LSU Tigers: Florida football

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.

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SEC's DLs, LBs strong at combine

February, 21, 2013
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Several of RecruitingNation's SEC sites will look this week at the players headed to the NFL combine, which begins Friday in Indianapolis, and other predraft camps. Today: Defensive linemen and linebackers.

LSU Tigers


If there's any doubt where LSU will need to replenish its stockpile after the 2012 season, watch the NFL combine. LSU has four defensive linemen scheduled to attend, including at least two who are likely to go in the first round. Add linebacker Kevin Minter and the Tigers will have five players from their front seven at the combine. LSU might have the "DBU" reputation, but perhaps it should be more noted for its defensive line production.

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OLs from SEC can thrive at combine

February, 20, 2013
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Several of RecruitingNation's SEC sites will look this week at the players headed to the NFL combine, which begins Friday in Indianapolis, and other predraft camps. Today: Offensive linemen.


LSU Tigers



The biggest question mark among the 13 players LSU has headed to the combine is left tackle Chris Faulk who, despite missing all but the season opener with a torn ACL, opted to forgo his senior season at LSU and try for the NFL. He's one of two offensive linemen the Tigers have attending the NFL combine, along with center P.J. Lonergan.

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SEC sends several RBs to NFL combine

February, 19, 2013
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Several of RecruitingNation's SEC sites will look this week at the players headed to the NFL combine, which begins Friday in Indianapolis. Today: Quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers.

LSU Tigers


Perhaps it says something about LSU's offense in 2012 that among a record 13 players invited to the NFL combine from the Tigers, only two are offensive skill players who are generally considered, at this point, marginal talents. Running backs Spencer Ware and Michael Ford are the only skill players invited to Indianapolis, which is understandable when one considers LSU was 10th in the SEC in total offense. It's also a sign of youth. Quarterback Zach Mettenberger, fullback J.C. Copeland, running back Jeremy Hill and all of LSU's primary threats at wide receiver will return in 2013.

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Despite being one of the top programs in the nation, LSU still has some work to do to land one of the top junior prospects in the south.

Coaches from LSU visited Todd Kelly Jr. this week. However, the Watch List prospect from Knoxville (Tenn.) Webb said he's primarily focusing on his top ten finalists.


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2014 DE Brown taking it slow 

January, 4, 2013
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- 2014 defensive end Keyon Brown (Wauchula, Fla./Hardee) had a blistering pace to his process going when four offers flew in from Louisiana-Lafayette, Miami, Pittsburgh and UCF.

Things now have been a little more manageable. Brown says he's still talking to teams the same, but it is at a slower rate.

"Right now, I am not really decided or anything like that," he said. "I probably won't decide until next year where I am going. The recruiting process started off crazy. It has kind of slowed down, it is steady, but it isn't as crazy as it was."

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Ole Miss leads for Robert Nkemdiche 

January, 2, 2013
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. –- On Day 3 of practice for the Under Armour All-America Game at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports, No. 1 prospect Robert Nkemdiche (Loganville, Ga./Grayson) finally confirmed what has been speculated around the recruiting world for months.


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Haney: If there were a 2012 playoff ...

November, 15, 2012
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The seeds would be Oregon, Kansas State, Notre Dame, Alabama, Georgia, Texas A&M, Florida and LSU. But how would it play out? ESPN Insider Travis Haney lines it up, gets some help from the oddsmakers, and picks his champion.

Read the story here. Insider

2014 LB Daub decommits from LSU 

November, 6, 2012
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Linebacker Kain Daub (Jacksonville, Fla./Sandalwood) is no longer a commitment for LSU's 2014 class, his mother confirmed Tuesday.

"We were kind of talking about, did he commit too early?" said Jeannie Daub. "It's not that he doesn't want to go to LSU. I think it's more that he wants to go to some camps, and he wants to go on some visits. There's some other schools that he wants to visit that he'd probably never get a chance to go visit otherwise."

Daub's reversal is the latest blurb in a long line of recruiting news for the Tigers this week -- though this is the first instance of bad news for LSU. The ESPN Watch List member projects to be one of the top players in the state of Florida next season, and he'll likely be one of the best defenders in the nation.

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On The Mark: BCS title contenders

October, 8, 2012
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The initial BCS standings come out next week, so there's a little time for teams to make up some ground that they might have lost. Mark Schlabach breaks down a handful of title contenders, including Alabama, Oregon, Florida, LSU and USC.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- When Kevin Minter left LSU's 14-6 loss to Florida with cramps in the third quarter, LSU was leading 6-0 and had stymied Florida's offense all day.

When he came trotting out of the locker room and into the game some 20 minutes later, the Tigers were behind 7-6 and Florida was driving again.

That's the kind of impact LSU's junior middle linebacker had on the game.
[+] EnlargeKevin Minter
Kim Klement/US PresswireLinebacker Kevin Minter led the Tigers with 20 tackles against Florida.

His 20-tackle day was the second best effort in LSU history, one tackle short of Al Richardson's school record set in 1982. What further illustrates Minter's contribution, though, is what happened when he left the game. Seams that Florida started to find with a misdirection running game -- Minter would often close the gaps in a heartbeat and turned promising plays into minimal gains -- turned into gaping holes. A Gators running game that had struggled to find ways to piece together a couple of good plays was, all of a sudden, gashing the LSU defensive front.

"He showed up with a tremendous game to help us try to take a win," defensive end Barkevious Mingo said. "But it takes a team effort. The team should've rallied around that and got him off the field."

He did get off the field, but not in the way he wanted. With LSU's offense going three-and-out on six straight possessions, Minter, like many of his defensive teammates, wore down and Florida's running game was ready to take advantage. It forced Minter to the locker room for intravenous fluids to solve a cramping issue in both legs on a hot, muggy day.

