • WR Brandon Gonsolin (No. 23) – redshirt freshman
  • WR Dylan Kelly (No. 40) – redshirt freshman
  • SNP/TE Conner LeBlanc (No. 60) – redshirt sophomore
  • DL Marcus Roberts (No. 60) – redshirt junior from Baton Rouge
  • SNP John  Ballis (No. 61) – redshirt junior who transferred from Kentucky
  • OL Jibrail Abdul-Aziz (No. 62) – sophomore from Baton Rouge
  • DL Hunter Burns (No. 62) – sophomore from Baton Rouge CC
  • OL Turner Simmers (No. 69) – redshirt freshman

Jersey numbers changes:

  • LB Lamar Louis from 23 to 11
  • LB Clifton Garrett from 3 to 30.
  • S Tommy LeBeau from 1 to 41.
  • S John Battle from 30 to 26
  • WR Avery Peterson from 2 to 21.
  • CB Micah Dickens from 11 to 12
  • S Corey Thompson from 12 to 23
  • WR Miquel James from 86 to 22

Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele in first phase of ‘easy’ transition at LSU: watching film

Kevin Steele was introduced at a press conference about one month ago. (Bill Feig)

Kevin Steele was introduced at a press conference about one month ago. (Bill Feig)

Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele is spending most of his days leading up to spring practice watching film of LSU’s defensive players from the last two seasons.

“In fact I’m taking a break from doing that at this very minute,” Steele said.

The Tigers new coordinator spoke to ESPN 104.5’s Culotta & The Prince on Thursday morning about the first step – outside of recruiting – to his new gig.

“We’re in the process of putting the package together and the first phase of that was to simply go back and watch everything that had been done over the last two years defensively here and watch the players and their strengths and weaknesses,” Steele said. “Then kind of put things together.”

During a 20-minute interview Wednesday morning, Steele spoke about how “easy” the transition has been at LSU, how he was hired in the first place and how the team’s lack of linebacker signees will affect the program down the road.

The highlights:

  • LSU signed zero linebackers in the 2015 class. That’s something Steele, also the linebackers coach, is fully aware of.

Most cases when you get voids in classes it doesn’t show up right away and so you have time to recoup it, but you gotta make sure you do so. Next year is critical in that area otherwise three years from now you’ll look up and you’ll remember today what you said. It’s like, ‘I told them three years ago they didn’t sign any linebackers and look at it now.’

So that’s the thing we gotta keep from happening. It’s not so much what happened this year, making sure we take care of it so that three years from now it doesn’t raise its ugly head again.

  • The issue with signing no linebackers in 2015 can be a benefit, Steele said, in at least one way.

    Kevin Steele says his transition has been easy. (Bill Feig)

    Kevin Steele says his transition has been easy. (Bill Feig)

It does make it a more marketable position obviously for next year because when you say to a young man, ‘Hey, we did not sign any linebackers in last year’s class,’ the answer I’m getting now is, ‘Yeah coach I know,” and so we can use it to a benefit.

  • Steele was hired toward the end of a two-week search for a replacement for his good friend, John Chavis. LSU contacted Steele indirectly, he said, early during the search, but there was no direct communications until later, he said, because this was a “very cautious process” since Alabama and LSU are SEC West Division foes and rivals.

You gotta be sure before you go down that road that things could possibly work out. So there was a very cautious process not in terms of hiding anything, just making sure that if you jump in that water, you better be ready to swim.

  • Steele calls his transition to LSU “easy” because he knew the staff and some of the players well. Steele was around the program in 2012 after he was fired from Clemson. His son served as a GA at LSU for a few years.

I literally knew from the equipment room, video, the ladies that work in the office, all the staff … I knew every one of them by name. We really kind of recruit the same players in this league that we play in. So most of these players I’d seen play on film, had talked to them on the phone. I had seen them at some kind of visitation so I knew them. Then on top of that the familiarity with the scheme and what had been done here schematically in the past too. It’s been remarkably easy in terms of the transition.

LSU D-line coach Brick Haley hired by Texas, holds no grudges toward Tigers

Brick Haley will be Texas' next defensive line coach. (Travis Spradling)

Brick Haley will be Texas’ next defensive line coach. (Travis Spradling)

Former LSU defensive line coach Brick Haley has accepted the same job at Texas and has no grudges over the way things ended in Baton Rouge, he told The Advocate on Friday.

Haley was reassigned to an administrative role when LSU hired defensive line coach Ed Orgeron and new defensive coordinator Kevin Steele in January.

“Not a problem. It’s a business,” he said. “Those things happen. I respect all of those things that happened through the process. I’ve enjoyed every bit of my time here and all of the things they’ve done for my family.”

Haley just completed his sixth season in Baton Rouge. He makes $440,000 a year as part of a contract that ends March 31. Haley signed a new two-year contract, but it was not approved by the LSU Board of Supervisors.

Haley’s exit means that LSU doesn’t owe him the $900,000 on his new contract.

Haley accepted the Texas job late Thursday night.

“It’s awesome,” he said. “To have the opportunity to work there is a privilege.”

Haley was close friends with former LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis, who left LSU for Texas A&M following the Tigers’ bowl game. Haley was a candidate to replace Chavis.

LSU and Texas meet in a home-and-home series in 2019-2020.

“Been great. Great memories,” Haley said of his six-year stay at LSU. “It’s been a great run.”

Report: LSU to interview Maryland receivers coach Keenan McCardell

Keenan McCardell had a lengthy NFL career. (Spokeo)

Keenan McCardell had a lengthy NFL career. (Spokeo)

Maryland receivers coach Keenan McCardell will interview for the opening on LSU’s staff, according to ESPN Radio in Baton Rouge.

