September 18, 2020

To advertise with LGF, call Andy (985) 789-9351

"Changing Lives, Improving Communities"

LA High School Football

Diamond In The Rough: Qualon Farrar

Qualon Farrar, 5’7, 180-pound running back out of Skyline High School in Dallas, TX. He has a compact build and is hard to miss due to his impressive speed. Qualon is the younger brother of Skyline High School alumnus and current Oklahoma State LB, Kamryn Farrar. Qualon is a two-sport athlete as a running back and sprinter. During his first year on varsity, he ran 453 rushing yards while averaging 8.4 yards per carry and five touchdowns, subsequently earning District 8-6A Sophomore MVP running back his sophomore season. Qualon is going into his junior season hoping to become more of a leader and improve his speed and endurance. He continues to show significant improvement throughout each season and consistently proves to be a playmaker. Needless to say, Qualon has received offers from Houston, Kansas, Utah State, Illinois State, Missouri, and Tennessee.

CHECK OUT QUALON’S HIGHLIGHTS HERE

When did you start playing football? What made you want to play this sport?

I started playing at 4. I was fast, very fast.

What is your favorite thing about your position?

Really, it’s what I’ve been playing since I was young.  I never changed it because I Iike it.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve discovered in playing your position and how specifically have you attacked that challenge?

I would probably say the big boys on the front line. They’re the biggest challenge because they are the first people I have to get through when I have the ball in my hand. After I get past that, I’m fine. Quickness, juking, spinning, and getting them off balance.

Do you play any other sports?

Yes ma’am, I run track.

Can you talk about how track has helped you on the football field.

Track and football together is just speed and juking. Playing football at running back you cannot be slow. Running track is really the best sport for speed. Getting your speed better and endurance.

What are some goals you have for this season and/or what are you looking forward to?

I’m trying to have at least 1,500 yards by the end of football season.

How do you think your coaches and teammates would describe you as a player?

Humble and quiet. Quiet but deadly and intelligent on the field. I see everything. When I’m running the ball, I see every playing on the field on defense. Basically, when I’m running, I’m already doing the math of where to go, how to juke, and how to get to the touchdown.

What are some expectations you have for yourself and for the team as a whole?

 My expectation for the team, we need to go at least 4 rounds into playoffs. We haven’t done too well in the past few years. We need to change that. Expectations for myself, honestly, I’m not sure yet. I’ll build upon that as the season goes.

Being that you have an older brother that played at the same high school and now plays at the higher level, would you say that he’s someone that you look up to as a role model?

Yes ma’am! He was one of, if not the best linebacker to come out of Skyline. He is a big role model to me and he wants me to be better than him

What would you bring to a college program?

Dedication. Hard work. A win. I would bring a championship! I want to have a good season and I want a ring. I want to be a big player.

Do you have a favorite NFL or college player that you like or model your game after?

One of my favorite running backs would be Walter Payton and in the new generation, Ezekiel Elliot. I like Walter Payton because he was a small skinny back. Shifty with nobody to stop him. Ezekiel Elliot is a big, tall, power back that can move fast.

Do you have any hobbies outside of sports?

Not really. I usually just work out every day. That’s all I do. I like photography too! I’m getting into that. I think that’s what I want to do especially in college.

That leads me right into my next question, have you thought of what you would like to study in college?

Yes! Something to do with photography.

What is something you would like to improve on or something you want to bring to this season that’s different from the previous seasons?

Last year, I was a quiet player, so this year I want to step up as a junior and be a leader. A leader on the team and speak up more.

How do you want to be remembered?

I want to be remembered as at least the top 3 at Skyline. Top 3 athlete, not running back, athlete.

What is your favorite thing about playing football in Texas? In Dallas?

The competition. The competition. This is the best football. Texas has the best football. Dallas is where I grew up. I’ve been through a lot playing football in Dallas. Growing up with one team, then moving to another team, and growing up with them the rest of the way. Dallas is who I am. It’s taught me everything.

I’m glad that you said that because its a great way to finish. What would you say football has taught you about yourself or life in general? 

That’s a good question! It’s shown me how good of an athlete I am. Every team I’ve been on, I’ve always been the go-to person. From little league all the way up to middle school and high school. I was always one of the big-time players, so that proved to me that I was great.

Diamond In The Rough: Travis Pitcher Jr.

Travis Pitcher Jr. is a 5’10” 145 pound defensive back from Plaquemine High School in Plaquemine, Louisiana. Pitcher has a quick speed and solid cover skills. He can easily come up and support the run and is very physical. He mentioned that this season he will be wearing the number 23 in honor of his grandmother who died a day before Christmas Eve on December 23rd. He is also dedicating this season to his closest friend who died before their Senior season. He is apart of the track & field team at Plaquemine High.

CHECK OUT TRAVIS’ HIGHLIGHTS HERE

When did you begin playing football and what motivated you to play?

I started playing football when I was six. My cousins really motivated me to play football, I really looked up to them.

Do you have any hobbies outside of sports?

My mom and I like to cook on Sundays. I also like to play the game and listen to music.

So what’s your favorite thing to cook and what’s your favorite video game to play?

My favorite thing to cook is fettuccine. My favorite game is Madden21.

What has football taught you about life?

Football has taught me so much. It’s taught me how to be a man and not make dumb decisions.

What’s your favorite thing about playing football in Louisiana?

I love how everyone comes together when we’re on the field. It’s a brotherhood.

How was running track helped you on the football field?

I run the 4×1! I like to run long distances as it helps me on the field with my stamina.

What’s your favorite thing about your position?

As a defensive back, I love the contact.

Do you have any specific goals for this season?

One of my goals is to get past the first round of the playoffs with my team. Secondly, I just want to continue to be a team leader for my team. I also just want to win the State Championship and get a ring!

How do you think coaches and teammates would describe you as a player?

They would describe me as the leader. I am also definitely the hype man!

What type of things did you do this offseason to keep yourself in shape?

I trained with Kyle Morgan. I also did drills around the back of my house.

What would you tell younger players who want to play high school football one day?

I would tell them to wait their time and work hard. Don’t give up on any reps.

What are you looking for out of a college team and what would you bring to one?

I’m looking for trust in a college. If there’s no trust, how can I perform my best at the school? I’m looking for a place that will help me and care. I’ll bring speed, I can play the slot and leadership skills learned from high school. I can bring it all.

What are three words to describe yourself?

Leader, funny and intelligent.

What’s been the highlight of your football career?

I would say during a game versus Livonia. It was the fourth quarter with three minutes left. They ran the ball my way and I made a big hit against their quarterback. My whole team jumped on me with excitement.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I see myself having my own successful business and helping others.

What do you do to prepare for upcoming games? Is there a specific snack you like to eat or artist you listen to?

I like to take a knee and pray right before the game. I listen to NBA Youngboy before a game. I focus before the games and think about what I need to do on the field.

What is one thing you can’t go a day without?

I can’t go without football. If I didn’t have football, I don’t where I would be right now.

If you could go on a vacation anywhere, where would you go?

I would go to Fiji!

Is there any NFL or College athlete that you try to model your play style after?

Austin Mitchell. I look up to him, he is my big cousin. He is a star receiver at Southeastern Louisiana University!

Diamond In The Rough: Laterrance Welch

Laterrance Welch is a class of 2022 cornerback out of Acadiana High School in Lafayette, LA. He is 6’1″ and weighs 180 pounds. He helped lead his team to a Louisiana State Championship last season as they had a 15-0 season. He had 3 interceptions, 15 tackles, 18 passes broken up and 2 fumble recoveries last season. He uses his frame and athleticism to make interceptions and break up passes. Welch is very instinctive and has excellent cover skills. He breaks on the ball well and is not afraid to come up and hit. He also changes directions very effortlessly. He has a 3.0 gpa.

CHECK OUT LATERRANCE’S HIGHLIGHTS HERE

At what age did you begin playing football and what motivated you to play?

