By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
Today's Q & A Session is with former LSU football great Jeff Wickersham. Wickersham was the starting quarterback for LSU from 1983-85.
During his three years as the quarterback for LSU, Wickersham completed 58.4% of his passes for 6,921 yards, which at the time were both the 3rd best performances in SEC history. He was also the first quarterback in LSU history to pass for over 5,000 career yards, the first LSU quarterback to throw for over 2,000 yards in three different seasons, the first LSU quarterback to throw for over 2,500 yards in a season (1983), and the first LSU quarterback to throw for over 350 yards in a game (368 yards vs, Mississippi State in 1983).
By the end of his college career, Wickersham held the school's record for most passing yards, along with 15 other marks.
He was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the 1986 NFL draft. After being released by Miami he move on to play in the CFL for a couple of seasons before a knee injury lead to his retirement decision.
Q -What is your Favorite TV Show?
Jeff - The crime shows on ID Channel. We enjoy watching those shows as a family.
Q - Your Favorite Food?
Jeff - Shrimp. I love shrimp every way you can cook it. I also love all the Louisiana cajun foods like gumbo and jambalaya, dishes like that. It was pretty surprising when I moved here from Florida that people here actually ate crawfish and catfish. It was shocking to me. In Florida back in the 80s, no one would ever consider eating either of them. When I got to LSU I went to a crawfish boil and I had no idea how good it would be. The same thing with catfish. They are two of my favorites now.
Q - Favorite Pro Athlete?
Jeff - My all-time favorite is Dan Marino. I really enjoyed watching him play. I actually got to go to training camp with him when I was with the Miami Dolphins and watch him in action in person. He was tremendously impressive and a super nice guy to meet.
If I had to pick one for currently, I would say it's Drew Bress. I admire him as a quarterback and as a person. He's such a good guy and a great quarterback.
Q - Favorite Music Artist?
Jeff - I'm not a big music person. I listen to just about anything. I like The Cars, Aerosmith, 80s stuff. Stuck in the 80s...
Q - Favortie Actor?
Jeff - Clint Eastwood
Q - Favorite Movie?
Jeff - I love Clint Eastwood movies. Anything that he is in would be an automatic favorite of mine. As well as the old western movies with John Wayne and Clint Eastwood.
Q - Your Favorite Sports Team?
Jeff - LSU would be number one. Love watching LSU sports, of course because I've played there. I really love watching the LSU softball team right now, because my daughter is there. I enjoy that tremendously.
Then I'm a hometown guy so the Saints would be on the list. We go to the Saints games every Sunday. My family and I really enjoy that.
Q - I see you're from Merritt Island, Florida. Did you grow up there?
Jeff - I did. I was born in Minot North Dakota, then my family moved to Merritt Island when I was 2 years old, so it's the only place I knew.
Q - When you were a little kid, what did you want to grow up to be?
Jeff - I always wanted to be a professional athlete of some type. I loved basketball and football. I really enjoyed playing those while I was growing up. Probably wanted to be a pro football player my whole life, that was my main goal.
Q - Did you play multiple sports at Merritt Island High School?
Jeff - I did. It was a bit different back then, everyone played multiple Sports. I ran track. I did the high jump, the long jump, and the 440 relay.
I played basketball. We had a real good basketball team in high school that was fun to play on. Will Perdue who played for the Chicago Bulls play on our team. He was a 7’2” center. So I got to play with some pretty good guys.
Then of course I played football all the way through.
Q - Tell us a little about your recruiting process? Where you recruited in multiple sports?
Jeff - I was recruited a little bit in basketball. I was fortunate to make All-State in basketball and in football.
Back then, if you were a Parade All-American in football that was like the ultimate honor you could have in high school. I had a lot of good players surrounding me. We had a lot of D-1 recruits every year on our team. We won the state championship two years in a row in the State's highest classification. We had a lot of college coaches watching us all the time. That helped bring a lot of attention to me.
