By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
It is a pantheon of concrete and steel, It is a city that rises defiantly in the delta alongside the father of waters, It is the humidity of autumn evenings that drapes stately oaks and broad magnolias, It is haunted ... and it is loud. It is Halloween night & Cannon blasts, It is a Louisiana gumbo of humanity that cheers its Tigers to victory & destroys the dreams of invading foes. Chance of rain is ... never! It is the cathedral of college football & worship happens here ... When the sun finds its home in the western sky it is a field of glory for sure ... But much more than that it is a sacred place, And it is Saturday night in Death Valley.... (By: Dan Borne')
Well, the next time our defending national champions kickoff on a Saturday night in Death Valley it will be on a new, upgraded surface.
This turf project began immediately after the final home game of the 2019 football season and is still in progress.
In recent years, LSU would replace the top level of Tiger Stadium's surface (the sod) after a football season and/or events that would occur, such as the Bayou Country Super Fest.
But not since 1991 has the field repair gone deeper into the ground below the top surface. Over time the field has become more compact, causing poor drainage on the playing field.
In order to repair this problem, contractors must dig 18 inches into the ground below the top level playing surface so they can remove and replace the old soil barrier and old drainage pipes.
The new profile barrier consist of gravel, fabric, lime stone, and sand. Once in place the lower profile will act like a bladder. If there is a heavy rain on a game day before kickoff, the lower barrier will control and hold the water underground until it can be drained.
LSU has been planning this project for five years now and will cost a total of $2.6 million. The funding for the much needed project has been provided by the State Capitol Outlay Section Division.
So far the construction process has gone very smoothly. The contractors have not run into any problems and the project has been blessed with good weather.
The new grass playing surface, provided by Shaw Sports Turf, will be an engineered centipede that will be a softer and safer playing surface for the student athletes. The sod will be installed in early May and will be allowed to grow and treated until August. By then the field will be ready for the 2020 football season.
By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
“When you back up the Heisman winner, you kind of keep your mouth shut, that’s what you do," Ed Orgeron said of Myles Brennan during his spring media press conference.
"He has led this team in the fourth quarter program. He’s competed at every rep, just like Joe did, to win every rep. I’m not going to say he has won every rep, but I was watching him compete to win every rep. He’s been more vocal at the end. We go to eight stations, on the eight station we put up the balls, when we put up the balls he’s the one doing it. I’ve heard him talk to guys when we have to go back, "Come on man, get this done." He’s been more of a vocal leader. I’ve seen him in the office watching more film than he ever has." Orgeron continued to praise his Junior quarterback.
"I know the Brennan family very well. They’ve been very patient. They’ve been waiting for this time. I expect Myles to explode. I expect him to do all the things that he needs to do to be a great quarterback. Whatever deficiencies he has, like we all have, I know that he and his family are going to work on them. What I mean by that is, more experience, working on his throwing motion, going to quarterback guru’s camps. Whatever it may be, I know that this guy is dedicated to do that. I think we are going to have one heck of a player. I’ve always believed in Myles, I believe he is a championship quarterback. I believe he is going to be great for us.”
Brennan was one of the top quarterback prospects in the country in 2017. A consensus four-star prospect by all major recruiting sites. ESPN ranked him as the No. 4 pocket passer in the nation and 247Sports ranked him as the #6 pro-style quarterback.
The 6-4, 207 lbs junior, had an amazing high school career at St. Stanislaus High School in Bay St. Louis, MS. Putting up incredible numbers while leading his team to the Mississippi Class 4A state championship game in 2014 and 2015. Finished with a 34-8 overall record.
Soph. Season: 409/582 for 5,797 yards, 64 TDs, 14 INTs
Junior Season: 303/486 for 5,248 yards, 53 TDS, 8 INTs
Senior Season: 275/399 for 3,982 yards, 48 TDs, 3 INTs (Didn't throw an INT until Post Season)
He holds the following Mississippi high school career records:
Total Offense: 16,168 yards
Passing Yards: 15,138 yards
Passing Touchdowns: 166
He received the inaugural Mississippi Class 4A Mr. Football in 2016 ...
He was named the Biloxi Sun Herald Player of the Year in 2014, 2015 and 2016, becoming the first football player to earn the honor in three consecutive seasons.
He was invited to compete in the Under Armour All-American game and served as a team captain where he led all passers in the game, completing 7-of-13 passes for 111 yards and one touchdown.
He competed in the Elite 11 in the summer of 2016 at Redondo Beach, California, and finished second in the nation's premier quarterback competition to qualify to participate in Nike's The Opening in Oregon.
He participated in the Mississippi-Alabama All Star Game in 2016.
Brennan could have easily decided to transfer after the arrival of Joe Burrow in 2018. But instead he stayed patient and continued to work on improving his game.
"This is my team now," Brennan told his father, Owen III. "I love Joe and Joe did his job. But the day after the national championship, it's my team."
Yes, It is his team now. Ed Orgeron believes in Myles and so do I. Can and will Brennan put up Burrow type numbers in 2020? It's unlikely. But I'm betting it will be another fun ride.
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By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
One of LSU's biggest concerns heading into the 2020 football season was the lack of depth at the linebacker position after the early departure of both Jacob Phillips and Patrick Queen.
The defending national champions have landed one of the most sought after players on the transfer market, as former North Dakota State linebacker and two-time FCS All-American Jabril Cox has committed to transfer to LSU. Cox is a graduate transfer and will be immediately eligible to play.
The 6'3", 233 lb, Cox, brings championship experience with him to Baton Rouge, as the North Dakota State Bison are defending three-time FCS champions dating back to 2017.
Cox announced he was entering his name into the grad transfer portal on March 2. Then on Thursday made the announcement on his Twitter page, that he has chosen to be a member of the 2020 LSU Fighting Tigers.
He was named the top freshman player in the FCS in 2017. He then won Missouri Valley Football Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors as a sophomore. Last season, as a junior, he recorded a career-high 5.5 sacks and 92 tackles (57 solo).