I would say I started playing around five years old. When I started scoring touchdowns a lot and realized I was pretty good, it motivated me to keep going.

What activities or hobbies are you involved in besides sports?

I enjoy playing video games on my PS4. I basically just like to chill in my free time. My favorite game to play is Madden!

Do you have any specific goals for this season?

First, I had surgery on my knee in June. I’m hoping to get released to play by October. The goal this season is to get All-State and win another State Championship.

How did it feel to have a 15-0 season last year, ending it with a State Championship?

It felt good. All of our hard work during the summer workouts paid off. I was just a sophomore, so I learned a lot that year. It was overall a good feeling and hopefully we can have that feeling again this year.

What would say are the most important aspects a team needs to have to win championships?

A team needs good leadership and hard work. You also need to be able to be coached.

What’s your favorite thing about your position?

I love going against the best wide receivers, playing man to man, and just going up to make tackles.

How do you think coaches and teammates would describe you as a player?

They would say I am a leader. They would also say I bring joy to the team.

What has football taught you about life?

Football has taught me that anything can come and go. The more work you put in, the better your outcome will be.

What’s your favorite thing about playing football in Louisiana?

The competition in Louisiana is tough, we have some big names out here! It’s just fun to compete out here.

I see you have a lot of offers! What are looking for in a college program?

I am looking to build relationships. The school I choose needs to have a great education program. I want to start as a true Freshman. I’ll commit probably next summer.

What would you say are some of your strengths on the field?

I am very physical. I do all of my coverages correctly. My man to man game is good. I will give my all every quarter of the game.

Three words to describe yourself are…

Physical, hardworking, and a leader

How do you prepare for an upcoming game? Is there a certain meal you like to eat or artist you listen to?

I like to eat the food we’re given. They give us burgers that aren’t too heavy and chips. They also give us Peanut M&Ms. I drink two Powerades with all of that. I love to like to Lil Boosie and NBA Youngboy before each game.

What’s one thing you could not go a day without?

I could not go a day without Twitter!

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I see myself in the NFL, playing on a team. Hopefully, I am winning a Super Bowl!

If you could vacation anywhere in the world right now, where would you pick?

I would choose Bora Bora. I did a project on that place once and it’s beautiful out there.

Diamond In The Rough: Cade Koch

Cade Koch, a 6’5” 255-pound senior at Jenna High School in Jena Louisiana. Koch a defensive end who is able to play anywhere on the line has the ability to get to the quarterback quickly and is a true disturbance on the defensive side of the ball. With fantastic skill and vision along with great use of his hands Koch and the Jena football team are z force to recon with this coming year. 

How long have you been playing football?

About six years I believe.

What would you say is one of your biggest accomplishments on the football field so far?

Probably last year versus OCS when I stripped the ball out of the quarterback’s hand and almost picked it up, but accidentally kicked it out of bounds. A few plays after I swatted a ball meant for a screen pass.

How was last season as a team?

It was rough last year, overall our leadership was not great. To me, it was a subpar season and we could have done a lot better.

Are you ready to try and step-up as a leader to help change the culture?

!00 percent, I am ready.

What are some personal expectations and some expectations for the team?

I expect to do my job well. With the talent we have, we are stacked. I expect we are going to go pretty far.

Is there anyone you try to model your game after?

J.J. Watt, he’s my hero.

Do you play any other sports?

I’m actually going to play basketball this year, not sure what position yet. I’ll play wherever the coach puts me.

How have you stayed in shape since quarantine began?

At first, I just ran around my house and did stuff like that to stay in shape. But eventually, we were able to start going in groups to do conditioning. Coach has made sure we are all in good condition.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like to hang out with my friends and play a little Xbox, nothing special.

How often do you watch film?

The night new film is available, I will watch it then. I watch every day for a least a little while.

What do you love the most about playing football?

The team mentality, physicality. The team bonding and things like that.

What do you think you should improve on most?

My hand work, it has got better but I could still improve.

What would you say is your strongest attribute?

Right now, I have good speed and I’ve very physical.

Where do you prefer to play on the defensive live?

Defensive end.

How do you prepare for a game?

I like to be by myself listening to music, getting mentally prepared, and drinking a lot of water.

Are there any personal stats you want this year?

I’m trying to get double digit sacks.

How would you describe yourself as a player and a teammate?

Very physical. As a teammate, I try to bring everyone up. I like to see everyone succeed.

What motivates you to play football?

The team aspect. When it sucks it sucks, but we are always in it together. 

Diamond In The Rough: Da’Qualen “DQ” James

Lancaster High School 2021 RB Da’Qualen “DQ” James is a two-sport standout listed at 5’7 and 180 pounds. He is explosive and uses his elite track speed to breeze past his opponents. He rushed for 837 yards while averaging 9.5 yards per carry and 10 touchdowns his junior season. He also earned first-team all-district and contributed to Lancaster’s 11-3 record and Texas 5A D-I state quarterfinal appearance. On top of his numerous football achievements, DQ has shown exceptional speed as demonstrated by his reported 10.83 100-meter time. In March of this year, he was a part of the 4×100 team that posted the fastest 4×100 relay time in the state and nationally in the short outdoor season. James committed to Hawaii in April making him the first commit to the University of Hawaii’s 2021 recruiting class.

CHECK OUT DA’QUALEN’S HIGHLIGHTS HERE

When did you start playing football? What made you want to play this sport?

I started playing in the second grade. I saw my older friends play football and they would always tell me, “You’re fast! You should play football.” So I said I’d try it and after that, I just started rocking with it.

What is your favorite thing about your position?

My favorite thing about my position is making my opponents miss. Making them miss, embarrassing them, and juking them. Basically, what I like doing the most is getting the ball, juking, score, and block. Making sure my quarterback is straight because there are some plays that I have to protect my quarterback. He’ll give me the ball and I’ll just take it to the house and do what I have to do to get a touchdown.

What is your favorite thing about playing football in Texas?

The fans! The fans most definitely, those Friday nights. The team has energy and when I hear the fans get louder when I break away from a defender and I get a long touchdown. Oooooooh! Makes my adrenaline start pumping!

I see that you run track! How would you say that helps you on the football field?

There’s a saying that says, “Speed kills.” With that being said, speed does kill. Track has helped me with a lot. I can outrun my defender without even juking or anything, without even making a move. Just one cut and go.

How do you think your coaches and teammates would describe you as a player?

Hard-working. Dedicated. Quick. Hard to tackle. Loves the game, definitely loves the game.

What are some goals you have for this season?

I almost came close to my goal last year. I want to hit 1200 rushing yards. I want to have at least 15 or 16 touchdowns.

What has football taught you about yourself or life?

Football has taught me a lot, especially coming together as a team. Definitely teamwork. Teamwork makes the dream work. I used to do stuff by myself. Work out by myself but I can’t really do that anymore. One man can’t beat 11 people by himself. With that being said, teamwork makes the dream work. With everybody working together, with everybody doing their job.

Do you have a favorite NFL or college athlete?

Yes, I do! My favorite NFL player is an old school player named Barry Sanders and I have a new one! He’s new generation and in the NFL. His name is Saquon Barkley. My favorite college athlete was D’Andre Swift. He went to Georgia.

What motivates you to do you play? Why do you play?

I play because of my big brother. My big brother. He’s my motivation. He was murdered during… I want to say my sophomore year of high school and ever since then, he’s motivated me to keep going. He always used to say he wanted to see me in the NFL and my T-lady (his mom) too. I use my T-lady as motivation as well. I have a lot of people that look up to me, so that’s what keeps me going.

Do you have any hobbies outside of sports?

Play the game and watch film. I like 2K and Madden.

I saw that you committed to the University of Hawaii. What made Hawaii different than the rest of the schools that offered you?

