LSU Tigers: Drake Nevis

BATON ROUGE, La. – At his national signing day press conference, LSU coach Les Miles ran down a list of names on a sheet of paper, rattling off details about each of the Tigers’ signees. But when he got to the new defensive tackle from San Antonio, Miles grinned and had to pause.

“I better call him Trey L. this minute,” Miles chuckled while struggling to pronounce Trey Lealaimatafao's last name. “It will take me several years to get to that. And I want you to know something, he’s a wonderful man and I pray that he’ll be forgiving my inability.”

Miles predicted it would probably take “a couple years” before he clears that verbal obstacle, adding that his struggles will provide reporters with fodder “to throw at me just about any point in time that you need to.”

I can’t make any guarantees, but I’d imagine the kid will cut Miles some slack. Sure, questions and jokes about your name might get annoying from time to time, but you definitely get used to it. Continuing to get angry about it won’t do any good and would only mean you’d walk around in an irritable state most of the time.

Mr. L. seems to share that perspective. Just this week, he tweeted instructions on how to pronounce it for those who understandably need some assistance.



Simple, right?

[+] EnlargeTrey Lealaimatafao
Tom Hauck for Student SportsHis last name isn't the only big thing about Trey Lealaimatafao's (left) game.
Anyway, once he becomes a legit LSU letterman, Lealaimatafao will tie for the longest last name in Tigers football history. I know because I looked it up myself.

These are the things you do when you’re a bored college football writer during the summer months. You get a wild hair and comb through the list of lettermen in the media guide, checking to see if the new signee actually has the longest name among the six pages and hundreds of lettermen listed from more than 120 years of Tigers football.

In case you were wondering -- and I know you were -- Lealaimatafao’s 13-letter last name ties with 1939 letterman W.H. Froechtenicht for the top spot on this important list. They edge former LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger (12 letters), among others, by a single character.

Among some of the notable long names on the list: Ricky Jean-Francois (should hyphenated names count?) and All-SEC honorees Robbie Hucklebridge and Godfrey Zaunbrecher.

Ideally, Lealaimatafao will perform well enough at LSU that he eventually becomes a household name, not one that gives announcers nightmares.

At the very same introductory press conference, Miles compared him to a former Tiger who earned such “household name” distinction among LSU fans a few years back.

“What he would remind you of is Drake Nevis,” said Miles, referring to the Tigers’ former All-SEC defensive lineman. “He’s maybe a little taller, a little wider, maybe a little faster, but he has a very high motor and real acceleration on the field.”

For now, Lealaimatafao’s claim to fame will remain his difficult-to-pronounce last name, but that could change soon enough. If Miles’ comparison holds water, the transition might just occur sooner rather than later.

BATON ROUGE, La. -- When players like Tyrann Mathieu, Anthony Johnson and Odell Beckham star for LSU football teams, you better believe LSU fans don't take it for granted.

All three are from New Orleans, which, as a metropolitan area, has not been the most loyal Louisiana city to the Tigers.

Countdown to signing day: Greg Gilmore 

December, 31, 2012
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To gear up for 2013 national signing day, GeauxTigerNation's Gary Laney will break down every commitment in the Tigers' 2013 recruiting class.

Vitals: DT Greg Gilmore, Hope Mills, N.C./South View, 6-foot-4, 285 pounds

Committed: Nov. 8, 2012

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Tiger Tale: DT Bennie Logan

December, 11, 2012
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- Leading up to the Chick-fil-A Bowl, we'll take a daily look at a key LSU player. We'll examine how he has done and what his challenges are for the Clemson game.

Bennie Logan, DT, Junior

Accomplishments: Stout and with long arms, Logan is an established run stuffer who has some ability to make an impact in the passing games. Fairly active for a 4-3 tackle, Logan had 36 tackles -- five for loss -- broke up three passes and picked up two sacks. He has a knack for getting his hand on footballs, with three passes batted down plus a blocked kick this season. A second-team all-SEC pick, Logan projecs to be a possible first-round draft pick in the 2013 draft.

Shortcomings: For a potential first-round draft pick, Logan isn't dominant as a pass rusher. In fact, when LSU goes to a three-lineman look on passing downs, it's usually Logan who gets subbed out for the extra defensive back. He has hardly put up the classic LSU dominant defensive tackle numbers players such as Glenn Dorsey and Drake Devis up up before him.

Against Clemson: This is a last chance for Logan to make an impression before he likely leaves for the riches of the NFL. That should give Logan plenty of motivation heading into the Chick-fil-A Bowl. A dominant performance in Atlanta can go a long way of improving Logan's draft status, making him a player who could safely fall in the first round. If he has a shaky game, it could send him to the second round.
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Watching a recording of LSU's 12-10 win over Auburn last week to focus on the play of defensive tackle Anthony Johnson can be impressive and frustrating at the same time.

Pick a random play. There's a pretty good chance you'll see him come off the ball faster than the Auburn offensive line could react. Chances are, he'll get in his gap, control it, then pursue the football. Chances are -- and this is the frustrating part -- you'll then notice the play develop to the outside, as far away as Auburn could get from where Johnson was in the middle of the line.

It was the story of his night.

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