I started during my sophomore season, so that helped my recruiting to start early age. I was recruited by basically everyone in the country. I had offers from Alabama, LSU, Stanford, Georgia, Florida, everybody really. When they saw your name as a parade All-American, that was like being a five-star in today's age.
It's weird how I got recruited by LSU. When I was growing up, we would go to the Tangerine Bowl In Orlando a lot. Well LSU ended up playing there often. So we would go watch the game when LSU happened to be playing. We would walk around the parking lots and see the crazy cajuns cooking. They were always super nice and super inviting. They would say, "Hey come on over here and try this!"... So I got a taste of the LSU fan base by attending a few Tangerine Bowls. Then I was always Impressed with their players. We got to see Charles Alexander play. Some of their great quarterbacks like David Woodley and Steve Ensminger. So I was like, "If I ever get a chance, I would love to go see LSU play in Baton Rouge."
As I got older and got to High School, that became a reality. LSU began to recruitment me. Mack Brown was there recruiting coordinator and was also the quarterback coach at that time. I really enjoy being around Mack. That's how it kind of lead me to going to LSU. So it's crazy I just going to a football game in meeting their fans got me interested in them.
Q - What was it about LSU that made you choose them over everyone else?
Jeff - I went on a bunch of different visits. I went to Clemson, went to Florida, Stanford, and then I went to LSU.
When I got to LSU they weren't having the greatest season that year on my official visit. But we did go to a game. When we walked out onto the field the stands were packed and the fans were going crazy. It amazed me. I thought, “Wow these guys don't have a really good record and this place is packed.”.. It was crazier than any Stadium I had ever been in.
Of course before the game they did take us around to see fans tailgating and I was super impressed with that. I really like coach Mack Brown a lot and liked Coach Stovall who was the head coach at the time. They were both really good guys and with the class that they were recruiting, I felt we would have a chance to win.
I would say, "Can you imagine if we were winning at LSU? They pack the stands when they're losing. If they had a winning team it would really be something."
Then they always had a great history of awesome quarterbacks that played and graduated from LSU. So that was a deciding factor also.
Q - Could you tell us a little about Coach Jerry Stovall?
Jeff - Jerry was a super good person and someone who they got rid of too early. They didn't have a lot of patience with him. If they would have kept him a little longer he would have done tremendously well. He was a great recruiter and a super motivator. I also thought he did a great job of bringing in good assistant coaches. We won a lot of games with the players that Stovall recruited.
He was just such a good person. A good Christian man. Truly had the best interest of the players in mind. I missed him. I really liked him a lot.
Q - How did you and the team handle the coaching change?
Jeff - I was prepared for it. Kids these days have got to know that coaches are going to move around a lot and that it's not their fault. If they're winning, people want their assistance. If they're not winning they get fired because fans get impatient.
I realized when I went to school that I'm going to school because I love LSU. I love the coaches, but if the coaches leave I'm still going to be happy because I wanted to go to LSU for the school itself. So I think that had me somewhat prepared.
It's always disappointing when your coach gets fired. But Arnsparger came in, a totally different type of coach and we had a lot of success with him. So everything works out. Once you're there you've got to be happy with where you are. It's kind of like the coaches, you have to play with what you have.
So that's what we did and we did have a lot of success after coach Stovall. I just felt bad for him because I knew what a great guy he was and I wish they would have given him another year or two because I think we could have won with him also.
Q - Please tell us a little about Coach Bill Arnsparger?
Jeff - Arnsparger was a straight ahead, no BS type of guy. He was not a cheerleader. He was more of a professional coach. He came in and set the bar straight right off the bat.
We had some guys on the team who probably weren't giving their all at practice. He came in and cut three or four guys on the second day. He told them, “Pack your stuff up and hit the road. If you're not here to help this team get better then you're not wanted around.”.. So that got everyone's attention immediately. That kind of got the ball rolling in the right direction and got everyone on the right page.