Hawaii was outside the box. A lot of people want to stay local and stay here in Dallas, but once you get outside the box and explore the world, you get that vision and different atmosphere. Not many people get to explore the world, but once you do that you’ll take bigger steps in life. You can’t just sit around. You have to get out and do what you have to do.

Have you thought about what you would like to study in college?

Business. I want to own my own business. I also want to do Agricultural Management. That’s the path that I’m on right now in high school.

What is something you would like to improve on?

I just want to get stronger, faster, hard to tackle. Get these grades and pass all my classes! I want to go ahead and leave early to get where I need to be.

What would you tell younger players who hope to play high school football one day?

They always judge people by their height. Height really doesn’t matter. It’s just heart over height. If you have a big heart you can do anything. If you have a goal, chase the goal and do what you have to do. Don’t let anybody stop you.

FIRST LSU COACH ED ORGERON SHOW FOR 2020 AIRS WEDNESDAY NIGHT FROM TJ RIBS

BATON ROUGE – The first Ed Orgeron Show presented by Hancock Whitney will air live from 7-8 p.m. CT on Wednesday night (Sept. 16) at TJ Ribs on South Acadian Thruway here in Baton Rouge.

The Ed Orgeron Show can be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network, which includes the flagship station of the network Eagle 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge. The show can be found on www.LSUsports.net/live, the new LSU Sports Mobile App, and other affiliates on the LSU Sports Radio Network. The show will also be broadcast via tape delay from 8-9 p.m. CT on Cox Sports Television on Wednesdays during the season.

Fans are reminded that TJ Ribs will be following all state and local health and safety guidelines with respect to capacity limitations and physical distancing. TJ Ribs will be taking the temperature of guests sitting in the show area of the restaurant and there will also be stanchions placed around the broadcast set in order to keep physical distancing.

Fans are reminded that Coach Orgeron and the Voice of the Tigers Chris Blair will not be able to come in contact with the general audience and that there will be no opportunities for photographs with the coach or autographs.

Due to physical distancing, there will no live questions from members of the audience this year. Questions from listeners and those in the audience will be taken via the new LSU Sports Mobile App and on LSUsports.net.

Fans who wish to speak to Coach O are encouraged to call (800) 315-8255 during the show or Tweet @LSUradio.

The Ed Orgeron Show presented by Hancock Whitney will run for 14 consecutive weeks with the final show taking place on Dec. 16.

2020 Schedule of Shows – (Subject to change)

Show #1: Sept. 16, 2020

Show #2: Sept. 23, 2020

Show #3: Sept. 30, 2020

Show #4: Oct. 7, 2020

Show #5: Oct. 14, 2020

Show #6: Oct. 21, 2020

Show #7: Oct. 28, 2020

Show #8: Nov. 4, 2020

Show #9: Nov. 11, 2020

Show #10: Nov. 18, 2020

Show #11: Nov. 25, 2020

Show #12: Dec. 2, 2020

Show #13: Dec. 9, 2020

Show #14: Dec. 16, 2020

-Michael Bonnette

Diamond In The Rough: Roderick Brown

Roderick Brown is a very versatile defensive lineman who starts at defensive tackle for North Forney High School. I can’t say enough positive things about how this man plays football. He has very active and strong hands and displays amazing speed and pursuit for his size (6’1′ 265lbs). Other skills that make Roderick so good are: his ability to get off the ball extremely quick, his ability to shed blocks, his pure strength when pushing opposing lineman, and maybe most import is that he is a sure tackler. Honestly, he reminds me of Aaron Donald on the defensive line. If he is anything like Aaron, expect huge things from this young man in the future.

How long have you been playing football?

I’ve been playing football since I was three.

How was last season?

I feel like last season was good, we could have done better. We had some mistakes and were not able to capitalize on everything. But, it was a good year coming off of the 2018 season.

What kind of expectations do you have for this year?

I feel like we have a great team this year. We should be able to compete with any other team. We have a lot of guys with varsity experience, so I feel like we can go undefeated in district.

Any specific goals for yourself?

This year I am trying to aim for double digit sacks, 20-30 tackles for loss, and about 60-80 total tackles.

Where do you prefer to play on the defensive line?

I feel more comfortable in the three-technique when we are in a four-down formation. When we are in the three-down lineup, I prefer playing at end. I feel like no offensive lineman can block me the whole game 1-on-1.

Who do you try to model your game after?

I try to model myself after Aaron Donald.

What would you say is one of your biggest accomplishments on the field so far?

Being able to learn how to control an o-lineman.

Where could you improve your game the most?

Definitely my endurance.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like to watch football at all levels, for scouting and just because I enjoy it.

How often do you watch film?

I like to watch film everyday, especially our film so I can see where I need to improve.

Do you play any other sports?

I do the field part of Track and Field.

How have you been staying in shape?

Because of the county we are in, we were allowed to go to gyms. I also had a buddy who had a gym set in his garage and i was able to go there. I also ran some hills and did pool work and stuff like that.

What do you love the most about playing football?

I just love the adrenaline rush when you walk onto the field.

How do you get ready for a game?

I like to separate myself, think about my job in the game and I just listen to music.

How would you describe yourself as a player and a teammate?

I feel like I am very violent and explosive on the field. As a teammate, I may not be one of our best leaders but I consider myself a great teammate.

What motivates you to play?

Just the love I have for the game.

Diamond In The Rough: Chase Rodriguez

Aggressive and ambitious! Chase Rodriguez is a left-guard center a part of the 2021 class at Lubbock-Cooper High School in Lubbock, Texas. Rodriguez has been playing on Lubbock-Cooper’s 5A varsity offensive line since freshman year. Chase Rodriguez measures in at 6’4” and 325 lbs. Outside of football, Chase is on the powerlifting team and throws shot put and discus for track & field. His best bench is 350 lbs. and has a maxed-out squat at 620 lbs. We have Rodriguez rated as a 3-star prospect with a total rating of 6.2/10. Chase has great size,  possesses a clear vision, and displays a lot of aggressiveness on the field. Currently, Rodriguez has a 3.9 GPA; therefore, he is bright and demonstrates strong leadership on the field and in the classroom. Chase Rodriguez has been invited to play in the Blue-Grey All-American and Offense-Defense All-American Bowl Games. Chase Rodriguez is consistently improving his athletic ability and will be an offensive lineman you want to watch this upcoming season.   

How long have you been playing football for?

I think it’s been about twelve or thirteen years. I started as soon as possible. I never played flag football, but as soon as I could start contact-football, I started playing tackle.

Have you always played Left-Guard Center, or did you start playing in a different position? 

So, I started off as a center and I played center through sixth grade. When I started playing for my school in seventh grade, coach moved me to right-guard. I didn’t play left-guard until I was in high school. When I was on varsity, as a freshman, I noticed I was behind two other guys at right-guard. I look over at left-guard and he’s by himself. I was like you know what I rather be second-string left guard than fourth-string right-guard. So, I hopped over and never looked back. 

You take initiative and you’re ambitious – I am here for this! Going into your senior season, what are goals you would like to achieve? They can be individual goals, team goals, or both. 

That’s awesome you said that because I was going over my goals today. So, the biggest goal for the team and myself is making it to the state championship, destroying that team, and getting that ring. Last year, we came so close. We played Aledo. They are the stronghold of 5A in Texas. Everyone in Texas knows who Aledo is and they are an amazing football team. We were leading them at one point – 21-20 – during the fourth quarter and they pulled away at the very end. We had a little taste of state championship and we want it back. I know a lot of people were in that game and they know what it felt like to be that close – to get that whole meal next time. Some minor goals would be improving on any footwork along with getting down our bases and basics; making sure we take care of the little things. One of the things my coach likes to say: “Get the little things right, the big things don’t seem so hard to get.” 

Right and I like how you went in that direction of not only improving yourself, but working together as a team to improve the overall performance. What have you been doing during the coronavirus pandemic to improve your athletic ability?  

