LSU Tigers: Texas A&M Aggies

ESPN Junior 300 DT Mack names top 4 

October, 6, 2013
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ESPN Junior 300 defensive tackle Daylon Mack (Gladewater, Texas/Gladewater) has a new top four.

LSU coach Les Miles doesn't have a problem playing eight SEC opponents every season.

Miles also realizes the Tigers could play nine SEC games in the very near future.

Miles just doesn't think it's fair that LSU has to play Florida every season, while other teams in the SEC West don't.

[+] EnlargeLes Miles
Derick E. Hingle/US PresswireUnder the current SEC scheduling format, Les Miles and LSU play Florida every season.
As SEC presidents, athletics directors and coaches convene this week for the league's annual spring meetings in Destin, Fla., long-term scheduling has become the hot-button issue.

The league is expected to vote whether to change its current 6-1-1 format, in which teams play each opponent from their respective division, along with one rotating foe and one permanent opponent from the opposite division. SEC officials could vote this week to add a ninth conference game or at least eliminate permanent crossover opponents.

The SEC adopted its current scheduling format to ensure that longstanding rivalries like Alabama-Tennessee and Georgia-Auburn would survive expansion.

By drawing the Gators as a permanent crossover opponent, Miles believes the Tigers drew the short end of the stick.

Miles won't complain about the scheduling format publicly, but he knows LSU is at a disadvantage.

And Miles is probably right.

"When they give us our schedule, I'm looking forward to having a great competition," Miles said.

Since 2000, LSU has played Florida and Georgia -- two of the SEC East's best programs -- a total of 17 times. Auburn is the only SEC West team which has faced those teams more often, playing them 19 times. Arkansas, Mississippi State and Ole Miss have faced them a total of 10 times each, while Alabama has played them only eight times.

While it's not fair that LSU has faced the Bulldogs and Gators nearly twice as often as Alabama has played them since 2000, Miles' argument might fall on deaf ears. Auburn and Georgia aren't going to surrender the longtime series -- the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry has been played 116 times since 1892. Likewise, Alabama and Tennessee have played 95 times since 1901, a game so revered it's named for its traditional place on the calendar, the Third Saturday in October.

And Ole Miss would probably rather play Vanderbilt every season instead of Florida, Georgia or South Carolina, and Mississippi State isn't going pass up a chance to play Kentucky every year.

"There's never going to be a fair way," said Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, whose Aggies drew Missouri as a permanent crossover opponent. "If you look back seven or eight years ago, you would have said the SEC East was the strongest division. You can't say what's fair, because things change in this league. You can't look at tradition. Ten years ago, you might have wanted to play South Carolina. Now you don't want anything to do with them. You don't know what Tennessee is going to do with a new coach. I know Butch Jones is going to do a great job."

Florida-LSU has become one of the league's most anticipated games every season. They've been two of the league's most dominant teams over the past decade. They've combined to appear in seven SEC championship games since 2003, and they've combined to play in nine BCS bowl games, including five BCS national championship games. In their past 10 meetings, LSU and Florida were both ranked in the top 25 of the coaches' poll nine times. Conversely, Alabama and Tennessee were both ranked only once in their past 10 meetings.

The loser of the Florida-LSU regular-season game has paid dearly over the past 10 seasons. LSU's 23-10 loss at Florida in 2006 knocked the Tigers out of the SEC championship game (the Gators defeated Arkansas 38-28 and then blasted Ohio State 41-14 to win the BCS title). Last year, LSU's 14-6 loss at Florida probably cost it a spot in the AT&T Cotton Bowl, if not another trip to a BCS bowl game.

Florida's losses to LSU in 2002, '05 and '07 kept them out of the SEC championship game and potentially BCS bowl games.
Get ESPN 150 safety Jamal Adams (Lewisville, Texas/Hebron) in any competitive environment and you’ll begin to understand very quickly why he’s so coveted.

Take for example the Dallas Nike Football Training Camp in Allen, Texas, on April 7 when he set the tone in 1-on-1 drills by shoving a wide receiver three yards behind the line of scrimmage at the snap of the ball.

Adams, the No. 23 player overall and No. 3 safety, isn’t naming any favorites. But we caught up with him to get a sense for where he stands with a few of the programs generally thought to be in the mix.


