BATON ROUGE — Les Miles and his coaching staff will be bringing LSU football to north and south Louisiana as the Tigers will hold “Satellite Camps” in Shreveport/Bossier City and New Orleans during the first week of June, Miles announced on Tuesday.
The first camp, which will be held on Thursday, June 2, will take place at Freedom Field in Bossier City and will cost only $20 to attend. After hosting a kicking and specialist camp on the LSU campus on Friday, June 3, Miles and his staff will conduct a camp at the New Orleans Saints Practice Facility in Metairie on Saturday, June 4. The price of the camp at the Saints Facility is $20.
LSU will also hold a free youth camp in conjunction with the New Orleans Recreation Department (NORD) on Tuesday, June 7 at Joe Brown Park.
“First of all, philosophically, we want to be in Louisiana first,” Miles said. “We want to make sure that the places that we turn to are people that play on our teams first. We will end and start our camps in Shreveport, New Orleans and certainly Baton Rouge. We are also going to partner with in-state colleges who are willing to participate, including Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana Tech, McNeese State, Southeastern, Southern, Grambling, Nicholls State, Northwestern State and Louisiana College.
“Our first nine days (of the allotted 15) will be in the state of Louisiana. We won’t leave the state until we have delivered a camp to the north, south and certainly on our campus.”
In addition to the three camps outside of Baton Rouge, Miles will host five camps on campus at the Charles McClendon Practice Facility in June and July. After the kicking camp on June 3, Miles and his staff will host a youth camp on June 5-6, high school camps on June 9-11 and July 21-23 as well as a 7-on-7 team camp and a lineman camp on July 16.
Information on LSU’s Satellite Camps as well as the camps taking place on the LSU campus can be found at www.LSUcamp.com.
Miles said he’s excited to partner with 10 other state universities at the Satellite Camps as well as the camps being conducted on the LSU campus.
“The schools that are partnering with us have a vested interest in the state of Louisiana,” Miles said. “Louisiana is where they get their players from. They (other coaching staffs) want to be at a place where there is going to be as many as 400-plus prospects and have the ability to watch and see them perform, instruct them and see how they learn. Being around and representing another college certainly is positive.”
Miles said that one big goal of the three camps located off of the LSU campus is developing relationships, while also introducing young football players to a certain level of football.
“What we intend to do with that commitment is we want to start and segment the pieces in youth football, but we really want to get around and raise the understanding of technique in football in the state,” Miles said. “We want to create relationships in New Orleans and in Northern Louisiana certainly as we serve them. You instruct, teach and raise the level of play. It’s a very positive thing for everyone involved.”
ABC TO TELEVISE LSU SEASON-OPENER AGAINST WISCONSIN
BATON ROUGE – LSU’s 2016 season-opener against Wisconsin at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin will be televised by ABC and carry a 2:30 p.m. kickoff, the network announced on Tuesday.
The LSU-Wisconsin game is one of six games that will be part of an ESPN and ABC tripleheader on the first full Saturday of college football season. The full lineup of games that is part of the Saturday ESPN and ABC tripleheader include:
· No. 5 Oklahoma vs. No. 18 Houston (AdvoCare Texas Kickoff – NRG Stadium) 11 a.m. CT on ABC
· Hawaii at No. 3 Michigan (Ann Arbor, Mich.) 11 a.m. CT on ESPN
· No. 6 LSU vs. Wisconsin (Lambeau Field – Green Bay, Wisc.) 2:30 p.m. CT on ABC
· No. 13 Georgia vs. No. 19 North Carolina (Chick-fil-a Kickoff – Georgia Dome) 4:30 p.m. on ESPN
· No. 12 Southern Cal vs. No. 1 Alabama (AT&T Stadium – Arlington, Texas) 7 p.m. on ABC
· No. 2 Clemson at Auburn (Auburn, Ala.) 8 p.m. CT on ESPN
ESPN/ABC is calling the first week of the 2016 season the “best college football opening weekend schedule ever”. The lineup also includes Notre Dame at Texas on Sunday, Sept. 4, followed by a Labor Day contest between Ole Miss and Florida State in Orlando, Fla.