It was definitely hard during the first couple of weeks. It was probably the hardest transition because we’re used to the status of being a 5A school and one of the top schools in Texas. We’re used to having facility access, practice time, and being able to go workout whenever we want to. Being stripped of that kind of hurt, but a lot of my teammates were like “okay, if we can’t lift regular weights, then we’re going to go lift what we want.” So, we grabbed as many tractor tires and all we could find. I actually have two, huge tractor tires sitting in my backyard and I flip those daily for about an hour. Then, we worked with our speed ladders. As a lineman, our footwork is key and necessary. We got our footwork going. We would get together, following the legal limit, and we would go over our plays and footwork slowly and break it down. So, whenever we get back, we’re going to be the best offensive lineman in the state of Texas. 

Okay, so if you saw my face right now – my jaw literally dropped in awe. That is amazing! 

Yeah, we didn’t want to sit on our butts. We know a lot of teams were going through the same thing. The hardest thing for me, personally, was getting up every day knowing the next day was going to be the same. It became so repetitive for us that we had to change it up. One day, we’re going to flip tires. The next day, we’re going to be doing ladders. Then the next day – what are we going to do? Let’s switch it up, let’s do some circuits. We got some sledgehammers – let’s hit the tires. Let’s build every muscle we have. Then, we would set aside Saturday or Sunday for film session. We’d grill and watch film. We’re improving any state we can improve. 

I am genuinely amazed by how much your team is invested in getting better through hard work and motivation, creativeness, and dedication even in these very different circumstances we are currently in. So, enlighten my mind a little bit. I notice the way that you’ve been addressing your team – saying we instead of me and ‘my offensive lineman’. Are you one of the team captains on the team? 

I am a team captain. We just named team captains and the thing I like about my offensive lineman is you can approach any junior or even the starting center sophomore – he’s a beast –  and ask them, “Who’s the leader?” They’ll say, “We all are.” There’s no ‘leader’ on the offensive line and that’s what we try to instill in all of the players on our team. You can be a leader without being a captain and that’s the best thing. If we have a team of leaders, we’re never going to be losing because we are all building each other up, especially on the offense line. We’re a unit. So, whenever I refer to them as ‘my offensive lineman’, they are my brothers. They have my back. They are my family.  

So, I am definitely going to ask you this question because I like what we’ve been talking about. Do you consider football to be harder mentally, physically, or both? Why?

Oh, that’s a good question. As an offensive lineman, I’m a bigger guy – probably one of the biggest guys on the field at all times. As hard as it is physically to be running around, pushing people around, and falling on someone, it’s a lot harder mentally because you have to prepare yourself for the game – prepare yourself to do everything right. Then, you also have to tell yourself I’m not going to be 100 percent perfect. So, I can’t be putting myself down because I missed a block on this play, or I stepped the wrong way. It’s about making sure you understand what you did wrong and then proceed to do doing better – improving yourself. I definitely think the mental aspect of the game is harder to grasp because you have all the plays, you have to get over your fears and jitters, and once you’re on the field you have to know what you’re doing, but also be calm. It’s that dangerous extreme with the calm and soothing – you have to be both. You have to be so aggressive, yet you have to calm down, play right and be ready to go. 

Right. You have to maintain that balance because if one thing falls out of balance, then it’s downhill domino effect from there. I absolutely understand it – not from the football perspective, but from another perspective. 

Yeah; of course, because all of it relates to life. That’s what I really love about being a football player, especially at my school. Coach Darden – our head coach* – tries to teach us that yes, we are football team, but we’re also grooming gentlemen. We’re grooming the next adults and learning how to be respectful, young men. It’s not just about football. Football is a part of life, but life is where you’re are going to be. Most people don’t play football in their fifties, but whenever you do get out of football, you’ll know how to act and how to be responsible. For coach and for all of us, that’s what being a football player is: do the right thing whenever no one’s watching and being the model. 

So, would say that’s the aspect of football you love the most or is there something else you love about playing the game? 

I mean, I love hitting people on the field. Right now, it’s hurting me because we’re on a 2-week dead period – no pads and no helmets. Labor Day, we start with helmets and we’re going at it. I love the playing portion, but the influence is what I love even more. You’re going around the school and there are people looking at you – trying to do what you do. I push a chair in because it’s out and then five other people behind me push their chair in because he did that. I pick up trash around my school because I want to make it look good. Six other people see it and they’re like he picked up trash that wasn’t his – I’m going to do what he does. Our coaches are always saying and making sure we know we have multiple eyes on us all of the time because we’re in that spot. Use it for good. I’m going to use my position to help the world, to do good, and be good, whether it be football or my career. 

You want to be a good life role model altogether. Speaking of influencing and having others look up to you, what advice do you have for the younger players who aspire to play a higher, competitive level of football? 

I was just talking to my mom about when I was younger and I was looking up to those guys and anytime someone said, “do this” or “do that”, I’d follow that. So, I love that I finally get to have the opportunity to talk to the younger generation. If I had anything to tell them, it would to have fun with a purpose. Use what you have in order to gain what you can. Use football to gain an education. Use football to gain a career. Use football to gain financial stability – however you need to do it, but use what you have to gain success in the future. So, if I’m taller than everyone else, I’m going to use that to gain something. If I’m stronger than most or something like, I’m going to use that to gain something, but also influence the world to be a better place and have fun. That’s the biggest thing for me. If you’re not having fun in what you’re doing, go find something that will be fun to do. You don’t have to do that thing that is not bringing you genuine joy. If you really want to do it, you’ll be having fun while doing it. 

Honestly, that’s how I approach my life as well. You have to view life not in the way of “oh I got to do this” or “I got to do that” attitude, but in the perspective of “I get to do this” and “I get to do that”.  It makes life way less stressful and more enjoyable. 

Exactly and I love that because I wake everyday around 5 or 6 AM because we have morning workouts. That’s just how it is. I wake up every day saying I get to do this and there are other kids in the school who would love to do this – who would kill for the opportunity to be apart of the football team. So, am I going to take any of this for granted just because I wanted to sleep in for another hour? No. I’m going to get up. I’m going to go workout and it’s going to be a good day because I love this sport and I love what I do. 

You are preaching to the choir over here. Speaking of education, living life to fullest, and everything else we’ve been talking about, what would your teachers say about you as a student?

I think they would say he’s very goofy. I try not to be the class clown though. I do enjoy education very much. I love AP and dual-credit classes because I love the challenge. I think my teachers would say he’s very skilled and very determined. He can go off on tangents at times. I love brining football into the world. I would definitely think they would say he’s determined and does whatever he has to do. 

Now flip that – what would your coaches say about you as a player? 

My offensive coach* would say, in his words: he’s very determined, works hard, and very skilled; will never shy away from a challenge. That applies for the whole offensive lineman. If you put an all-star, all-state defensive tackle in front of us, the offensive line will not back down. We do not back down and I think that comes straight from our coach. Our coach – he would never back down; he has our back. So, we’re never going to back down. We’ll have each other’s backs.

Do you have any hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time, if you have any? 

I really like to take care of my yard. I know it’s kind of weird, but I’m going to be that dad in the future that’s mowing his grass at seven in the morning. I like making sure it’s clean-cut, it looks good, and water correctly, which is kind of hard since at times it is scorching hot in Texas. Occasionally, I’d do a puzzle if I’m really bored. Other than that, I like to keep the yard nice and neat. 

Do you play any other sports besides football? 

Yes ma’am. I do power-lifting and track & field. 

Very nice. What do you do in track and field? 

In track, I throw shot put and discus. Shot put is my forte because it focuses on strength whereas discus is more focused on technique. As the Olympics go on, more people get into shot put and all that. We find new techniques and spinning new rotations. My offensive line coach is also my shot put coach. It’s perfect – I’m always working with him. He’s always doing his research to help us and we’re always learning to get better. 

Okay and what do you do in power-lifting?

