New tiger head logo pops up on helmets at spring game

Did you notice the slight tweak Saturday to LSU’s iconic uniforms?

You had to be up close to see the Tigers helmets and spot the switch, but it was definitely there.

The new tiger head logo, which has been slowly introduced on LSU apparel, made an appearance on the LSU headgear during the spring game in Tiger Stadium.

It had already appeared on the hem of shorts worn by the Tigers basketball teams and on their court at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center this season, but the move Saturday slapped it on a prime and perhaps most visible piece of real estate for LSU athletics.

The Tigers helmet had largely gone unchanged since 1977, when the program moved toward the snarling tiger logo underneath block letters from a purple-backed decal that included both the lettering and tiger head. Before that, LSU simply had numbers on the side of its helmets.

LSU stars join SEC Network

Former LSU All-Americans Anthony “Booger” McFarland and Marcus Spears will be analysts for the soon-to-be launched SEC Network, ESPN announced Saturday.

The former LSU stars were in the press box Saturday and were recognized on the field during the spring game.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity,” said Spears, who prepped at Southern Lab and played his NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys and briefly last season with the Baltimore Ravens. “(Television) is something I’ve always wanted to do.”

McFarland, who starred for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, already has media experience co-hosting a sports talk show in Tampa and providing insight on Sirius/XM’s NFL channel.

“I want to say thanks to ESPN for giving us the opportunity to cover the best football conference in the country,” the Winnsboro native said.

Stephanie Druley, ESPN vice president for college networks, said McFarland and Spears would mostly work in the studio but could be involved in game coverage. They join former Southeastern Conference players Tim Tebow, Jesse Palmer and Greg McElroy as commentators for the network.

The SEC Network is scheduled to launch in August.

Ryans visit

Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, who helped kick off the annual LSU coaches clinic March 27, returned Saturday with his family to take in the spring game.

Ryan, who sported a white LSU windbreaker, was a member of the Oklahoma State coaching staff in 1997 with Les Miles. He said he wanted his son, Matthew, to meet Miles after the game.

Matthew Ryan (6-foot-3 and 305 pounds), who was also decked out in LSU gear, will be a junior offensive and defensive lineman this fall at Newman High School.

Getting ready

While he couldn’t comment on the Saints agreeing to a two-year contract with 12-time Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey on Friday, Ryan did say he can’t wait to get the offseason program underway April 21.

In addition to Bailey, the Saints signed three-time Pro Bowl free safety Jairus Byrd to a six-year contract on the first day of the free agency signing period March 11.

“I’m excited about everything we’ve done in the offseason,” a smiling Ryan said. “I can’t wait to get started.”

Beckham to NYC

Former LSU receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was invited to attend the NFL Draft in May. Beckham, the only LSU player to receive an invitation, is projected as a late first- or early second-round pick.

Miles also will travel to the draft, scheduled for May 8-10 at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

Injury report

Safety Ronald Martin and defensive end Justin Maclin did not participate in Saturday’s game. They were not on the list of injured players given to the media before the game. That list included defensive end Jermauria Rasco, safety Corey Thompson, linebacker Duke Riley and wide receiver Kevin Spears.

Linebacker Lamar Louis played in a green (no-contact) jersey but still led the White Team with seven tackles. Miles revealed Louis practiced this spring with a broken hand.

Returning Tigers

LSU used multiple kick and punt returners during the spring game. They included receivers Travin Dural, Avery Peterson and John Diarse and defensive backs Jalen Mills and Ed Paris.

Advocate sportswriters Scott Rabalais, Ross Dellenger, Matthew Harris and Sheldon Mickles contributed to this report.