White Team Wins 37-0 in LSU Spring Game!
Super Scout Max Emfinger
Every college football team in America has Spring Training and a Spring Training Final Game. The goal is to give all of your young players a chance to show what they can do and maybe work into a starting position for the next year Football Season. It’s also a great way to give all of your fans a preview of things to come in the Fall Football Season.
I know that every major college football team has their rowdy and rabid fans and they will attend their Spring Training Game wearing all of their School Paraphernalia, just like they do in the Fall for a real football game and the LSU Football fans are pretty rabid.
On Saturday, the LSU Spring Football Game started at 2:00 P.M. and I knew that there would be a tremendous crowd, so I left home around 11:00 A.M. so I could get into Tiger Stadium and get situated before the players came out onto the field. This was my Fourth straight LSU Spring Game and I got there and got parked around 12:00 Noon, but I had to cross the main parking lot by Tiger Stadium sometime called Death Valley, and there were approximately 20,000 people in the Tiger Stadium, parking lot participating in various activities such as The Adrenaline Rush II, Basketball Free Throw Shooting, and a Bud Light Music Concert.
I was a little dissapointed in the announced crowd of 30,000, since Alabama, coming off another BCS National Championship had an announced 78,315 crowd and Auburn, with their new Head Coach Gus Malzahn, an old Personal Friend of mine, having an announced 83,401 crowd, but the LSU Lady Tiger Softball Team was playing and they beat Missouri 8-0 in the next block, at the same time. Tennessee, with their new Head Coach also announced a 61,076 crowd.
Then before the game started, I was able to chat with the new LSU Offensive Coordinator and Quarterback Coach Cam Cameron, who I have been friends with for many years. Coach Cameron actually came to my home in Houston, Texas when he was recruiting players for Michigan.
I also got to chat with both Coach Steve Kragthorpe and Defensive Line Coach Brick Haley, along with Strength Coach Tommy Moffitt, and Assistant Athletic Directors Sharon Lewis and Doctor Sam Nader. I have been friends with Coach Kragthorpe since he was recruiting for Texas A&M University and Coach Haley ever since he was recruiting for Baylor University.
Coach Nader and I have been friends for 20 or more years; while Sharon and Tommy and I have been great friends for 10 or more years. All of these short chats were especially rewarding to me. Sports Information Director, Michael Bonnette, was also especially great as he gave me some final stats on a few of the LSU players for the 2013 NFL Draft.
When you have a Spring Training Game, everyone needs to understand just exactly why a Head Coach, like Head Coach Les Miles, has the game and the reason is that he wants to see what players he needs to see that will be playing on Saturday in the fall. He also wants to see how his projected starters play together in crucial situations. It would be real easy to choose up sides for the game, but at LSU, the LSU Coaches are no different. They want to see how the projected starters play together and that is why all of the projected starters were all on the same White Team.
The White Team featured returning Offensive Skill Starters, including QB Zach Mettenberger (6-5, 230, SR-2L), RB Jeremy Hill (6-2, 230, SO-1L), WR Odell Beckham Jr (6-0, 187, JR-2L), and WR Jarvis Landry (6-1, 195, JR-2L).
As new Offensive Coordinator, everyone was looking forward to seeing Coach Cameron to see what kind of passing wrinkles he was going to make to the new Offensive scheme. Coach Cameron had a new wrinkle all-right and it was to let his quarterbacks call their own plays.
“I wanted to let our quarterbacks call their own plays today, because I wanted to see what our quarterbacks were thinking in crucial plays under pressure,” said Coach Cameron. “I want to see how he would call a play in a real game under pressure.”
One of the reasons that Mettenberger and the White Team struggled in the first quarter was because it took Mettenberger a few series to get comfortable about calling his own plays. “I really haven’t called my own plays since high school and I had to get used to calling them,” said Mettenberger after the game.
Now, here’s the deal! Nobody was informed that the quarterbackers were unexpectedly calling their own plays, so there was probably a good reason that Mettenberger struggled for a few series in the first quarter. The really important thing is that after Mettenberger got settled-in to calling his own plays, he did a really good job in the second quarter. After completing 5 for 11 in the first quarter for 72-yards, Mettenberger finished the second quarter with an outstanding 12 for 19 and 236-yards and two touchdowns for the first half.
The White Team did struggle some in that first quarter, but after Purple Team True Freshman QB Anthony Jennings (6-3, 205, 4.5) completed a beautiful 35-yard pass to WR Kadron Boone (6-0, 207, SR-3L) and they still couldn’t score, the White Team got some motivation and drove for two touchdowns in the second quarter.
The first touchdown pass by Mettenberger was a short 15-yard pass to TE Dillon Gordon (6-5, 280, SO-1L) with 6:05 left in the first half. Then Mettenberger hit Beckham with a beautiful 79-yard strike in the endzone with only 4:11 left.
I also thought that Jeremy Hill was a beast, running the football, in the first half as he rushed for 51-yards on 8 carries. Also remember that all of the Purple Team defensive players were keying on Hill on every single play and he still was able to get to the sideline on a couple plays and juked on a couple others to get some extra yards.