We compete. I believe we have four meets until district and then regionals followed by state. Last year was cut short due to Covid, but we already had 8 district qualifiers and 4 state qualifiers. How everything works is you have three lifts to get to your max. We do maximum on squat, bench, and deadlift. You try to get as high as you can on each lift in your weight class. My biggest max on squat was 620 lbs. and my best max on bench was 350 lbs. I’m not 100 percent sure off the top of my head what my best deadlift was, but overall it adds up to around 1500 lbs. 

Tell me more about your gameday routine – how do you hype yourself and focus in? 

So, how gamedays usually start, I’ll wake up around 7 in the morning – 7:30 if I feel like it. We have nothing in the morning for football. We go to school. How school goes for us is we have our periods of class and football in between classes. On gameday, we have a quick walk through. If we have an away game, we pack up all of our equipment. If it’s a home game, we make sure all of our equipment is sound and nothing is broken. Right after school is over, we have a team meal together. After we finish eating, we go into meetings – offensive meetings and position meetings.  Then, we start taping along with getting dress and padded up. After that, we’ll warm up and do our position warmups; come together and run a couple of plays. Then, we go back inside and that’s when we get each other hype. We blast music as loud as possible. By the time Coach Darden gets us going – we get in a circle, lock arms, and start swaying back and forth. He’s gets us hyped up. Thinking about it right now gets me hyped. 

Very nice. Now I want to personally take a trip to Texas this semester to see the Texas’ football culture. What has been your biggest accomplishment while playing football in high school?  

I think the biggest one was making it to the state semi-finals. My sophomore year, we made school history and went undefeated during the season. We made it all the way to the quarter finals before we lost. This year, we made history again and went all the way until we lost in the state semi-finals. That was big for me. 

A little bit random, but if you could switch lives with a collegiate or NFL player for 24 hours, who would you switch with and why? 

I’m a big New York Giants fan and I think I would go with Saquon Barkely. I would love to have one day to experience what it feels like to be a running back. Also, I have loved Saquon Barkely ever since he got out of college because of his character. I believe his character and my character are strongly similar. He doesn’t use his position and platform to talk about himself. He gives credit where credit is due. I think that even though his character is one of an NFL player, he’s still using his position as how I would use my position. 

Personally, where do see yourself playing at on a collegiate level? 

Before, I started varsity football, I saw myself playing at the division possible. University of Florida – I’ve been a Florida gator for my whole life. I have wanted to play for that football team since I was 7 or 8 years old. Seeing myself improve and watching the guys that are committing to University of Florida, I honestly do think I am a Florida football player. I’m going to try to go wherever I can play. Auburn is also a choice as well; both of my sisters go to school at Florida and Auburn. They’re both great places. Yale reached out to me and so did Princeton. If I could get a Yale education, I would choose Yale. Wherever I go, I’m going to be the best there. 

* Chip Darden, Lubbock-Cooper High School’s football Head Coach.  * Lee Hayes, Lubbock-Cooper High School’s football Offensive line Coordinator. 

Diamond In The Rough: Daelyn Williams

Daelyn Williams is 5’10” 165 pound quarterback out of Dekaney High School in Houston, Texas. He is in the class of 2021. He is an overall exceptional athlete with a good arm strength. Williams is also a dynamic runner who is hard to contain one he gets outside of the pocket. He was the 2019 16-6A football District MVP, and is a 2x All-District point guard for his hardwork on Dekaney’s basketball team. Williams has a 4.5 gpa and an SAT score of 1000.

CHECK OUT DAELYN’S HIGHLIGHTS HERE

When did you begin playing football and what motivated you to play?

I started playing football at three years old. I wasn’t really motivated by anything, I just fell in love with the sport by seeing other people play it.

How do you think your coaches and teammates would describe you?

They would I am loud, funny, hardworking, and a leader. I am somebody who wants to win and will do anything to help my team win. Those are some characteristics that those guys would give me.

What hobbies do you have outside of sports?

I pretty much just play video games outside of sports. I like to play Madden or Call of Duty. I really just play those two.

I see you have a 4.5 gpa! How have you juggled schoolwork and football?

It just come naturally for me! Of course you have to work hard at both. School is something I find to be fairly easy. I do my work right away and get it done.

What’s your favorite thing about playing football in Texas?

I love the big crowds. In this state, football is like the Mecca. It’s a big crowd every night and it gives you a big adrenaline rush. With me being a quarterback, it’s like you are at the center of the attention. Everyone knows who you are. So I would say the crowds are my favorite thing.

So you just said at quarterback you’re usually the center of attention and everyone knows you. Would you say that is your favorite thing about your position or is there another aspect that’s your favorite?

Knowing I get to touch the ball every play and make an impact on the game is a great feeling. At quarterback, the game is pretty much in your hands. You take wins just like you take the losses, you get to learn from both. My favorite part is knowing the game is based on how I play.

What are some goals you have for this season?

Right now, my main and only goal is to win a state title. I have accomplished everything that I set out for coming into high school. The last thing I want and need to do is win a state title.

What’s been the highlight of your football career?

The highlight of my career so far would probably be winning District MVP. This is such a competitive district. We have 3, 4, and 5 star guys in this district every year. A lot of them end up going to Alabama, LSU, or Oklahoma every year. Just being picked to be MVP for my district is a huge honor, especially as a Junior.

What has football taught you about life?

Football has taught me a lot. Most importantly is has taught me that hard work pays off. You need to keep your head down, pray, and keep working. If anything it has taught me to just believe in my self and keep looking forward.

I see you’re committed to Lamar University. What are you planning on bringing that that team and what are you looking for out of Lamar?

I plan on brining a whole new mindset. It’s a brand new, young coaching staff. It’s their first year. They really made me a priority in getting me to commit there. I want to achieve a couple of conference titles and maybe even play for a national title. What I am looking for is a family vibe where I can leave a legacy. I want to bring a huge fanbase to Beaumont!

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years, hopefully I am preparing for the NFL draft. If not, I would like to be preparing for my first coaching job.

Three words to describe yourself?

Smart, athletic, and funny.

Is there a specific song or artist that gets you hype before each game? 

Not really! I just put my phone on shuffle and go from there.

If you can pick any one dead or alive to sit down with and ask anything you want, who would you pick?

My grandpa. I always hear some great stories about him. People even say we act alike. I would like to see how he was and how that would go.

What is your favorite meal or snack to eat before a game?

Our coach make this pasta! It would be that. It’s like a beef and cheese pasta.

What is one thing could you not go a day without?

My phone! I am always on it because I get bored a lot.

Diamond In The Rough: Ty Collins

Ty Collins is the starting running back at North Forney High School outside of Dallas,TX. He is a compact back listed at 5’10’ 205 pounds. Before I even begin describing what kind of player he is, I would like to mention that he reminds me of Ezekiel Elliot. From the moment I started watching his film, I was impressed. This young man gets handed the ball and takes off; he finds the hole created for him using excellent vision and is able to immediately gain yardage. Along with his vision, Ty has amazing balance and break away speed. Maybe even more important is the fact that he keeps his feet moving at all times, always running through the first wave of contact. Any offense could easily ride his back to success.

How long have you been playing football?

I’ve been playing since I was 4. I started in a Pop Warner league here around Dallas.

How was last season?

Coming into last season, I was not even the starter. Around game five my hard work paid off and I got the start. We went 7-3, unfortunately did not make the playoffs. But we had a decent team.

What would you say is your biggest accomplishment?

Being able to help out my team. Before I was a starter we won a few games then lost a few games straight. I was able to put the team on my back and carry us to even have playoff hopes.

What are some expectations for this season?

We are just working hard and trying to get to the playoffs so we can be in a position to win a state championship.

Is there anyone who you model you game after?

I would say Mark Ingram. He is a leader who puts his team first and he runs hard as well.

What do you think you need to improve on the most?

I think my flexibility. If I could be more flexible I could be more versatile with my game.