The 2016 season marks LSU’s 12th year under head coach Les Miles, who has led the Tigers to a 112-32 mark in Baton Rouge. LSU is 11-0 in season-openers under Miles and the Tigers go into the Wisconsin game with the longest non-conference regular season winning streak in the history of college football at 52 consecutive victories.
The remainder of LSU’s early-season television lineup is expected to be announced at the SEC Spring Meetings later this month in Destin, Florida.
BATON ROUGE – Austin Thomas has re-joined the LSU football staff as assistant athletic director/director of player personnel for the Tigers, head coach Les Miles announced on Monday.
Thomas spent nearly three years as LSU’s Director of Player Personnel before departing for a similar role at Southern Cal, where he had previously worked, in February of this year. After three months with the Trojans, Thomas opted to return to the LSU football staff.
“We are excited to have Austin back on the staff,” Miles said. “We hated to see him leave so we were thrilled when we were able to get him back. Austin is extremely talented and detail-oriented and he’s played a big role in our recruiting success over the last three years.”
‘April 16, 2016
LSU FOOTBALL SPRING GAME – LES MILES QUOTES
HEAD COACH LES MILES
“I certainly enjoyed the game. No one was injured, and there were some good plays made by a host of our guys. Leonard (Fournette) averaged six yards a carry. Malachi (Dupre), in my opinion, made something out of some very short passes. I like Dee Anderson’s reception for a touchdown. He’s a guy who really has the potential to make big plays in big games. I like Trent Domingue. Trent kicks a 42-yard field goal and our punter (Josh Growden) looks like he will be able to step into Tiger Stadium and kick it. We’ve given a lot of time to the passing game. I think we’re improved and I like where are quarterbacks are… We’re improving there, and I like the path we’re on. Defensively, we put in a nice base. I think our defense knows kind of what to expect out of the calls. We’re now in a position where we add some bells and whistles to the defense. Obviously, we moved a lot of things we do offensively, defensively and on special teams before the game, so we didn’t give a tremendous hint to our opponents. I like us; I like our spring practice as a whole, and even though the game is not a game, we got functional work with ones versus ones to start. That will be some film that we have not had in several years here, and I look forward to see how our first teams played against each other.”
On the new coaches and new schemes and how the team has settled in…
“I think we’re in a good position. I think you’ll see the scheme of the defense continue to take off. You had to put some time in 15 practices to get a real quality base, and I think we did that.”
On freshmen Michael Divinity and Devin White contributing at linebacker…
“It’s really nice to see young guys come in and play with some real skill and ability to give the coaching staff expectations that they can step on the field and help us in big games. Both of those guys have shown that throughout the spring.
On his biggest takeaway from the spring…
“I like how we improved as a group. I don’t take lightly that Trent Domingue steps in to Tiger Stadium and kicks a 42-yard field goal. Minus a game, the heat was on; the offense just had a nice drive, and I enjoyed that. I think our specialists are better and our kickers are better on kickoffs, punts and field goals. I think we’re improved there. Defensively, I like where the spot is with what we have in. We have a nice platform and foundation that should allow us to make change. We’ve given time to the passing game, and I think it shows. That’s kind of my thought process.
I LSU CLOSES OUT SPRING WITH NATIONAL L CLUB SPRING GAME ON SATURDAY
BATON ROUGE – LSU will close out spring drills on Saturday afternoon in Tiger Stadium when the Tigers hold the National L Club Spring Game presented by Tony Chachere’s.
Kickoff for the game is set for 3 p.m. in Tiger Stadium and admission is free of charge. The game will be broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network and can be heard in the Baton Rouge area on 104.5 and 104.9 FM as well as in the Geaux Zone on LSUsports.net. Gordy Rush (play-by-play), Doug Moreau (analyst) and Derek Ponamsky (sideline reporter) will be on the call for the LSU broadcast.
