Posted on: August 26, 2011 8:31 am
The big showdown between No. 3 Oregon and No. 4 LSU that serves as the crown jewel of college football's opening Labor Day Weekend just keeps losing its luster.
Oregon's star cornerback and kick returner Cliff Harris, an All-American in just his sophomore season last year, has already been suspended for the contest. Harris, who led the country with 23 passes defended and the Pac-10 with six interceptions last season, was suspended by Ducks' head coach Chip Kelly after Harris' latest run-in with police. Harris, along with two teammates including starting quarterback Darron Thomas, was stopped by police for driving 118 miles per hour in a car loaned to him after being rented by a university official.
The receiver Harris likely would have been covering throughout much of the contest has now been suspended for the opener, as well.
Junior wideout Russell Shepard was suspended Thursday for the September 3 game at Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, Texas and is likely to miss more time as the university seeks his reinstatement from the NCAA. Shepard was suspended, according to the university, because he broke school and NCAA violations when he discussed specifics of his interview with investigators about the Willie Lyles recruiting controversy with a teammate also scheduled to be questioned.
LSU could also lose quarterback Jordan Jefferson, who was identified by a woman outside of a club in Baton Rouge, as having kicked a man in the face during a fight, according to a police report also released yesterday.
Jefferson was one of four LSU players identified in the report. Also interviewed by police were offensive lineman Chris Davenport, linebacker Josh Johns and wide receiver Jarvis Landry.
Police seized 49 pairs of athletic shoes from Jefferson's apartment, according to report. It is not yet known what role the shoes may have played in the fight, which occurred in the early morning hours one week ago.
While LSU head coach Les Miles has claimed that he's already begun disciplining the team for their actions, no suspensions for Jefferson or any of his teammates have yet been made public.
Should police find reason to officially charge Jefferson with a crime, a suspension from Miles could be the least of his concerns.
Posted on: February 27, 2011 3:35 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2011 3:46 pm
LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson is careful not to compare himself to Charles Woodson, but the two have struck up a friendship and Peterson admits, “I definitely want to pattern my game” after the Green Bay Packers star.
The top-rated prospect in the 2011 draft by NFLDraftScout.com, Peterson’s chances of securing a top five selection would certainly be helped with Woodson’s versatility. Some scouts consider Peterson a potential candidate to move to safety, but he hopes to dispel that thought with his combine workout Tuesday.
Peterson, who said he has seven percent body fat, is aiming to run in the 4.2-second range in the 40-yard dash despite adding about seven pounds of muscle and measuring in at 6-feet and 219 pounds.
“I feel pretty swift the way I am, I feel fast, I feel quick, I feel more fluid at the weight I am right now,” said Peterson. “I don’t want to go out there and try to kill myself trying to lose weight because I have very little body fat. I believe I’m good at the weight I’m at right now.”
Peterson said he ran a 4.29 a week ago. If he can approach that time Tuesday, Peterson will secure his spot ahead of Nebraska’s Prince Amukamara as the clear No. 1 cornerback in the draft - and a 6-footer with good ball skills and that type of speed should finally squash talk of a move to safety.
Peterson said he’s willing to move if an NFL teams asks him to, but it’s clear his preference is to remain at cornerback. And the main weakness he pointed out was his lack of experience playing zone. But that can be considered a good problem to have because LSU teaches the much more difficult press corner technique.
"I want to work on my zone coverage. We barely did that at LSU,” Peterson said. “A lot of people are saying I can’t backpedal and things like that, but I definitely can. I was just going through the style of play that (LSU defensive backs) coach (Ron) Cooper and (former LSU head) coach (Nick) Saban taught me. I definitely want to show the media, all you guys, that I can backpedal and change direction as well.”
Posted on: October 11, 2010 8:00 pm
LSU defensive tackle Drake Nevis was a one-man wrecking crew Saturday night against the Florida Gators.
Though his teammate, senior wide receiver Terrance Toliver has earned much of the attention for his standout performance (six catches for 111 yards and two TDs, including the game-winner with six seconds left), Nevis was arguably the bigger thorn in the side for the Gators. Certainly considering the fact that the Gators feature one of the SEC's best and most experienced offensive lines, Nevis' ability to dominate the action early and force Florida to alter their game plan deserves special acknowledgement.
Nevis, moved all over the defensive line, finished with seven tackles (all solos), including 4.5 tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble. As I explain in the profile below, he very nearly was credited with a safety in the opening moments of the game, as well.
Player of the Week, along with The Diamond in the Rough (small school prospect), used to be features of Draft Slant . This PDF file can be purchased as an individual issue or one can purchase the entire year (16 issues).
We thought that the Player of the Week and Diamond in the Rough deserved more acknowledgement, however, and thus, every Monday, I'll post my picks for each award.