He was also a defensive coach. He brought in more of a defensive mentality to our football team. But we won a lot of games so there is nothing you could argue with.
On offense, when we would get up a score or two, he would basically start to run the ball to try and slow the game down because our defense was so good. So he added more of a defensive mentality then what we had when Stovall was there.
Q - What was it like to have the "Dalton/James Gang" in the same backfield with you?
Jeff - It was great. It was neat because we had so many good players in that class. I would say it was one of the best classes LSU has ever had. not everyone was a five-star, but they could play.
We had guys on that team that had played three or four years as starters. So it was a super class and it was great to play with guys like that because you could throw a short little five yard swing pass and they can turn it into an 80-yard touchdown with Dalton and Gary.
We had some great receivers. Eric Martin was there when I played, and he could make a lot of things happen. Herman Fontenot was great. Even Wendell Davis came in when I was a senior. So we had tremendous players every year that I was at LSU.
It was a great experience to be able to play with those type of caliber players. It was unbelievable, offensive and defensive guys, just a lot of fun to be around. Guys that can make plays. I had the best time of my life at LSU.
Q - Do you keep in touch with a lot of your old teammates?
Jeff - No I don't keep in touch with a lot of them. A lot of those guys ended up moving out of town and doing their own thing. It's great to see some of them when we have a chance to get together. I'll see a bunch of them before the games or when they have a reunion.
At the national championship they had a nice get together the night before and a bunch of us were able to visit. It's always great to get together and see each other again when we can. Pretty much everyone has their own life and goes their own way. The reunions we have are very special and fun to go too.
Q - What was one or more of your favorite moments or games that really stand out to you during your career?
Jeff - Probably the most special game that I can remember at LSU was when we played Florida State when I was a freshman. The winner of that game would advance to the Orange Bowl. It was a foggy night, overcast, with bad weather. Every time we scored a touchdown the field would get bombarded with oranges. It was crazy. It looked like hundreds of thousands of oranges just showered the field.
They put me in at the end of the game. We were winning and were supposed to keep the ball on the ground. We ended up driving down close to the Florida state end zone. Well Coach Brown always told me that if I see the defensive end crashing to just keep the ball and run it myself. Don't let the offensive line or anybody else know. So when I got the ball I was supposed to hand it off to Dalton but I keep it on my hip and ran around the corner and scored a touchdown. There was less than two minutes to go in the game and of course I wasn't supposed to do that. I was supposed to down the ball or give it to Dalton and let him down it. But I thought I did good and came to the sidelines all happy. Coach Brown starts chewing me out, “ What the heck are you doing? We're not trying to run the score up on them and rub it in their nose.” .. I told him, “ You said if I ever see the defensive end crashing to keep it myself.”..He just kept fussing.. It was a lot of fun. Oranges where flying everywhere. It was a great game. We won and got to go to the Orange Bowl. That was probably the most memorable game. Then we have some really good games against Florida and Alabama that I'll always remember. those were the big big games. We won some of those and lost some of those. but they were always very special.
Another is when we beat Washington in Baton Rouge when I was a sophomore. They were ranked number one in the Country and we were having a rough season that year. We beat them 42-14. It seems like they just couldn't handle the humidity. So that one was pretty cool.
Winning at USC! We went out there and beat them.
Then we also won at Notre Dame which was pretty cool to play in and win in that historic stadium with it freezing cold and snowing. It was pretty neat.
It all was a lot of fun. I enjoyed every bit of it.
Q - Can you tell us about your NFL draft experience?
Jeff - I got drafted in the 10th round back then and to be honest with you I didn't think I would get drafted high. I was hoping to be a free agent actually so I could go to a team who was actually looking for a quarterback. So when the Dolphins draft me I really wasn't excited. They call you before they draft you. So when they called I told them that I wasn't going to sign with them. I was going to go ahead and go to the CFL. The Dolphins drafted me anyway, so I said what the heck and went there. I knew I didn't have a chance to make the team, they had Dan Marino and Don Strock, two of the greatest quarterbacks In the history of professional football. So I went and made the most of it and worked out all summer with them. I really had a good relationship with both Marino and Strock. They liked me a lot. But they ended up only keeping those two guys at quarterback so I was released after training camp.