The SEC Network will also televise the game with Chris Cotter (play-by-play), Brock Huard (analyst), Marcus Spears (analyst) and Kayley Hartung (sideline reporter) calling the action.
The spring game will feature the 1s vs. 1s (first offense and first defense) going through approximately 20 to 25 plays in the first half. The first half will see the No. 2 offense and No. 2 defense also getting 20 to 25 reps followed eight to 10 reps for the 3s. In the first half, the offense will wear purple jerseys and the defense will wear white.
At halftime, the No. 1 offense and defense will change into white uniforms and the No. 2 offense and defense will wear purple jerseys for the second half. The second half will have the No. 1 offense and defense facing the No. 2 offense and defense.
Coach Miles’ Take
“We’ve had a very productive spring up to this point. We have improved every area of our football team this spring. I like the direction that we are heading and what we’ve been able to accomplish through the first 14 practices.
“We are going to use the first half as an opportunity to go good-on-good (1s vs. 1s and 2s vs. 2s) for a set number of plays. In the second half, we will use a running clock and let the 1s take snaps against the 2s.”
“I want to see our guys compete. This will be the first time for some of them in Tiger Stadium in game-like conditions. It’s going to be a great afternoon of football.”
The LSU offense will be led by junior running back Leonard Fournette along with quarterback Brandon Harris and wide receiver Malachi Dupre. Fournette, an expected Heisman Trophy front-runner heading into 2016, will split reps with the No. 1 offense with sophomore Derrius Guice. Purdue transfer Danny Etling, who sat out the 2015 season, will also get snaps with the No. 1 offense during the spring game. The Tiger offense will be without linemen and returning starters Ethan Pocic and Will Clapp, who are both recovering from injuries.
Keep an eye on returning starter Maea Teuhema, who has shifted from left guard to the left tackle spot this spring. Other linemen expected to see action with the No. 1 offense include left guard Garrett Brumfield, center Andy Dodd, right guard Josh Boutte, and right tackle K.J. Malone.
Newcomers to watch in the passing game are a pair of early-enrollee freshmen in Dee Anderson and Stephen Sullivan along with returning letterwinners D.J. Chark and Tyron Johnson, both of which have made tremendous strides this spring.
LSU’s first-year defensive coordinator Dave Aranda and the new 3-4 defensive scheme will be on display in Tiger Stadium for the first time. LSU’s new scheme has junior Devon Godchaux lining up a noseguard and Lewis Neal and Christian LaCouture playing defensive end positions. The new alignment also allows for last year’s defensive ends Arden Key and Tashawn Bower to play standing up at what’s technically an outside linebacker spot. Seniors Kendell Beckwith and Duke Riley will serve as inside linebackers for the No. 1 defense, while rookie Savion Smith and Tre’Davious White will play the corners and Jamal Adams and Rickey Jefferson will handle the safety positions.
Other keys players to keep an eye on during the spring game include a pair of rookie linebackers and early-enrollees in Devin White and Michael Divinity Jr.
The Special Teams
LSU will go through all phases of special teams play on Saturday, however it will not be “live” action. LSU will open the game with a kickoff and will punt and kick field goals during the spring game. LSU returns starting placekicker Trent Domingue as well as kickoff specialist Cameron Gamble from a year ago. Josh Growden will be looking to step in for the departed Jamie Keehn at punter. The Tigers will also have a new long snapper in Blake Ferguson, younger brother of four-year starter at that position Reid Ferguson.
After Saturday, the Tigers will turn their attention to their offseason workout program in preparation for the 2016 season-opener against Wisconsin in historic Lambeau Field in Green Bay.
POPULAR FORMER LSU STAR, SAINTS PLAYER/RADIO ANALYST HOKIE GAJAN PASSES AWAY
South Louisiana born and bred football star and popular radio analyst for his New Orleans Saints, Hokie Gajan, passed away late Monday night at the age of 56.
The former LSU tailback who played at LSU from 1977-80, had been battling cancer since being diagnosed with a rare form of the disease last fall that would eventually take his life.
