Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Lots of Action Yesterday

There was lots of news yesterday about current LSU players and future LSU players, and those who aren't future LSU players. As predicted earlier this year, Alley Broussard decided to leave the team. I'm not going to get into conjecture about why he decided to leave the team. The official story is that he wants to focus on his degree, which he should get in December. I'll accept that and wish Alley the best in his life. He was one of the last links to the 2003 National Championship team, along with Kirston Pittman. A few others, Matt Flynn included, were on the roster at the time but did not play that season. Broussard had an excellent season in 2004, and had a very bright future in front of him before a devastating knee injury changed his life. For whatever reason, he was never able to get back to where he was in 2004.

While Broussard's career is ending, another Tiger's bright career is just beginning, but is already getting a big change. Joseph Barksdale, 2007 recruit out of Michigan, has been moved from defensive tackle to offensive tackle. It's no secret that LSU's depth at offensive tackle is a serious issue, and it's unknown if this move is simply to help with depth for this year, presaging a move back to the defensive side of the ball for next year, or if this move is permanent. Rumors of him moving to offensive line have been swirling since long before Barksdale ever signed, and most people thought either he or Will Blackwell would eventually be moved.

While Broussard has moved on from football and Barksdale has moved around THE football, another of LSU's signees has moved to a new football team. DeAngelo Benton came up short on his goal of qualifying for the team and will attend Hargrave Military Academy next year trying to get qualified for next year. This is the best thing for him and for LSU short of qualifying. Hargrave is a school in Virginia that takes post-graduates from high school and tries to increase their test scores and core grades to get them qualified for college. They also play football at a rather high level (similar to the junior college level) without losing a year of eligibility in college. Benton will go to Hargrave for a year and hope to return to LSU at that time with 5 years to play 4 seasons of football, the same as any incoming freshman. Hargrave military academy counts Keiland Williams and Larry Fitzgerald among its graduates. This option is better than JUCO if a kid can afford it, because you don't lose him for two years and you don't lose any college eligibility.

And last, and honestly probably least at this point, DeAngelo Peterson, a commitment for the class of 2008 has decided to re-open his recruitment. Peterson is a wide receiver prospect out of Desire Street Academy in Baton Rouge. He jumped on an offer from LSU, but has since had second thoughts, seemingly coinciding with increased attention from programs like Florida and Bama. He lists himself as a "soft commitment" right now, and I'm here to tell you that people who are "soft commitments" usually end up elsewhere. Not always, but usually. This is a disappointment, because Peterson is a very good athlete and is certain to have the academics to qualify, a big need among our 2008 receiver class. We have quite a few very good receivers on our radar, however, and LSU will be fine even if we lose Peterson.

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