Then I went up to Canada and played in the CFL for two seasons with the Ottawa Rough Riders. I had a great time up there. I enjoyed the fast pace and the wide-open game. Then I ended up hurting my knee and had knee surgery. That's when I decided I needed to find out what I was going to do for the rest of my life. This job is just too unsure and unstable. After seeing people get cut, coming and going, one day you're making pretty good money, the next day you're unemployed. You just never know when you'll have a job or not. So I gave it up after that and got in the business I'm into now.
But I had a great time and it was a super learning experience. I really enjoyed my time being around Marino and watching him. He was always a hero of mine and I looked up to him. He was such a nice guy to me also, I had a great time being around him.
Q - What was it like being around someone like Don Shula while you were with the Dolphins?
Jeff - He was a great coach. One of the best of all-time. I didn't really have a lot of interaction with him. I worked more with the quarterback coach. I would sit in on meetings and I really respected him. But there wasn't a lot of one-on-one meetings with him or anything else. He was more of the organizer. The head coach guy. He was a tough coach and did a great job running the team. But like I said, I was more involved with the quarterbacks, sitting in the film room with them. So I had a lot more interaction with them than I did with Don.
Q - I see you had your acting debut when you had a part in the movie, "Everybody's All-American"....
Jeff - Yes that was fun. My buddy Scott Bailey, who I'm actually in business with now called me and said, “Hey Jeff they're doing a movie down here in Baton Rouge with Dennis Quaid, John Goodman, Jessica Lange, and Timothy Hutton. They need a bunch of football players. They pay you really good money every week and they pay for your hotel, for food and everything.”
I said, really?, yea, I’ll come over there. So I went back to Baton Rouge and we did the film for about 2 to 3 months. Had a real good time and got to know John Goodman pretty well and had a fun time with him.
They brought in a lot of football players. AJ Duhe was there. A lot of big-time football players were there. Tim Fox was there. ...
It's funny I have a good story for you on that one. Dennis Quaid played the running back in this story, So we're filming this one spot when he is running to the sideline. Now usually they would use a stunt double to run the ball for him. But in this particular scene they wanted him to get smashed out of bounds and have his helmet fly off and have him get knocked out. So Dennis Quaid is running toward the sideline and you have Tim Fox, who was an All-Pro safety for the New England Patriots was going to make the tackle. Well they told Fox not to hit him that hard, that they have a real loose helmet on him so it will fly off. But don't light him up because we don't want you to hurt him.
So Quaid runs toward the sideline and Fox lightly hits him and he falls to the ground and his helmet flies off. Well the director says, “Okay, we're going to have to film this scene again.” ..
Dennis Quaid hops up and yells, “Come on man! You got to make this look real! I don’t want to be here all night doing this crap!” … and everyone was like… Oh boy, you said the wrong thing now..
So the next time I pitch the ball out to Quaid and he heads toward the sideline and here comes Fox flying 100 miles an hour and just levels him. Quaid’s feet went flying up in the air, his head hits the turf and he was knocked out completely and the hit also broke his collarbone.
So in the movie if the hit looked real, it’s because it was. You can see at the end of the film when the players hoist Quaid up onto their shoulders, he has his arm sitting next to his body because his shoulder was separated.
It was fun. We had a blast being a part of that movie. It was a good time. Actually I was the quarterback in all of the football scenes. They put me down as being the Denver quarterback but I ended up playing the quarterback in every scene and I got to say a few words. I said something like, “Come on guys!” or whatever it was… So I got in the screen actors guild. Now I’m an actor. I tell my family all the time that I’m a famous actor. And they laugh at me like you're doing now..