“We are deeply saddened by the death Hokie Gajan, a man who represented all that was good about Louisiana,” said LSU Vice-Chancellor/Director of Athletics Joe Alleva. From his days as a player at LSU and then as a member of the Saints organization for many years, Hokie was a true professional who was always a loyal and dedicated LSU Tiger. We are going to miss hearing him on the radio for the Saints broadcasts during the fall. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, children and the entire Gajan family.”
Gajan, known officially as Howard Lee Gajan but known to everyone as “Hokie” from an early age. According to a NOLA.com article, Gajan acquired the nickname after hitting his forehead while spinning around to the “Hokie Pokie” as a 2-year-old. The doctor who stitched him up game him the nickname.
Born in Baton Rouge, Gajan was 6-1 and 198 pounds when he arrived on the LSU campus in the fall of 1977 to play for Coach Charles McClendon. He came to LSU after an outstanding career at Baker High where he gained 1,404 yards in his last two seasons, averaging 6.5 yards per game. Some of his highlight prep games were 205 yards against Baton Rouge Lee High, 200 against East Jefferson and 191 yards against Scotlandville.
He was named All-District, All-Area, All-Parish and MVP in East Baton Rouge Parish under Coach J. C. Stewart.
Gajan said in a 2013 interview it was a no-brainer he would go to LSU, just a few miles from his house.
“Nobody could have pulled me away from LSU,” he said. “If Bear Bryant would have come and talked to me it wouldn’t have made no difference whatsoever.”
Gajan backed up All-America Charles Alexander his first two years at LSU but served on special teams returning 23 punts and kickoffs, including a 56-yard return against Mississippi State.
His sophomore season (1978) he averaged 55.5 yards per game which ranked him ninth in the Southeastern Conference. His 611 rushing yards was highlighted by 121 yards on 21 carries. His 412 yards worth of kickoff returns for a 25.7 average ranked him third in the SEC, including a 99-yard TD kickoff return against Wyoming.
As a junior in 1979 (McClendon’s last season as head coach), he again ranked ninth in the SEC in rushing with 568 yards on 134 carries with four touchdowns. The 1980 LSU media guide going into his senior season referred to him as a “rugged individual who displays exceptional desire when he is on the field.”
Jerry Stovall (after the tragic death of Bo Rein) coached the Tigers in Gajan’s last season (1980) and he finished his career with 1,536 career rushing yards and three bowl appearances.
The Saints would draft him in the 10th round of the 1981 NFL Draft and the Louisiana native would continue his career in his home state and make a lasting legacy for himself. He impressed first Coach Bum Phillips and later Jim Mora as he persevered through four seasons rushing for just under 1,400 yards and scoring 11 touchdowns.
Injuries cut short his career and led to an offer by GM Jim Finks to become a scout in the organization. He did that for 14 years before moving into the radio booth with Jim Henderson to form one of the most beloved broadcast pairings in the NFL.
In a 2004 Times-Picayune article Gajan referred to Henderson as “the lead singer. I’m just the doo-wop guy.”
Gajan lived in Mandeville for the last 35 years. He is survived by his wife Judy and daughters Jennifer, Kristin, Megan and Alexis. Funeral arrangements are pending.
BATON ROUGE – LSU’s first meeting against Missouri in Tiger Stadium will also be the Homecoming contest for the Tigers in 2016, the school announced on Tuesday.
LSU’s Homecoming contest against Missouri will take place on Saturday, Oct. 1, in Tiger Stadium. It will be just the second meeting between the schools in football. Other Homecoming week activities will be released at a later date.
LSU also announced that the Mississippi State contest on Saturday, Sept. 17, will be the Gold Game and that the Southern Miss contest on Saturday, Oct. 15, will serve as the Alumni Band Reunion.
LSU Salutes will take place the week of the Alabama game on Saturday, Nov. 5, while the Tigers close out the home schedule with Senior Day on Saturday, Nov. 19, against South Alabama.