In the first half, Freshman Sensation Jennings completed 7 of 17 passes for 82-yards, including the 35-yarder to Boone and he also ran for 26-yards on 4 carries.
In the second half, Stephen Rivers (6-8, 225, SO-SQ) was particularly impressive as he threw a very nice and tight spiral and completed 7 of 10 passes for 185-yards and two touchdowns. His first touchdown pass was a beautiful 45-yard touchdown pass to WR Travin Dural (6-2, 180, FR-RS) with 11:00 left in the third quarter. Then, Rivers hit Beckham on a 21-yard touchdown pass with 5:40 left in the game.
Senior LB Lamin Barrow (6-2, 232, SR-3L) recorded six tackles in the first half and Senior safety Craig Loston (6-2, 205, SR-3L), DT Ego Ferguson (6-3, 308, JR-2L), and DE Danielle Hunter (6-5, 235, SO-1L) each had four tackles in the first half.
Although you have to be really impressed with Mettenberger with the way he came back in the second quarter, I believe that the real Super Star of the game was Beckham. Mettenberger only played in the first half, while Beckham played the whole game and his stats were good enough to get on ESPN Players of the Week.
Purple Team RB Terrence McGee (5-9, 212, JR-1L) also had a great day as he rushed for 61-yards on seven carries, averaging a great 8.71 yards per carry. McGee also caught one pass for ten-yards, averaging 8.88-yards per touch on eight touches. Sophomore LB Kwon Alexander (6-2, 220, SO-1L) led the Purple Team Defense with seven tackles.
Hunter, Barrow, Loston and Ferguson were Defensive MVP’s of the game. Hunter finished with eight tackles and two sacks; whereas Ferguson and Barrow had seven tackles and a sack; and Loston had six tackles and a key interception. I thought that Hunter, Ferguson, and Loston were the best Defensive Players on the field Saturday. True Freshman Christian LaCouture (6-5, 290, FR-HS) was also very impressive with four tackles.
With at least six LSU Defensive Starters going to the NFL, it’s still amazing how great this LSU Defense can be next fall. On top of that, four other potential defensive starters, including FS Ronald Martin (6-1, 202, SR-3L), DE Jermauria Rasco (6-3, 255, SR-3L), CB Jalen Collins (6-2, 195, SO-1L, and CB Jalen Mills (6-0, 185, SO-1L) did not play in the Spring Game because of minor injuries.
When LSU Defensive Coordinator John “Chief” Chavis gets his “R&J” guys back in the Fall, this LSU Defense will be even stronger than it is now. Of course, that would be Ronald and Rasco; plus Jalen and Jalen.
Now, the Great News! The 2013 LSU Recruiting Class may not have been the #1 Recruiting Class in the Country, but it was in the Top Five. This LSU Recruiting Class, however, had one of the greatest Defensive Classes in the Country.
This LSU Defensive Recruiting Class includes another six to eight high Draft Choices to take the place of the six to eight high 2013 Draft Choices in the 2013 NFL Draft. There are three linebackers in this new LSU Recruiting Class that will go in the Top two rounds, including MLB Melvin Jones (6-3, 246, 4.56) of Lake Charles Washington, LA; OLB Duke Riley (6-1, 220, 4.5) of River Ridge John Curtis, LA; and OLB Kendell Beckwith (6-3, 235, 4.56) of East Feliciana, LA.
Then you have another three Defensive Linemen that will be Drafted High, including Christian Lacouture (6-5, 290, 4.8) of Lincoln Southwest, NE who was very impressive on Saturday; Marquedius Bain (6-3, 318, 4.8) of Fort Lauderdale University, FL; and Greg Gilmore (6-4, 285, 4.9) of Hope Mills SouthView, NC.
Four great Defensive Ends include Tashawn Bower (6-5, 245, 4.6) of Somerville Immaculate, NJ; Frank Herron (6-5, 265, 4.7) of Memphis Central, TN; Michael Patterson (6-3, 235, 4.6) of Patterson, LA; and Lewis Neal (6-1, 230, 4.8) of Wilson Hunt, NC will also be Drafted.
And finally! Two of the greatest cover cornerbacks in the country will be wearing an LSU uniform next fall, including Jeryl Brazil (5-10, 185, 4.3) of Loranger, LA and Tre”Davious White (5-11, 178, 4.3) of Shreveport Green Oaks, LA. I have personally seen both of these players play and I predict that both of the cornerbacks and the three Linebackers, including Jones, Riley, and Beckwith; plus LaCouture, Herron, and Bower, if they do not get hurt, will become #1 or #2 Draft Choice in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Two other True Freshman, other than LaCouture, who were very impressive on Saturday were OC Ethan Pocic (6-7, 287, FR-HS) of Lemont Township, IL and of course Jennings. In my opinion, Jennings is the best quarterback that the Tigers have signed in years. I also believe that Pocic, who started for the White Team at Center, might be one of the best Offensive Linemen that the Tigers have signed in years.
Jennings is a RGIII Type of Quarterback and Pocic has the same kind of potential and is on the same par with OG La’El Collins (6-5, 321, JR-2L) who also started last year for the Tigers and started for the White Team. Both Jennings and Pocic could become High Draft Choices in the NFL along with many of their 2013 Recruiting Class Teammates.