Q - Is there anything you want to tell the LSU fans?
Jeff - What an honor and a privilege it was to play in front of those fans. They still recognize me today which is amazing to me. I'll go into some place and they recognize me and ask for an autograph and that makes a guy like me feel really good. That people are that loyal of a fans that they remember guys from 30 to 35 years ago.
It is just an amazing privilege to be able to play at a school like LSU. My daughter is going through the same thing now. I tell her to soak it all in. It's something you'll never forget. You just couldn't find a better place to play in the Country.
The fans are just the best. They always have been and they always will be. I'm just so appreciative...
Q - Would you like to tell us what you're doing now?
Jeff - I just sold my company recently. I basically have an Import company where we bring products in from overseas and sell them. It's mainly Industrial and Marine Supplies that we sell to the environmental companies, the plants, pump rental companies, things like that… I sold it back in November, so now I'm just working for the new company doing the same thing.
By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
Today's Q & A Session is with LSU softball pitcher Shelby Wickersham. Shelby is a sophomore from Metairie, Louisiana. She attended Mount Carmel Academy where she excelled in athletics (softball, basketball, & volleyball), pitching several no-hitters, winning several MVP and outstanding performance awards as well as winning a state championship in both softball and volleyball.
Wickersham was also, and is still very committed to her time in the classroom. She was a National Honor Society member and a honor roll student, as well as Valedictorian of her high school senior class.
Shelby is the daughter of former LSU quarterback Jeff Wickersham and of course grew up being a huge LSU Fighting Tigers fan.
She had a very successful freshman year for the Tigers in 2019 and was pitching with dominance in 2020 before COVID-19 put a screeching halt to the season.
Q - What is your Favorite Color?
Shelby - Purple.. and I'm not saying that because I go to LSU and we love purple over there. Purple has actually always been my favorite color.
Q - Your Favorite Food?
Shelby - Definitely Ice Cream. I'm a real sucker for it. I eat it pretty much everyday. I know that's terrible.. I really like vanilla with the chocolate shell topping. .... It's definitely Ice Cream.
Q - Who is your Favorite Pro Athlete?
Shelby - When I was growing up, Chris Paul was my favorite athlete. He played for the Hornets back then and we use to go to all of the home games. I actually went to one of his basketball camps and I got to play on his team during a contest. He ended up giving me the wrist band that he was wearing. I still have that wrist band to this day. It was such a cool experience. That made him my favorite, my all-time favorite.
I definitely love Drew Brees. I think that he plays for all the right reasons. Plays for our city and I really admire what he does for the city of New Orleans.
Q - Who is your Favorite Music Artist?
Shelby - That's so hard... I listen to a variety of music. I don't have really a favorite artist. Because I listen to country. Then the next day I'm listening to rap. Then I'm listening to hip hop or pop. It varies so much that I really just don't have one favorite artist.
Q - What is your Favorite Movie?
Shelby - I really like The Hunger Games movies.
Q - Your Favorite Actor?
Shelby - I really like Will Ferrell. I think he is so funny.
Q - Your Favorite Pro Sports Team?
Shelby - The Saints. My family, we go to every Saints home game. I love spending family time at the Saints games. I also like the Pelicans.
Q - I see you're from Metairie. Have you always lived there?
Shelby - I lived in Metairie since I was born, until we recently moved to the Old Metairie area.
Q - When you were a little kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Shelby - When I was a little kid I probably wanted to be a veterinarian. Then when I got to high school I was interested in becoming a forensic pathologist, a coroner, or something of that nature. My original major when I started college was biochemistry. But I ended up switching to psychology. So I want to get a psychology degree, then maybe another degree in like sociology. Then I would like to go to Law school after I'm finished playing softball to be a Lawyer in Criminal Court.
Q - Did you play multiple sports at Mount Carmel Academy?
Shelby - I did. My 8th grade year I played basketball, volleyball, and softball. I ended up trying out for and making the varsity volleyball team my freshman year.