Fans can get an early look at the 2016 LSU football team on Saturday, April 16 when the National L Club Spring Game presented by Tony Chachere’s takes place in Tiger Stadium. Kickoff for the game is set for 3 p.m. CT and admission to the game is free of charge.
LSU opens is 12th season under Les Miles on Sept. 3 when the Tigers travel to historic Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, to face the Wisconsin Badgers.
LSU PLAYERS PUT ON IMPRESSIVE SHOWING AT PRO TIMING DAY
BATON ROUGE – Linebacker Deion Jones rans a blistering 4.38 40-yard dash and safety Jalen Mills followed with a 4.48 to highlight an impressive showing by LSU players here Monday at the school’s annual Pro Timing Day.
Over 100 NFL scouts and assistant coaches were on hand to watch as nine members of the 2015 team along with three former Tigers – fullback Connor Neighbors, center Elliott Porter and tight end Jake Franklin – went through a series of physical tests and drills.
“This is always a great day for our program,” LSU coach Les Miles said. “You are proud of these guys knowing that they have worked so hard to get to this point in their career. It’s so much fun to watch them have success on a day like today and getting that much closer to their dream of playing in the NFL.
“This is a great group of young men. They are terrific football players but more important is that they are quality people who will always be great ambassadors for LSU and our program.”
Linebacker Lamar Louis, who is projected as a safety at the next level, was clocked at 4.53 and 4.60 in the 40-yard dash and then led all players who took part in the 225-pound bench press with 26 reps. Long snapper Reid Ferguson ran a 5.05 40-yard dash and then ripped off 15 reps in the bench press.
Offensive lineman Vadal Alexander took part in drills with his position group but didn’t do any of the testing as he stood with his numbers of 5.57 in the 40-yard dash and 25 reps in the bench press at the NFL Combine a month ago.
“It’s kind of what I expected,” Alexander said of Pro Timing Day. “What they’re trying to do is to try and see you do certain things. (They want to see) how you do certain blocks for the run and pass. They put you through the gauntlet and see how you react.”
Alexander, who returned to LSU for his senior year in 2015, said he felt like coming back to school benefited him.
“I thought it paid off great,” Alexander said. “I think I’m 10 times better than I was last year. I feel great, and I thought I had a good day.”
LSU’s other offensive lineman Jerald Hawkins was satisfied with his numbers from the NFL Combine (5.23 40-yard dash, 23 reps in bench press) and like Alexander, took part in drills with the scouts.
“I think I did pretty great today,” Hawkins said. “I felt smooth and felt at home and comfortable with everything I did.
“I honestly just felt more comfortable (today as opposed to the NFL Combine). At Indianapolis, all you hear are the lights and cameras clicking around. All the coaches are in the stands. Over here, it just feels calmer (kind of) like I did it before. I just felt at home.”
The following are quotes from some of LSU’s Pro Timing Day participants:
Defensive back Jalen Mills
On today vs. the combine …
“Just really being able to get a lot more rest and get my legs underneath me. At the combine it’s a long drawn out experience, one that I did enjoy though. It’s a lot of meetings, a lot of physicals, and it’s both mental and physical. So for me, being able to get a lot of rest a
nd just really get my legs fresh underneath me.”
On improving his draft stock …
“For sure. I know today, I think I ran a medium 4.4 from what I was told, medium 4.4 to lo
w 4.4. In my drills I felt pretty explosive. A lot of the NFL coaches told me I looked phenomenal so that’s a big deal and something I’ve been really looking forward to.”
On talking to the Saints …
“They were the ones that were actually running the drills, so they got to see me one on one, kind of in my face. They said I looked great. They said my breaks were explosive and that I showed quickness and that I showed ball skills as well.”
On training for today vs. training for football …
“For me, it’s all football. These are the types of things that you do training in the summer time, working on your weaknesses and improving on your strengths as well. It’s all football, and it goes all in one. Whether I’m playing receiver on one-on-one coverage or we are going in the zone, it all correlates.”
On coming back …
“I got closer to my degree, closer with the coaching staff, my teammates and just as a whole. I feel like that decision for me to come back helped me tremendously.”
