Here They Come: Tiger Freshmen Report
BATON ROUGE — LSU head coach Nick Saban and his staff welcomed 31 newcomers to the LSU football team Friday, including 23 scholarship athletes and eight walk-ons. The newcomers participated in a pair of meetings as well as taking physicals before beginning their Tiger careers in newcomer-only two-a-day practices Saturday and Monday.
“We’re obviously very excited about our group of newcomers,” first-year coach Nick Saban said. “We feel like this is a good group of players. The next three weeks will be extremely important to each of these players and the August camp will go a long way in determining if they are going to be able to help us this year.”
LSU’s 23 scholarship newcomers include: Eric Alexander (DB, Port Arthur, Texas), Dorsett Buckels (LB, Amite, La.), Kade Comeaux (OL, Crowley, La.), Erin Damond (WR, Bogalusa, La.), Randall Gay (RB, Brusly, La.), Devery Henderson (RB, Opelousas, La.), Chris Henry (DE, Houston, Texas), Drew Hixon (WR, Kennesaw, Ga.), Jack Hunt (WR, Ruston, La.), Rudy Johnson (DB, Kentwood, La.), Chad Lavalais (DE, Marksville, La.), Daniel Leon (OL, St. Martinville, La.), Donriel Louis (WR, Edgard, La.), Adrian Mayes (DB, Houston, Texas), Travis Moses (DB, Gonzales, La.), Derron Parquet (RB, Metairie, La.), Stephen Peterman (TE, Waveland, Miss.), Marcus Randall (QB, Baton Rouge, La.), Demetri Robinson (TE/DE, Lake City, Fla.), Lionel Turner (LB, Walker, La.), Corey Webster (WR, Gramercy, La.), Bradley West (DT, Gurley, Ala.), Marcus Yanez (LB, Bastrop, La.).
Jarvus Ryes, an LSU signee who was injured in the Louisiana High School All-Star game two weeks ago, is physically unable to participate, but he will enroll in school on August 21.
LSU’s list of eight walk-ons include: Colt Colletti (FB, River Ridge, La.), Jimmy Courtenay (OL, New Orleans, La.), Matt Mauck (QB, Jasper, Ind.), James McLachlan (OL, Kinder, La.), Brandon Nowlin (OL, Baton Rouge, La.), Brian Pare (SNP, Boca Raton, Fla.), Bradley Sowa (OL, Greendale, Wisc.), Chad White (SS, Hammond, La.).
Saban said that Webster is a partial qualifier and can report and practice with the team, but he will not be able to play this season. Saban also said that John Paul Jones is an Southeastern Conference prop qualifier which means he can enroll at LSU this fall but is not eligible to partcipate this season.
Two spring signees, Jarvin Armelin (DB, Sulphus, La.) and Marvin Jones (LB, Hammond, La.), have yet to qualify academically and did not report to campus Friday.
The newcomers will practice for the first time on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. followed by another practice at 3:30 p.m. The freshmen will practice twice again on Monday before LSU welcomes the varsity to campus on Tuesday.
QUOTES FROM LSU COACH NICK SABAN AS FRESHMAN FOOTBALL PLAYERS REPORT
BATON ROUGE — The following is a transcript of the opening statement of LSU Coach Nick Saban late Friday afternoon concerning the freshman football players which reported to the LSU campus earlier in the day:
“Well, you know its obviously an exciting time for us to get into football season. Weve had a lot of players do a lot of work during the summer. To get the freshman class in here today was really exciting for us. Typically, as most freshman classes occur, I dont want to say you have to re-recruit them, but reality sets in for the first time in terms of what their future really will bring. Their maturity and how they handle these next few days and next few weeks of fall camp will determine to a large degree which ones are ready to make some kind of contribution to the football team and which ones wont be able to. In more cases than not, it wont be their athletic ability, it will be their maturity and being able to handle the situation they are in athletically, relative to the competition. It will be the maturity of reacting to the social setting of going to college, being away from home for the first time and having probably more freedom and less responsibility than they are used to in some ways and they are going to have to make an academic adjustment relative to college because people arent going to be as interested in making sure they get every little lesson. They are going to have to take a greater responsibility to do what they are supposed to do. So some guys have the maturity to do that. Some guys dont.
“We are pleased with the group that reported today. We were sorry that Jarvis Ryes was unable to report because of his injury. Hes scheduled for surgery next week. He will start school in August. Anytime a player gets injured and wont be able to participate we always give him the option whether he would rather start school in August or wait until January because he would then still have five to play four from that time. But Jarvis felt he was ready to come to school, he could do a better job rehabbing being here and wanted to get started academically. We felt like that was the best thing for him to do as well.
“We had several guys who were unable to report. John Paul Jones has a very good possibility of being an SEC prop which means that he would be able to come to school, not be on scholarship, not be able to participate….
“We also had several good walkons. Matt Mauck was very impressive with the way he ran today and the way he passed the sprint test because hes been here with the varsity guys and I think that was a real example of maturity.
“I was pleased with the group that we have and where they are. You never have great expectations for the conditioning level of freshmen. I think thats the most difficult thing to do is to get freshmen to do, is to come in in shape because they are used to having their high school coach getting them in shape. If they havent been with us in the summertime, they had for the first time in their life get themselves in shape. Thats not easy to do if you are not used to doing it. The conditioning level is not disappointing, but its not what it needs to be and it is something we are going to have to work on if these guys are going to be able to contribute this year.”