But a lot of people were telling me that I really need to focus on recruiting, because that's when softball recruiting begins, in the 9th grade. So I ended up not playing volleyball and a ended up committing a month later.
In my junior year I decided to play both volleyball and softball. What was so cool about that is that is we won the state championship in both sports that year. It was a really special year in high school.
Then in my senior year I decided to just focus on softball again, so that I could really prepare myself for LSU, giving myself a chance to have a big role on the team.
Q - Other then the two state championships, tell us about some of your other high school accomplishments...
Shelby - First, in athletics, during my junior year I was MVP or Most Outstanding Player in softball for the state championship. I'm sure I made All-District, All-Metro, and All-Regional both my junior and senior years.
As a sophomore I earned 'Female Athlete of the Week' honors three times and was selected to the NFCA South Team, along with earning the Coaches Award as a freshman.
My favorite and one of my biggest accomplishments in high school happened in academics. I was Valedictorian and I read the Valedictorian speech at my graduation which was so cool.
Q - Please tell us a little about your recruiting process.. Did anyone else recruit you besides LSU?
Shelby - I had a bunch of schools start to recruit me in 8th grade. I actually took my first official visit to Alabama.
Then in 9th grade I took visits to South Alabama, Ole Miss, then LSU was my last visit. When LSU would offer to me, I would commit right there on the spot. That's where I wanted to go.
I had gone to camp at Florida. I was looking at OU, and a bunch of different schools. I really didn't take that many visits. I canceled a lot of visits after I committed to LSU. I just knew there was nothing else out there that I wanted to see beside LSU. That was my dream school from when I was a kid. I knew that if they offered me, that's where I was going to go. So it was really exciting when they did.
Q - That was my next question. Why did you chose LSU over the other schools that recruited you?
Shelby - I definitely grew up a LSU fan because of my dad. We would go to all the football games when I was growing up.
It's just close to home which I really like. Not only does it feel like a home itself, but it's close to my home. So that was real important to me, so my family could come to my games and to represent my State.
When I walked on campus it just felt like home and family. Coach Beth feels like my second mom. It was just the perfect fit for me. I don't think there are any nicer facilities or a nicer campus out there. LSU is just the greatest place in my eyes.
Q - Can you tell us a little about your relationship with Coach Torina?
Shelby - I actually started pitching at her Monday night clinics when I was 12 years old. So I've known Coach Beth for a very long time. Since I had worked with her for so long I already knew how she ran things. So it was really nice to have my foot already in the door and to know what we were doing.
Coach Beth is definitely like a second mom. She is a tough-love kind of coach. She cares for her players more as people then she does as athletes. Of course she cares for us as both, but she is really big on us being Tigers for life. I think that's the best thing a coach could ever do for you. She is worried about how we are as people and our lives after softball, just as much as softball itself. So I think that's really cool.
Q - Can you please tell us a little about your freshman season as a LSU Softball player?
Shelby - My freshman season just flew by. It was so much fun.
My first ever game at LSU I had the opportunity to and did throw a no-hitter. That was really special. I looked at that as I trusted my teammates 100%. They made all the plays on the field.
Then we had amazing at-bats, hitting several home runs. It was crazy.
We actually broke the home run record last year. That was really fun to be a part of. There was a lot of team accomplishments that we did, I think that was really cool too.
Another game that was really exciting to me was the Florida game. We fell behind 2-0 in the first inning. I gave up a hit and then a home run, back to back on my first two pitches. I think I was just nervous because it was only my second SEC game.
I remember Amanda Sanchez coming up to me and saying, "You got this. Just give it all you have and no matter what happens, just do your best. Pitch your game and don't think about anything else." .... After that I think I only gave up one more hit the rest of the game.
Having my teammates behind me, encouraging me, and calming me down, that's what helps me to be successful. We had like an older team and then also a younger team. We had so many seniors and so many freshman, it made the balance perfect.