Linebacker/Safety Lamar Louis
On today’s performance…
“I talked to a few scouts and the top things were my forty, my bench and just my change of direction and speed. I think that I accomplished that today, proving that I have those qualities.”
On playing other positions …
“I’m embracing anything teams would like me to play. I think I’m an aggressive, tall player and with me being in the position that I am, starting off with low rounds to a priority free agent, I’m open to everything. I almost worked out at running back today. The Seahawks actually wanted to see me as a running back, and then he said he’d see my ball skills during my linebacker drills so I think I did real good with that too. I’ll probably be working out at running back too later on down the road.”
On showing off for the first time …
“Basically, you’ve got one shot to be perfect. A lot of those guys got to really feel the tempo, understand the setting with cameras, but the guys like me it’s one shot. You’ve really got to be paying attention to detail. It gets difficult sometimes. I had a little bit of difficulties today with cramping, but I had a chance to overcome it and I’m thankful for that. Just having that mindset that you have one shot to be perfect and that’s something that (LSU special teams) Coach (Bradley Dale) Peveto likes to say a lot with special teams.”
On his reps …
“That’s something, going in, that I knew I had to do with being a smaller guy, is hit a lot on the bench press. I’ve been going on up every week. The most I’ve hit before today was 25, so I got 26 and I thought I could keep going but I hit a wall. I’m really grateful for that number.”
On training for this vs. football …
“A lot of this is memorizing steps. You know, both consist of paying attention to detail, but I guess you can freelance a little more with just playing football and being a football player. With this, you really are shooting to be as perfect as possible, putting your foot in the right places. Going over the 40 starts hundreds of times before you actually run the 40. I think the fastest people really don’t run the fastest 40. The people who really pay attention to detail and who really run against the clock instead of trying to be fast really run the best 40. I think the biggest thing is just really paying attention to detail and just repetition. It’s memorizing what you did yesterday to do today and keep on doing the same thing.”
Linebacker Deion Jones
On his 40-yard dash …
“I was just shooting for 4.4 because that’s what was on my mind. I needed that and I didn’t get it at the combine, so it was personal. I just gave it my all and when I heard all my homeboys’ reactions, I looked at it and was like wow I didn’t expect that.”
On taking off so much time since the combine …
“I just locked in. I knew I was faster than that. I clocked faster and I guess that kind of psyched me out when I went to the combine. It was different. It was quiet.”
On the past few months …
“I’m just enjoying it. I’m trying to find positives in all of it. The training was rigorous the first couple of weeks of getting up early and getting used to how combines are going to be. It is a lot of adversity being up there all day, working out and running and speed and all that. It gave me a whole different focus you know.”
On staying all four years …
“I learned from Coach Chavis and Coach Steele and Kwon (Alexander). I pretty much fell in love with this place. I couldn’t leave it. I had too many friends. I’m not the type of person to just give up. I’m going to make a way out of it.”
On if others could benefit from staying …
“It’s really a big test of patience. I had to wait my turn. You can’t sit on the sideline and pout. You have to find your place on the team and do whatever the team needs you to do. That’s just the type of person I am. I’ll play anywhere. When I got my chance and when I got in on defense, I knew I had to do what I’ve got to do to back up the guys who depended on me also.”
Danny Etling, a Pro Style quarterback and a strong arm, ready to compete with LSU 1st string qb Brandon Harris. There is already a quarterback controversy or competing for the LSU starting job, because Anthony Jennings is in the process of transferring who used to be the 2nd string qb for LSU. Now after transferring from Purdue and sitting out for a year Etling is gearing up for the Spring Game and making a statement.as the Spring Season approaches. This could be the year for LSU to make a run for the National Tiitle with all the pieces in place. LSU has Fournette coming back for his junior year and LSU has 9 offensive starters coming back and most of the defense, so they look really strong. Critics are already saying Alabama will finished 3rd, LSU is already predicted to win the SEC West, something they have not been pick to do since 2007.