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BATON ROUGE, La. -- The tough part of beating an elite program like Florida by 30 points, which LSU did a year ago, comes the next time you meet.

LSU's 41-11 win last year at Tiger Stadium, a game most remembered for Tiger punter Brad Wing's fake punt run for a touchdown that was called back because he was flagged for taunting on his way to the end zone, was the most lopsided LSU win in the history of the series.

[+] EnlargeBrad Wing
Derick E. Hingle/US PresswireLast season, LSU punter Brad Wing (38) scored on a fake punt that caught Florida's defense napping. But it was called back because of a taunting penalty on Wing.
It was that kind of day for the Gators -- so bad, so one-sided, that even the LSU punter was having fun and their expense.

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BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU so physically dominated Florida last season in a 41-11 romp at Tiger Stadium, it might be hard to image this: Offensively, the 2012 Gators will be one of the more physical offenses the Tigers play all season.

Led by the SEC's second-best rusher in Mike Gillislee (402 yards on 69 carries), the 10th-ranked Gators run the ball more (44.5 times a game) and throw fewer passes (21.3 a game) than any other team in the SEC. And they do it well, as a 4-0 start and 30.5 points per game against a relatively competitive early schedule would attest.

The emergence of quarterback Jeff Driskel has indeed been a nice story for Florida. But make no mistake: The Gators are a running team.

So it's a steady dose of Gillislee and the more physical run game for which LSU's defense must prepare when the Tigers visit the Gators on Saturday at The Swamp. Forget the spread and high-powered passing attacks of years past. This season, Florida comes right at you.

"They look more downhill this year," LSU linebacker Luke Muncie said. "I wouldn't say more physical, but more downhill-style running."

Downhill is how things went for Florida almost from the opening kickoff last season against LSU. A young Gators team was outgained by more than a 2-1 margin in Baton Rouge, en route to an un-Florida-like 7-6 season in Will Muschamp's first year as coach.

"We faced some good athletes," Florida center Jon Harrison said. "We didn't come out there completely locked in."

This season, Muschamp's second, a more mature Florida team has looked quite dialed in.

The Gators have averaged 224.5 yards rushing a game, third best in the SEC. What's deceptive about it is while some SEC teams -- LSU included -- have played the bulk of their nonconference "gimme" games early, Florida has played three of its first four games against SEC opponents. While Florida's rushing stats trail LSU's (229 yards per game), the Gators' numbers have been compiled against Texas A&M, Tennessee and Kentucky while LSU has played a relatively light nonconference schedule.

"We know they are better [than last year]," LSU cornerback Tharold Simon said. "We see it on film."

Before the second half of last week's 38-22 win over Towson, facing a physical running game might not have seemed like a big concern for LSU. But Towson, led by one of the FCS's best running backs in Terrance West, gashed the LSU defense in two touchdown drives in which the Tigers missed tackles and gave up 69 rushing yards on 12 carries on Towson's last two possessions.

"That was uncharacteristic," LSU linebacker Kevin Minter said. "Usually, we finish games."

On paper, LSU's defense should be built to defend a team that runs like Florida or, for that matter, Towson's often straightforward attack. The fourth quarter of the Towson game aside, the Tigers have been outstanding against the run, third best in the SEC at 83 yards a game. One might think of the pass rush of Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery when thinking of the Tigers' front four, but really, it's built just as well to handle the run.

In its first SEC game, a 12-10 win at Auburn, LSU saw Auburn choose to go with a misdirection running game toward the edges to avoid running right at the talented middle of LSU's defense, where tackles Bennie Logan and Anthony Johnson have dominated the point of attack and where Minter has been emerging as a first-rate middle linebacker.

Even with its remarkable speed, Auburn's misdirection didn't work, for the most part. Montgomery had 3.5 tackles for loss, often the result of staying home on misdirection plays. It's a trend this season. While the 5-0 Tigers have a fair share of quarterback sacks (11), the 41 tackles for loss are more remarkable. Considering that opponents have attempted 155 rushes, 41 tackles for loss means LSU is dumping opponents for loss on more than a quarter of their rush attempts.

The good thing for LSU was that Florida uses some of the same misdirection elements Auburn used. And, when Auburn did have success, it was mostly with a Wildcat look with backup quarterback Jonathan Wallace, a look Florida also uses at times with Trey Burton.

After LSU stymied Auburn's rush attack, the Tigers' rushing defense looked almost impenetrable. It stayed that way until the fourth quarter of the Towson game until an FCS team ran roughshod over LSU on back-to-back possessions.

"Our defense is known for playing the run hard and having that killer instinct," Minter said after the Towson game. "We just didn't today."

Like Florida in Baton Rouge a season ago, LSU wasn't "locked in."

A year more mature and a year better, Florida's run game is focused this season. The question is, will LSU's defense find itself again after an off night against Towson?
Just a week after hosting hundreds of prospects for football camp, Florida State had a top-flight offensive line recruit come in for his own unofficial visit.

The Seminoles' defensive ends coach D.J. Eliot scouted Garrett Brumfield (Baton Rouge, La./University Laboratory) during the spring and liked what he saw. Fast-forward a couple of months and Brumfield picked up the phone and planned a trip to Tallahassee.

"I contacted Coach Eliot and I was able to set up an unofficial visit last Friday," explained the 6-foot-3, 254-pound guard. "So we took a trip down to Florida -- it was about seven hours, actually. When I got there, I was able to meet with all the staff, take a tour of all the facilities, we ended up touring the locker room. Got a chance to watch the highlight tape. It was pretty good. Ended up meeting with Coach [Jimbo] Fisher in the end and he offered me in his office."

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Tahaan Goodman (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga) isn't rushing his recruitment.


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