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DBs from SEC blanket combine

February, 22, 2013
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Several of RecruitingNation's SEC sites took a look this week at the players headed to the NFL combine, which begins today in Indianapolis, and other predraft camps. Click here to read the entire predraft series. Today: Defensive backs and special teams.

LSU Tigers


The obvious acronym for Louisiana State University is "LSU." But to many, the Baton Rouge school gets the title "DBU" for its mass production of NFL defensive backs, from cornerbacks like Patrick Peterson and Morris Claiborne to safeties like LaRon Landry. This draft will do nothing to harm that reputation. Three LSU defensive backs -- including the booted-from-the-team Tyrann Mathieu -- were invited to the NFL combine this week, a year after three (Claiborne, Ron Brooks and Brandon Taylor) were taken in the draft.

(Read full post)

No. 1 sophomore Stone talks offer list 

January, 11, 2013
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MILWAUKEE -- Sophomore center Diamond Stone (Milwaukee/Dominican), the No. 1-ranked prospect in the ESPN 25, and his father, Bob, sat down Thursday evening to discuss how Stone's game is progressing and where they are in the recruiting process.

Not surprisingly for the top player nationally in his class, Stone has an elite offer list a mile long but has a plan and is executing it to perfection.

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2014 WR Tony Upchurch a playmaker 

December, 5, 2012
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HOUSTON -- Pearland (Texas) Dawson receiver Tony Upchurch enjoyed a productive 2012 season. And he has some top programs, such as LSU, Texas A&M and Texas keeping a close eye on him.

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Sam Khan Jr./ESPN.comTony Upchurch hasn't played much football, but some top schools like him.
Playing myriad roles for Dawson, the No. 1 Class 4A team in the state that saw its season cut short early with a 22-19 loss to Nederland (Texas) High School in the third round of the Texas state playoffs, Upchurch was a true weapon as a junior for the Eagles.

In addition to the receiver spot, where he recorded 1,006 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns on 46 receptions, Upchurch lined up in the backfield as a running back and returned kickoffs for Dawson.

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Ricky Seals-Jones sets Texas A&M official 

December, 3, 2012
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ESPN 150 athlete Ricky Seals-Jones took the months of October and November to take unofficial visits to LSU and Texas A&M, but last week, the schools came to him as the in-home visit period began.

First was LSU special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey on Nov. 26, then Texas A&M recruiting coordinator and running backs coach Clarence McKinney followed three days later in making the trip to Sealy, Texas.

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Max Olson/ESPN.comTop athlete Ricky Seals-Jones will take official visits to Texas A&M and LSU before deciding.
Both visits went well, according to Seals-Jones, and were similar.

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TAMU, LSU visit ESPN 150 Seals-Jones 

November, 29, 2012
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The two-way battle between LSU and Texas A&M for ESPN 150 athlete Ricky Seals-Jones continues.

The Sealy (Texas) High School prospect, who is ranked No. 1 in the nation among athletes, hosted LSU special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey for an in-home visit on Monday, Seals-Jones' father Chester Jones confirmed.

McGaughey has been recruiting Seals-Jones for the Tigers. His visit came just two days after Seals-Jones took an unofficial visit to College Station, Texas, to see Missouri take on Texas A&M at Kyle Field.

According to Jones, Texas A&M recruiting coordinator and running backs coach Clarence McKinney is in Sealy today to meet with Seals-Jones, as well. McKinney will have an in-home visit with Seals-Jones tonight. McKinney has been recruiting Seals-Jones for the Aggies.

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Ricky Seals-Jones planning official visits 

November, 19, 2012
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SEALY, Texas -- Ricky Seals-Jones never thought the last time he'd walk off the gridiron as a high school football player would be this soon.

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Max Olson/ESPN.comRicky Seals-Jones will travel to Texas A&M this weekend to see the Aggies take on Missouri.
Seals-Jones and his Sealy (Texas) High School teammates had high hopes for the 2012 season, visions of a state championship for a program known for them, having won four before.

Injuries marred Seals-Jones' and the Tigers' season and things didn't go as they planned, as the Tigers missed the postseason after dropping their regular season finale to rival Bellville (Texas) High School on Nov. 9. But on Monday morning he got quite the pick-me-up, as he was given his U.S. Army All-American Bowl jersey during a ceremony at his high school.

