LSU discussing possibility of kickoff game in Atlanta

LSU discussing possibility of kickoff game in Georgia Dome

Chick-fil-A Bowl President and CEO Gary Stokan said there were two reasons for his visit to Baton Rouge on Wednesday.

The first was to officially extend an invitation to LSU to play in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Dec. 31 inside the Georgia Dome in Atlanta against Clemson (6:30 p.m., ESPN).

The other was to begin preliminary talks with LSU officials about the Tigers taking part in a Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in the future.

LSU has made one appearance in the season-opening classic in Atlanta, beating North Carolina 30-24 in 2010.

Verge Ausberry, LSU senior associate athletic director in charge of football scheduling, said the game “is on our radar, but there have been no deep discussions about it at all.”

Ausberry said there would likely be more talks about the game once LSU gets to Atlanta on Dec. 26.

The earliest LSU could play in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game would be 2015. Alabama will open in the Georgia Dome against Virginia Tech in 2013, followed by a 2014 doubleheader featuring Ole Miss-Boise State and Alabama-West Virginia.

The Tigers will start the 2013 season in the Cowboys Classic in Arlington, Texas, against TCU. LSU also played in Cowboys Stadium in 2011, beating Oregon 40-27.

Ausberry said LSU continues to explore the possibility of playing a game at Houston’s Reliant Stadium, but said there are no definite plans.

Copeland, Logan honored

Pro Football Weekly has released its All-American team, selecting LSU fullback J.C. Copeland and defensive tackle Bennie Logan as first teamers.

The publication, which has only first team and honorable mention selections, also included defensive end Sam Montgomery, linebacker Kevin Minter and free safety Eric Reid, on its honorable mention list.

Used as a bruising short-yardage specialist when he wasn’t blowing open holes for LSU tailbacks, Copeland has 21 carries for 67 yards and four touchdowns, third-most on the team.

Copeland also has three receptions for 54 yards, including a memorable 42-yard catch-and-run against Alabama to set up a touchdown.

Logan is LSU’s leading tackler among defensive linemen, ranking seventh overall with 36 tackles including five for losses with two sacks. He also has a forced fumble and blocked kick to his credit.

LSU begins practice

The Tigers will run through their first of eight pre-bowl on-campus practices Thursday, their first time to hit the field since the Arkansas game Nov. 23.

LSU will practice on campus through Dec. 22. Then, after a three-day Christmas break, they will depart for Atlanta on Dec. 26.

Scholarship donation

Chick-fil-A Vice-President Steve Richardson said at Wednesday’s press conference that the company will donate $1 million in college scholarships this year, including a $100,000 endowed scholarship at LSU in recognition of the school’s participation in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

This is the third time Chick-fil-A has endowed a scholarship at LSU in conjunction with the Tigers’ Chick-fil-A Bowl appearance, Richardson said.