Do you play any other sports?

I run track, but honestly I just do it for fun and conditioning.

How have you stayed in shape since last season?

I have done strength and conditioning with the team throughout the summer as well ass P.T. with the team rather than as an individual.

What do you love most about playing football?

The environment. Being around people who have the same grit and passion that I have. Being a leader and working with others.

How do you get ready for a game?

I take a nap after we get out of school. When I get up, I listen to music and just get my mind on the game.

How often do you watch film?

I watch film every day. As soon as my school work is done, I’m on my computer watching film. There is always something from practice or games I messed up on that I can watch and improve. I try to mostly watch our film because I feel like if I do my job, I will have success.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I just like being with my friends and family. A lot of us are leaving for college all across the country, so I just like enjoying the time we have.

How would you describe yourself as a player and a teammate?

As a player, I’m versatile an I will always go 100%. Even in practice, I’m always in game mode. As a teammate, I like to be team first. I’m a leader and when somebody is down I like to pick them up.

What motivates you to play football?

It would have to be my mom. I feel like football is our way out. If I put in the effort she put in to take care of me, she will never have to work again.

Diamond In The Rough: Simeon Ardoin

Simeon Ardoin is a class of 2021 5’8″ 150 pound quarterback out of Eunice High School in Eunice, Louisiana. Ardoin is a versatile, multipurpose athlete. He has excellent escapability as a quarterback and is a solid duel threat. He can also be solid in the run support on defense. As a sophomore at Eunice, he lead his team to a state championship. He has thrown for over 2,000 yards in his football career. He is also on the basketball and track & field team at Eunice High School.

CHECK OUT SIMEON IN THE 2021 QUARTERBACKS

When did you start playing football and was there anything specific that motivated you to play?

I started playing football when I was around six years old. Drew Brees motivated me to play! He was short, but could throw the ball and run the field.

You mentioned that you guys got to the state championship game one year! How would you describe the feeling of leading your team there when you were just a sophomore at the time? How was the journey there?

The feeling was amazing, but the journey to get there was definitely stressful. It was hard and took a lot of hard work. A lot of work was put in by us to get there.

So would you say that that has been the highlight of your football career, or was there another moment?

I would say getting to that game was the highlight of my career. Many doubted me due to my height, but I proved them wrong by leading my team to the state championship in 3A football! It motivated me to go harder and harder.

How would your coaches and teammates describe you as a player?

They would describe me as a leader. I always motivate other plays to do better and I keep a great attitude.

You also play two other sports at Eunice. What are your positions on those teams and how would you say they keep you prepared for football season?

In basketball, I can play all positions. I mostly play shooting guard. On the track, I participate in the 4×1, the 4×2, the 200 and the 100. They both have helped me improve my endurance. They make my speed faster. Basketball really helps me be more explosive in football as well.

What’s your favorite thing about being the quarterback?

I love that I am kind of the boss on the field! It’s great to have them look up to me out there.

What has football taught you?

Week six of my sophomore year, I tore my meniscus. I had to sit out for two weeks. While I sat out, I always thought about ways to deal with the injury as it was my first one. That taught me how to let my body rejuvenate and not rush anything. Football takes me away from the negativity in my area where I live.

What is your favorite thing about playing football in Louisiana?

I love the competition. The environments in the stadiums are great too. When two teams bring great crowds and energies, it is amazing.

Do you have any specific goals for this season?

Since it is my last season, I want to get back the Superdome and win it all. My main goal right now though is to win our week 1 game.

Have you always been at the quarterback position?

I have played safety before, that was during my freshman year when I was starting on varsity.

What would you bring to a college team and what are you looking for in a program?

I would bring a playmaker! I will bring a lot of energy, anything they need I can get it done. I can play any position they need me to play. I am looking for a four year scholarship so that I can better life for my family and get them out of Louisiana.

Three words to describe yourself are?

Loyal, trustworthy, and leader.

Diamond In The Rough: Key’Savalyn Barnes

Key’Savalyn Barnes is a class of 2021 multi-sport athlete out of Logansport High School in Logansport, Louisiana. He is 6’0″ and 190 pound cornerback. Barnes is a 4 star, rated at an 8.7. He is a very physical, aggressive player who also has an impressive speed. Barnes is explosive on offense and his ability to change directions is exceptional. Covering the ball on defense is also an area Barnes excels in. He breaks on the ball well and can deliver blows on the field. He has a 3.08 gpa.

CHECK OUT KEY’SAVALYN IN THE 2021 DEFENSIVE BACKS

When do you start playing football? What made you want to play this sport?

I am not sure of the specific age, but I have been playing football since I was little. I always watched people over me play, so that made me want to play as well.

You also play basketball and run track! Talk about your positions and how they help you on the football field.

In basketball, I am the point guard. In track & field I run the relays, along with the 100 and 200. They both give me my wind on the football field as they help me run faster.

What is your favorite thing about your position?

I love that I get to tackle.

What are some goals you have for this season?

The main goal is to get to the State Championship and win it.

What has been the highlight of your football career?

I would say the highlight of my career was when I got a pick 6 when I came back from an injury.

How do you think your coaches and teammates would describe you as a player?

They would describe me as a leader who works hard on the field.

What has football taught you about yourself or life?

It has taught me that I am capable of more than I thought.

What is your favorite thing about playing football in Louisiana?

I just love getting on that field on Friday nights. It’s nothing like that feeling.

What would you tell younger players who hope to play high school football one day?

I would tell them to never give up.

Do you have a favorite NFL or college athlete?

My favorite NFL athlete is Adrian Peterson.

What would you bring to a college team and what are you looking for out of one?

I would bring leadership. I am looking for a program that feels like home and fits me.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I see myself at the NFL draft!

What are three words to describe yourself?

Creative, intelligent, and athletic!

How do you prepare for upcoming games?

I listen to a lot of music before games to really lock in.

Do you have any hobbies outside of sports?

I play the Playstation. My favorite game to play is Madden!

Have you thought of what you would like to study in college?

I have thought about studying Kinesiology.

LSU REMINDS SEASON TICKETS HOLDERS OF OPT-OUT DEADLINE OF FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11

BATON ROUGE – The deadline for LSU football season ticket holders to opt out of their tickets for the 2020 season is 5 p.m. on Friday, September 11, LSU Director of Ticket Operations Brian Broussard said on Thursday.

Those fans that wish to keep their tickets for the 2020 football season do nothing at this time. Broussard said season ticket holders keeping tickets for 2020 will be contacted once quantities and seating assignments are finalized. Broussard said seat quantities and seat locations will be determined the week of LSU’s first home game. 

For those wishing to opt out, all LSU football season ticket holders have been sent an email containing an opt-out link. Those fans wishing to opt out of their season tickets for 2020 can simply click the link and fill out the form online and the opt out request will be processed.

Season ticket prices for the 2020 season are as follows:

$500 for Suites and West Sideline

$450 East Sideline, North and South Endzone 500 level and Skyline Club 

$375 Upper Bench

There is no change to the seat contributions.

For more information on LSU football tickets visit www.LSUtix.net and for details about Tiger Stadium, LSU’s enhanced safety procedures and guidelines for 2020 and any other gameday information visit www.LSUsports.net/covid.

-Michael Bonnette

Diamond in the Rough: Kevin Carlton Jr.

Kevin Carlton Jr. is a starting wide receiver for Archbishop Hannon High school.  Coming into this year, Kevin has primarily played slot receiver and began playing a little bit at free safety last year.  Kevin is listed at 6’0’ 170 pounds, which is ideal size for a smaller receiver who plays between the hashes.  On tape he shows a precise route-running ability combined with a good bit of shiftiness in the open field. All though he is not the biggest player on the field, he often welcomes contact and fights for extra yardage consistently. His 40-time is not the most impressive attribute currently, but Kevin has an uncanny ability to create separation. Combine that ability with consistent hands and you have yourself a reliable target to throw to.