Q - Tell us about when you found out about the season coming to an end. I know you and the team were preparing to travel to Columbia, SC to take on a really good South Carolina team to start SEC play...
Shelby - I had my bag packed on Thursday and we were all suppose to go to the field, practice a little, then get on a plane to go. When we got to the field coach told us, "We're not going to travel today. Let's just go out and have a fun practice. I know everyone will be upset so we will talk about it. The SEC just doesn't want anyone to travel right now."
We already knew that we were going to play without any fans in attendance that weekend, so we weren't completely caught off guard by it. We were bummed out and thought that was really crazy that it was happening.
So we were having a fun practice, listening to music, and playing a game. Then Coach Beth leaves the bullpen I was pitching in to take a phone call. When she came back we could tell that she had tears in her eyes. We really didn't know what was going on and didn't ask. So we continued to practice like normal.
After practice Coach Beth sat us in the dugout like she always does, and said. "I don't know the right words to tell you. I've been putting off telling you all practice so all of you can enjoy what looks like will be your last moment of the season..... The NCAA has canceled the season, including all tournaments and the World Series." ... We were all devastated and started crying.
When the news first hits you, it's a shock. You just don't understand. But I think looking back on the situation now, we realize that this is the best thing that we could do this season. Stopping play definitely hurts and it stinks, but stopping play would be saving many lives and that's what we have to think about.
It's for the health of our families. It's for the health of our Country. It's even for our health. You have to keep that in mind when you think about our season ending. That makes it a lot easier knowing that we are doing this for the greater good.
We will have another chance to play on that field next year. Giving us an extra year of eligibility is the greatest blessing the NCAA has done for us. Knowing that we can come back next year with the same team basically and still fight and show what we have. That's the greatest thing we could ask for.
Q - Do you still play summer ball for the Marucci Patriots?
Shelby - No.. I played for them from my freshman to my senior year going into college. Now for the summer I normally take some time off during June, then start pitching again to prepare for fall ball. But I don't play on any organize team as of right now.
Coach Beth writes us workouts that we can follow in the summer. She sends us a sheet of all the workouts that we have. Then we pick which workout that we will work on that week. That way we know what we should be doing and what is best for us.
Last year during our exit meeting, she picked out things that we needed to work over the summer. My goal was to throw 2,000 change up pitches last summer. So I did throw 2,000 change up pitches over the summer. The change up ended up being one of my best pitches this spring. So it was so cool to see all that hard work pay off for this season. It truly made a big difference for me to be able to throw an off-speed pitch. Batters couldn't just sit on my drop ball.
Q - What's it like being the daughter of one of the best quarterbacks in LSU history?
Shelby - Well truly, I think most of the time I don't really realize it until we are eating dinner somewhere and someone will ask, "Are you Jeff Wickersham?" ... People still come up to him and ask him things.
He gets things in the mail sometimes with autograph request on his player cards. I look at him just as my dad. I don't like, ... 'He played at LSU and he was a quarterback'....
I just look at him as dad. But it's really cool to see that he left a legacy at LSU. It's very cool for me to follow in his foot steps and I hope to do the same one day. But at home, he's just my dad. To me, I see him everyday and he is just a loving dad that would do anything for his kids. He is just a great dad.
We have seen a couple of his games on TV and he always laughs and says, "They always play the games that I did terrible in." ... and I'm like, "Dad, you did fine,".... He gets to do some cool stuff with the 'L Club' that we always attend as a family. We also use to wear his real jerseys that he played in at LSU to school on jersey days. That was really cool. I can remember doing that in grammar school. We just love doing things with him.
Q - Is there anything you would like to tell LSU fans?
Shelby - I think LSU has the best fans in the nation, by far. We are the craziest people and every time an opponent walks into our park, they definitely have a disadvantage because of our fans.
I just think that LSU is the greatest place and I'm so thankful for all of the fans that support us.