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2014 S John Bonney talks LSU offer 

November, 16, 2012
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Before this season, Houston Lamar safety John Bonney already possessed an offer from his father's alma mater, Houston. This week, the 2014 prospect received one from his mother's, LSU.

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AP Photo/Bill Haber2014 safety John Bonney enjoyed his visit to LSU for the Alabama game.
The six-foot, 175-pound rising star got the news of the LSU offer on Thursday from his head coach at Lamar, Tom Nolen. It was met with excitement from Bonney, who came into the season with offers from Baylor, Houston and SMU.

"I was kind of surprised at first," Bonney said. "I didn't expect anything coming but it was pretty good and I was happy. It's great."

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Ricky Seals-Jones returns with new gloves 

October, 27, 2012
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SEALY, Texas -- For a little more than a quarter, Sealy (Texas) High School receiver Ricky Seals-Jones was himself again, making big plays and taking over a football game.

After seven weeks on the sideline, the result of a dislocated kneecap suffered on Sept. 6, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound ESPN 150 receiver showed no ill effects of the knee injury that kept him out of action. He showed the trademark explosiveness on Friday night that has made him one of the nation's most coveted prospects while catching a touchdown pass and returning an interception for another score.

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The return: Ricky Seals-Jones is back 

October, 26, 2012
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SEALY, Texas -- For the most part, Ricky Seals-Jones looks much like the same young man he was roughly seven weeks ago. He runs the same, cuts the same, still has the same speed and athleticism.

But there is one small piece of evidence on the Sealy (Texas) High School receiver that gives away the change in his life over that span of time. It's the brace that resides on his left knee.

[+] EnlargeRicky Seals-Jones
Sam Khan Jr./ESPN.comRicky Seals-Jones, the top prospect in Texas, is No. 10 overall in the ESPN 150.
Seals-Jones, the nation's No. 1 receiver and No. 10 player in the ESPN 150, is fully recovered from the dislocated kneecap he suffered on Sept. 6 in a game vs. Houston St. Pius X, but the brace is a doctor's order. He wears one for practices and games and a different one the rest of the day when he's walking around. All day, every day, the brace is with him. Sometimes, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound young man gets weary of wearing it and slips it off.

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ROSENBERG, Texas -- ESPN 150 tight end Derrick Griffin wasn't too busy on Thursday night as he and his Rosenberg (Texas) Terry teammates cruised to a 30-0 win over Bay City (Texas) High School. Griffin, who caught three passes, made them count, as two of them were for touchdowns.

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Sam Khan Jr./ESPN.comTexas A&M commit Derrick Griffin, the top 2013 TE prospect, said he's still looking at other schools.
Lining up at receiver for the Rangers, Griffin works hard to stay focused and stay involved for his team, which operates in a run-heavy offense and was playing its third-string quarterback Thursday because of injuries to the first two sustained early in the season.

But when his time comes, Griffin is ready to deliver.

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LSU-A&M has meaning in recruiting, too 

October, 18, 2012
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M's clash with LSU on Saturday at Kyle Field is important for several reasons.

When the No. 6 Tigers come to town, it won't just be the SEC standings that are affected. Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin also believes the game carries heft in the recruiting world.

[+] EnlargeKevin Sumlin
Cal Sport Media via AP ImagesKevin Sumlin and Texas A&M go head-to-head with LSU on many recruiting battles.
"It's important for both teams [from a recruiting standpoint]," Sumlin said. "LSU's over here [in Texas] pretty heavy too. I think us moving to the SEC really helps us because of our effort to expand our footprint east. Because of the proximity to Louisiana and the two schools, obviously there's going to be some guys that both of us are extremely interested in."

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Q&A: ESPN 150 DT Justin Manning 

October, 17, 2012
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The recruiting process has been busy for Dallas Kimball defensive tackle Justin Manning this fall. The 6-foot-2, 275-pound four-star prospect has taken three official visits (to Oklahoma, TCU and Texas A&M) and still plans to visit LSU. The ESPN 150 member originally set an Oct. 19 date for his decision but said earlier this week that he is pushing it back as he continues to think about his college future.

GigEmNation caught up with Manning, one of Texas A&M's top remaining targets in the 2013 class. Manning has a top five that includes LSU, Oklahoma, TCU, Texas A&M and USC. He plans to attend Texas A&M's game against LSU on Saturday.


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