You primarily play receiver, but your Hudl says you play some safety. Will you still be going both ways?

Yes sir, as a matter of fact I will be playing a lot more defense and less offense this year.

Do you prefer playing on defense over offense?

No sir, I prefer playing on offense, but I’m doing what the team needs me to do.

How long have you been playing football?

I have been playing since I was five, about twelve years now.

What would you say is one of your biggest accomplishments so far, in regard to football?

When I was about eleven years old, I was able to be on a championship team. It was a really big deal because the previous two years we lost to the same team and we finally won it all. It just meant so much to me.

How was last season?

It was not a bad season; we had some ups and downs. We had a new schedule with a lot more powerhouse teams than some of the teams we previously played. We could have done better, but we were just kind of thrown into the fire playing against some of these bigger schools.

Is the schedule this year similar to last year’s?

Yes sir, it’s the same schedule.

What are some expectations you have for yourself and for the team as a whole?

For myself, I want to be the best player I possibly can for my team, and I want to be all-metro this year. As for the team, I want a state championship. That’s what we are grinding for.     

Are there any individual stats you are trying to chase?

No sir, not really. Just want to do my best.

Is there anyone you try to model your game after?

Stephon Diggs, I watch a lot of tape on him and try to mimic all of his moves.

Have you played outside receiver at all?

I did a little bit last year, but this year all receivers will be rotating and learning every spot. I’m ready for it, its going to be fun.

What is something you would like to improve on?

Definitely my speed. I’m not too slow, but I’m also not the fastest.  I don’t feel like you need insane speed, but speed will take you places.

What are some things you like to do in your free time?

I have my own videography brand that I started working on 2 years ago. I edit highlight videos for kids in my area for football and basketball. I even do it for people around the nation. That takes up a lot of my free time.

How often do you watch film?

At least five days a week. It’s a lot honestly. I am always watching either a receiver or safety to model after, watching my own film, or watching film from the teams on our schedule so I can learn their tendencies.

Do you play any other sports?

I play basketball and run track.

How have you been staying in shape?

I just run around the neighborhood and play basketball. Staying in basketball shape definitely helps me on the football field.

What do you love most about playing football?

The competitiveness, especially at the end of the game.

How do you get ready for a game?

I just relax and then go do warmups and get in my zone when we are getting ready to take the field.

How would you describe yourself as a player and a teammate?

I would describe myself as a high IQ player. I’m not the most athletic, but everything clicks in my head and that makes up for where I lack athletically. As a teammate I feel like I am a decent leader and I work well with the younger player.

How do you feel about playing with younger players in the rotation?

I don’t mind it at all. I have always played up in football and basketball and I believe the best players get to play, age shouldn’t matter.

What do you want to get out of playing football?

I really want a free education. Also, I just have a love for the game of football and even basketball, I love them equally. My love for the game pushes me to play hard. But I want that education to insure I have a nice life.

Do you plan on trying to play multiple sports at the next level?

I’m not sure about that. Probably not, just because of the time constraints. I don’t have time to be as good as I could be for one because I have to focus on both. Playing multiple sports can often help you, but it can also hurt you.

Any advice for younger players?

Be fearless, that is when you play your best. The guy across from you may underestimate you, but don’t let that get in your head. As long as you aren’t scared to go out there, you will be good.

LSU Athletics Welcomes Fans to Tiger Stadium in 2020

BATON ROUGE – In coordination with state public health officials, the Southeastern Conference and university officials, LSU Athletics today announced plans welcoming ticketed fans to Tiger Stadium for the 2020 football season. In order to accommodate fans and to comply with public health guidelines, LSU is implementing numerous changes to its gameday policies and Tiger Stadium will open the 2020 season with 25% capacity.

“This plan focuses on the health and safety of all those attending LSU football games, from the fans to the team to the workers,” said Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards. “By reducing the capacity and taking a year off from tailgating, which puts LSU in line with other SEC schools, the plan allows for fans to be socially distanced in Death Valley. I encourage the Tiger faithful to adhere to these guidelines and to act responsibly, as there is still a lot of COVID in Louisiana. We will continue to monitor our case counts, test positivity rate and hospitalizations and make adjustments as necessary. While this season is undoubtedly starting out differently from a normal football season, with COVID keeping all of us from celebrating together, nothing can dim the support we have for our LSU Tigers.”

The health and safety of fans is the top priority in LSU Athletics’ planning and preparation for the 2020 football season in Tiger Stadium. Among numerous safety measures, fans will be required to wear face masks on campus and in Tiger Stadium, tailgating on campus will not be permitted and physical distancing will be mandatory. A comprehensive and regularly updated list of all COVID-19 related changes and fan notifications can be found at LSUsports.net. Fans can also receive updates with the new LSU Sports Mobile App.

LSU Athletics officials remind fans plans for 2020 are subject to change before and during the season along with changes to public-health guidelines related to the spread of COVID-19.

“By all of us doing a few things differently this season, we’re going to safely play football with fans in the stands and that’s exciting for everyone who loves LSU,” said LSU Athletic Director Scott Woodward. “Doing this safely and smartly is our shared responsibility. It’s important for this community, our school and our student-athletes. We’re in this together and we are all excited to play football in Tiger Stadium with the greatest fans in America. I want to thank Governor Edwards and his team for their strong support and guidance during this time.”

Ticketholders who want to opt out of their 2020 season tickets can do so via a form that will be emailed from the LSU Ticket Office this week. The deadline to opt out is Friday, September 11.

At this time single-game tickets will not be available. Season ticketholders for 2020 should expect their total allotment of tickets to be reduced in order to ensure a maximum number of ticketholders can attend games in 2020. The LSU Athletics Ticket Office will be in contact this week with ticketholders on next steps in the distribution process.

Student tickets will be made available. LSU Athletics and LSU Student Government are coordinating and will be in contact with students via email with details.

All parking lots, including free lots, will require a permit and will open four hours before game time. The LSU Athletic Ticket Office will contact ticketholders with information on obtaining a free or paid parking permit. Unused parking lots will be closed and not permitted for public use. 

Tailgating on campus will not be permitted in 2020 and LSU Athletics is encouraging fans without tickets to enjoy the game from home in order to help minimize the number of people on campus. In order to comply with public health guidelines, tailgating and tailgate setups, including tents, trailers, outdoor cooking, generators and communal food and beverage areas will not be permitted on campus. Fans are permitted to gather near their vehicle with household members or a small group with whom they traveled. An updated list of prohibited items and 2020 tailgating policies can be found at LSUsports.net.

Fans with medical issues of concern as listed by the CDC are encouraged to enjoy games on television from home this season. LSU Athletics is asking all Tiger fans to adhere to health and safety guidelines as directed by public health officials. Geaux Safe and other in-stadium policies remain in place for 2020 and LSU officials are asking fans to reduce what they bring to games to help minimize contact points for bag checks.

Fans with questions regarding any LSU Athletics policy should contact LSU Guest Services at (225) 578-4085 or the LSU Athletic Ticket Office at 225-578-0100 during normal business hours (M-F, 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. CT). This service will also be available before, during and after LSU Athletics events. Follow live updates @LSUgameops on Twitter and with the new LSU Sports Mobile App on Apple and Android devices.

2020 Tiger Stadium Plans and Policies:

Fan attendance goals for the 2020 football season

  • Provide a safe experience for student-athletes, staff and fans.
  • Comply with state and CDC guidelines for opening Tiger Stadium.
  • Comply with NCAA and SEC fan health and safety guidelines.
  • Follow achievable health recommendations from CDC, WHO and other health authorities.
  • Implement a comprehensive plan to accommodate maximum permitted stadium capacity.

2020 Tiger Stadium Capacity and Ticketing

  • Tiger Stadium capacity will be limited to 25% for the start of the 2020 season. The LSU Athletic Ticket office will work to seat singles and groups of up to approximately 8 people as close to their original seat locations as possible.
  • LSU Athletics anticipates all ticketholders who opted in for the 2020 season will get at least a portion of their ticket allocation.
  • 2020 season ticketholders should expect their total allotment of tickets to be reduced in order to ensure a maximum number of ticketholders can attend games in 2020. The LSU Athletic Ticket office will be in touch about next steps in the distribution process.
  • Ticketholders who want to opt out of their 2020 season tickets can do so via a form that will be emailed from the LSU Ticket Office this week.The deadline to opt out is Friday, September 11.
  • All tickets will be mobile. Fans should access their account on LSUtix.net or from the new LSU Sports Mobile App.
  • Mobile tickets will be distributed the week of each game to accommodate any changes in schedule or capacity.
  • At this time single-game tickets will not be available.

Student Tickets

  • LSU Athletics and LSU Student Government are coordinating ticket plans and will be in contact with students via email with details.
  • Students will be able to enter through any gate.
  • Student section will remain in the north end zone.
  • Students will be grouped with assigned seating for physical distancing.

Fan Safety Precautions

  • Fans who might be sick or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should stay home and contact a physician.
  • Face masks covering the nose and mouth are required on campus and inside Tiger Stadium. Face masks may be temporarily removed while consuming food and beverages.
  • Face shields should only be worn in combination with a face mask.
  • Physical distancing will be mandatory in all areas.
  • Fans must follow all safety and health guidelines as indicated by on-premise signage at Tiger Stadium.
  • Fans are not permitted to smoke or vape on LSU campus.
  • Fans with medical issues of concern as listed by the CDC are encouraged to enjoy games on television from home this season.
  • Fans are asked to reduce what they bring to Tiger Stadium to minimize contact points and bag searches. Geaux Safe and other in-stadium policies remain in place for 2020.
  • All transactions will be cashless. Cash to credit kiosks will be available.

Enhanced Sanitation and Cleaning Protocols

  • All industry-standard ICS cleaning and disinfection best practices for seating, concourses, restrooms and other areas of the stadium have been implemented.
  • Staff have completed a top-to-bottom deep cleaning and sanitation of Tiger Stadium.
  • Restrooms will be regularly disinfected.
  • Additional staff will be on site dedicated solely to cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Hand sanitizer will be provided at all levels and at concession stands and bathrooms.
  • Hand-washing stations have been installed around Tiger Stadium.
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed at Tiger Stadium.

Physical Distancing

  • The Tiger Stadium footprint will be expanded to allow for physical distancing and additional entry gates.
  • Fans should maintain 6-feet of physical distancing at all times.
  • Elevator use will be limited capacity and restricted to immediate family units. Fans who need to use elevators are encouraged to arrive early.
  • Physical distancing will be enforced at all gates, concessions stands, restrooms and merchandise stands. Concession stands and bathrooms that cannot accommodate physical distancing in lines will be closed.
  • Fans will be encouraged to use stairs and ramps rather than elevators when possible.
  • Staff will monitor lines for restrooms for physical distancing.

Entry Gates and New Stadium Footprint

  • Face masks covering nose and mouth are required in Tiger Stadium.
  • New ticket gate layout will accommodate queuing with 6-feet social distancing and additional entry gates will be added. Ticketed fans can enter through any gate.
  • New entry procedures and protocols will be detailed at a later date.
  • Via fencing, the Tiger Stadium footprint is being expanded for physical distancing. Only ticketed fans will be permitted inside the fenced perimeter which will include the PMAC and portions of North Stadium Drive.
  • Clear Bag Policy remains in place, though fans are encouraged not to bring bags into the stadium. Bag checks will be very limited, and times of entry increased for those fans who bring bags into the stadium.
  • Medical bag checks will be at Southwest gate and gates 9 and 10.
  • Fans are encouraged to review Geaux Safe policies for Tiger Stadium.

Tailgating & Campus Closures

  • Tailgating will not be permitted on LSU’s campus in 2020.
    • Prohibited items:
      • Trailers
      • Tents/Canopies/Structures of any kind
      • Displays – decorations, lights, etc.
      • Bars and any communal food/beverage
      • Coolers
      • Catering or Food Sales
      • Tables and chairs
      • Grills or any portable cooking mechanism
      • Generators
      • Fencing/Flooring
      • Televisions
      • Portable Audio Systems (setups and outside of vehicles)
    • Fans can gather with household members or a small group with whom they traveled in the same vehicle.  Congregations of multiple groups and families will be prohibited.
  • Face masks are required on campus, especially when it is not possible to maintain appropriate physical distancing.
  • All campus buildings will be closed.
  • Bathrooms on campus will be closed. Porta-potties will be limited.

Parking Lots & Shuttles

  • All lots, including free lots, will require a parking permit. The LSU Athletic Ticket Office will contact ticketholders with details on parking passes.
  • Lots not in use on gameday will be closed and barricaded.
  • Lot assignments will be adjusted to consolidate parking close to Tiger Stadium.
  • Lots will open 4 hours before game time.
  • Shuttles will not be made available at this time.
  • For the 2020 season, ADA Parking will be accommodated in the Nicholson Gateway Parking Garage.

Motor home/RV Overnight Parking

  • Overnight parking for motor homes/RVs will be accommodated in lot 412 only.
  • Social gatherings, RV hopping and tailgating will not be permitted in overnight parking.
  • Overnight parking will open at 6 pm on Fridays for motor homes and RVs only.
  • Fans are asked to gather only with their travel party and within the footprint of their motor homes or RV.
  • The LSU Athletic Ticket office will be in contact with motor home and RV parking permit holders with more details.

Pre-Game Events

  • Ordinarily scheduled events that will not be held in 2020 include:
    • Tiger Walk down “Victory Hill” including band and team walk
    • TAF pregame tailgate held inside the PMAC for TAF members and guests
    • National L Club pregame tailgate
    • Nicholson Gateway Fan Fest

Concessions and Merchandise

  • All transactions will be cashless. Cash to credit machines will be available.
  • Fans will be permitted to bring one 32 ounce or smaller factory sealed bottle of water allowed into Tiger Stadium.
  • Limited concession stands will be open. Concession stands that cannot accommodate physical distancing in lines will be closed.
  • Concession stands will offer a simplified menu with only pre-packaged items to minimize contact with food and decrease transaction times.
  • Pre-packaged condiments will be provided to fans.
  • There will be no self-service buffets in premium areas. Staff will serve fans.
  • Additional vending machines will be installed throughout the stadium.
  • Refill stations have been disabled. Fans will receive refills from the concession stand.
  • Fans can locate open concession stands with the new LSU Sports Mobile App.

Premium Areas – Suites

  • “Suite hopping” will be prohibited 
  • Hand sanitizer will be available in each suite.
  • Suite menus will be adjusted for “grab-and-go” items.
  • No live LSU game feed on televisions during game on common area televisions.
  • All common area furniture will be removed.

Premium Areas – Club Spaces

  • Physical distancing will be accommodated at all served buffet and beverage lines.
  • Sneeze guards have been installed at buffets. 
  • Staff will serve guests at buffets.
  • Disinfectant teams will be periodically cleaning throughout club spaces.
  • Hand sanitizer will be provided throughout club spaces.
  • Food and drink must be consumed in seating area and will be served in to go boxes.

Band and Cheer

  • Per SEC policy, bands will be restricted from performing on the field before games and at halftime.
  • Visiting team bands and spirit squads will not be permitted in Tiger Stadium.
  • On-field performances, presentations and recognitions shall be prohibited including, but not limited to, sponsor and donor recognitions and athletic department student-athlete and team recognitions.
  • The Tiger Marching Band will not “step off” at the Greek Theater.
  • The Tiger Marching Band size will be reduced for physical distancing.
  • The band will not perform along North Stadium for the Tiger Walk or at the PMAC.

-Michael Bonnette