Player of the Week - October 9, 2010
DT Drake Nevis 6-1 / 285 / 5.04 -- opponent: Florida
Scouts who had never seen Nevis play were given a treat by the LSU defensive tackle early in the Florida contest. He showed exactly what he is and is not in the Gators first offensive possession. When he times the snap count right, Nevis has explosive burst through the hole. An experienced and talented Gator offensive line, (including highly touted OL Mike Pouncey), was unable to cope with Nevis speed on back to back plays during the Gators second and third plays from scrimmage. With the Gators backed up at their own endzone, Nevis exploded through, nearly sacking QB John Brantley for a safety and forced fumble. Nevis left hand inadvertently caught Brandtley s face mask, however, and so the Gators caught a break. The next play, Nevis again broke through the line, shrugged off a block from LT Marcus Gilbert and stopped RB Emmanuel Moody for a loss of one. The next play, however, showed why scouts can t fall in love with Nevis. Late off the snap and thus caught too high by 6-5 OG Carl Johnson, Nevis was popped, lifted and pounded into the turf for a classic pancake block. Again late off the snap on the next play, Nevis attempts a spin move against Johnson and is stoned. Nevis burst gave the Gators problems all night long, helping him accumulate an eye-popping seven tackles, including 4.5 for loss, a sack and the forced fumble. Nevis burst inside reminds me of former Georgia Bulldog Geno Atkins who has flashed as a rookie 4th round pick for the Bengals this year. Nevis lined up directly on the nose (0-technique), as well as in the gaps and man-up on the guards. He doesn t have the power to hold up consistently, but his quickness off the snap makes him an nice option as a gap-splitting under-tackle for the 4-3 alignment.
Posted on: October 11, 2010 7:03 pm
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Posted on: October 10, 2009 9:09 pm
The physical battle in the trenches and the spectacular speed of Florida's skill position players against LSU's second level defenders have overtaken Tim Tebow as the primary areas to watch in this game.
Tebow, of course, is going to get all of the attention, but LSU's secondary is doing a great job so far of limiting his throwing options downfield and Florida is understandably hesitant to begin pounding the ball inside with their typically successful quarterback draws.
Two early mismatches thus far could prove key to deciding the winner of this game.
Junior defensive end Carlos Dunlap has the speed to beat left tackle Ciron Black off the edge and certainly has the burst to beat the Tigers' interior linemen, as he's been shuffled inside on mutliple occasions. This position versatility from the 6-6, 280 pound Dunlap not only will provide the Gators with a decided edge up front in the passing game, it could potentially boost his stock with NFL scouts. The risk, however, in moving Dunlap inside, is negating his burst and allowing LSU's shorter interior linemen opportunities to get into his chest and drive Dunlap off the ball.
Not surprisingly considering how evenly matched these teams are, the other mismatch is in LSU's favor. Wide receiver Brandon LaFell, NFLDraftScout.com's top rated prospect at the position, has been able to shake off tight coverage to already have 3 catches for 37 yards in this contest. Blessed with a similar combination of size, strength and run-after-catch ability as former Tiger Dwayne Bowe, LaFell has already made some big plays in this game, including a spectacular catch on 3rd down. A better throw by Jordan Jefferson would have given the Tigers a first down. LaFell, however, snatched the back half of the ball and if not for tight coverage by the Gators, easily would picked up the yardage.
Posted on: April 20, 2009 4:10 pm
LSU wide receiver Demetrius Byrd was admitted to the emergency room at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami Sunday night. His mother, Sharon Byrd, contacted the LSU coaching staff of the accident and her son's condition this morning, according to a report from shreveporttimes.com.
Though sources within the LSU staff tell me that Byrd has stabilized, he remains in the intensive care unit with various injuries to his upper body.
He is viewed as an unpolished, but ascending talent due to the fact that he only played two seasons of D-I football at LSU after signing with Pearl River Community College out of high school (where he only played one season).
The accident comes at a terrible time for Byrd, who was viewed as a mid to late round pick prior to the injury. Even if the injuries are only topical, they could be enough to push Byrd out of the draft entirely. The reality is, Byrd has little time to heal before mini-camps and his agent has less time to send updated medical files to teams.
Regardless of where he is ultimately drafted -- or signed as a free agent -- Byrd is a legitimate NFL talent.
I'm higher on Byrd than most. He, not Early Doucet, was the most consistent and clutch receiver for the Tigers two years ago in the Tigers' run to the national championship and finished with an eye-popping 7 touchdowns to lead the Tigers despite only catching 35 passes for 621 yards. His penchant for the big play in tough situations, such as the winning reception against Auburn with one second left, made him one of the receivers to watch entering his senior campaign. With LSU struggling with consistency in the passing game, however, Byrd's numbers dropped to 37 catches for 513 yards and 4 TDs.
Posted on: March 16, 2009 6:10 pm
Few collegiate programs are as accomodating as LSU to the media and fans when it comes to Pro Day results. LSU has actually provided a link from their main athletics page,lsusports.net to the results of today's Pro Day. I've copied the link below.
The most significant statistical improvement from the Pro Day came from inside linebacker Darry Beckwith and safety Curtis Taylor. As the LSU page notes, Beckwith improved upon a 4.77 time in the 40-yard dash at the Combine to run a 4.65 Monday. Beckwith's times in Indianapolis were better than those ran by the two top-rated inside linebackers of the draft, USC's Rey Maualuga and Ohio State's James Laurinaitis.Taylor had an ever greater improvement, churning out a 4.49 second 40-yard dash time after registering a 4.64 in Indianapolis.
Defensive end Tyson Jackson will be LSU's highest drafted prospect. He elected to stick with most of his results from the Combine, with the exception of positional drills and the bench press. Jackson, 6-4, 296, was a bit disappointing in the bench press, lifting the bar only 20 times.
Three former LSU players were on hand to take advantage of the estimated 25 teams represented by scouts Monday. Linebacker Trev Faulk was among the former players working out.
The link is: http://www.lsusports.net/ViewArticl