McCardell, 45, is the second coach known to have interviewed for the position to replace Adam Henry, who left for the San Francisco 49ers over the weekend. Georgia receivers coach Tony Ball confirmed with the Atlanta Journal Constitution that he interviewed with LSU on Wednesday.

McCardell was set to interview Thursday, according to ESPN Radio’s Culotta & The Prince.

McCardell, an NFL receiver for more than 15 years, just completed his first season at Maryland. It’s just his second coaching stop. He coached receivers for the Washington Redskins 2010-11.

A Houston native, McCardell is a two-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time Super Bowl champion. He spent much of his NFL career with the Jacksonville Jaguars (1996-2001). McCardell makes $265,000 and is in the second year of a two-year contract.

Report: LSU to interview Georgia WR coach Tony Ball

Tony Ball has been at Georgia for nine years. (AJC.com)

Tony Ball has been at Georgia for nine years. (AJC.com)

LSU will interview Georgia receivers coach Tony Ball on Wednesday for its staff opening, multiple outlets are reporting.

Culotta & The Prince reported Wednesday morning that Ball would interview to replace the departed Adam Henry, who left for the San Francisco 49ers. Ball confirmed the news to the Atlanta Journal Constitution later Wednesday.

Ball, 55, just finished his ninth season at Georgia, the last six as receivers coach. Ball makes $260,000 a year and is one of a four current UGA assistants who has not received a raise this offseason. He has one year left on his contract.

A source told The Telegraph in Macon, Georgia, that UGA was aware of LSU’s interest, but it wasn’t clear whether anything was imminent. Two years ago Ball interviewed for the running backs coaching job at Tennessee, then stayed at Georgia after receiving a slight raise, The Telegraph reported.

A Chattanooga, Tenn., native, Ball was a running back at UT-Chattanooga and coached running backs in his first three years in Athens. Ball coached receivers for eight years at Virginia Tech and for three years at Louisville.

LSU has been searching for a new coach since Sunday. This is the first known interview for the position, and whoever is hired will be the third new coach on staff. The Tigers hired former Alabama assistant Kevin Steele to be their defensive coordinator after John Chavis left. They hired defensive line coach Ed Orgeron to replace the reassigned Brick Haley.

Henry, 42, had recently signed a new two year contract with the Tigers that included a $55,000 raise. He was set to make $375,000 this season.

Twitter Mailbag: You asked about 2016 recruiting, right guard and quarterbacks

Derrius Guice was the US Army All-American Game MVP. (AP)

Derrius Guice was the US Army All-American Game MVP. (AP)

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

It sure sounds like Jerald Hawkins will play left tackle next season. In fact, he said that last month at the press conference announcing his decision to remain in school.

And it sure sounds like Vadal Alexander will replace him at right tackle. That, though, isn’t so much of a certainty. But LSU coach Les Miles did suggest Alexander could move over to the right side of the line at tackle.

Ethan Pocic is described by most as a natural tackle and a guy who can play every position on the line. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Alexander remain at left guard and for Pocic to move to right tackle. I think that’s what happens, but who the heck knows. There’s a ton of time between now and Sept. 5.

I’m not sure there is just one player, especially since the 2016 class is so full of top-tier talent (read more about that here).

That said, LSU’s 2016 focus is expected to be on linebackers and defensive tackles. So, a guy like Edwin Alexander, a five star defensive tackle out of Hammond, is a must, you’d think. There’s Rashard Lawrence, too, a four star defensive tackle from Monroe.

I’m sure LSU would love to get both of those guys. Getting one of two will probably be a minimum-case scenario.

You’d think LSU would get as many of its best players on the field as it can. New signees Derrick Dillon and Donte Jackson are thought of as slot-type receivers. And then you have the big bodies outside: Travin Dural, Malachi Dupre, Tyron Johnson.

Les Miles isn’t going away from the I-formation, two tight-end set quickly, but I think you can expect to see more receivers on the field than, say, last season.

According to Cam Cameron and Les Miles, you can expect to see a ton of improvement. Cameron said recently on the radio that the two quarterbacks have grown and that LSU fans will see that.

Who really knows, though? There’s no denying that Brandon Harris has more upside and talent, Miles has admitted that in the past. I’d expect to see more change from him this year than anyone else.

Fournette Leonard.

I kid, of course. But it’s clear that LSU’s offense will be built around the nation’s former top-ranked talent. Cameron said last week that they want Fournette to get at least 15-20 touches in a game.

He also said LSU needs to spread the ball around more and that the Tigers will need all four scholarship running backs on their roster: Fournette, Darrel Williams, Derrius Guice and Nick Brossette.

To get back to your question: Derrius Guice. You’ll know why if you watched the US Army All-American Game.  The kid has serious speed and play-making ability. Can he be mature enough to handle it is the question.

Six former LSU players invited to NFL Combine

Six former LSU players were invited to the NFL combine, including all three underclassmen who passed on their senior years.

La'el Collins is one of six former LSU players to get a Combine invite. (BILL FEIG)

La’el Collins is one of six former LSU players to get a Combine invite. (BILL FEIG)

Left tackle La’el Collins, running backs Terrence Magee and Kenny Hilliard, and underclassmen defensive end Danielle Hunter, linebacker Kwon Alexander and cornerback Jalen Collins were invited to the event in Indianapolis.

The combine is set for Feb. 17-23 and will be televised on the NFL Network.

Some notable former LSU players absent from the combine list: fullback Connor Neighbors, who participated in the Senior Bowl, safety Ronald Martin, DE Jermauria Rasco and center Elliott Porter.

Players who leave school early are normally high enough draft prospects that they are invited to the combine, but that’s not always the case. LSU’s three made it. The following did not: