LSU, Texas A&M sure to cross paths in recruiting
BY Hunter Paniagua
Special to the Advocate
October 22, 2012
Despite being more than 300 miles apart, Texas A&M and LSU have more in common than an affinity for football.
The Aggies list five starters that hail from Louisiana — center Patrick Lewis (LaPlace), tight end Michael Lamothe (New Iberia), safety Deshazor Everett (DeRidder), linebacker Jonathan Stewart (Shreveport) and defensive end Julien Obioha (New Orleans) — and four more from Louisiana are listed as backups.
Some recruiting analysts have suggested that the Aggies’ new membership in the Southeastern Conference would help them in Louisiana. Texas A&M already has four commitments from Louisiana in the Class of 2013, including four-star defensive back Darian Claiborne from Port Allen.
LSU coach Les Miles recognized that the Aggies stand to benefit from an extra game in the state, but also said he feels Louisiana kids will mostly stay faithful to the in-state school.
“In this state, there’s a great loyalty to playing for these Tigers,” Miles said. “Being in Tiger Stadium last Saturday, anybody that was there would certainly understand that. I think the opportunity for other schools to come into other states diminish because, in my mind, it’s not only a fan base, it’s a tradition and a history of the state that they’re committed to.”
But Interstate 10 runs both ways, and LSU has proven it’s capable of stealing some of the top talent from Texas.
One such example is Craig Loston, who was briefly committed to Texas A&M before ultimately signing with the Tigers.
“In high school, I was a big A&M guy,” Loston said. “That’s where I had my mind set. That’s where I was going to go. But in my senior year, I had a change of heart that I wanted to be a Tiger. It will be nice to go down there and be able to play in a stadium like that. ...
“I always wanted to play with the best. Growing up, I never played in my age group. Being that the SEC is the best, I still wanted to stay at a high level.”
Though time has passed, little has changed for the LSU offensive line this week.
Miles said during the SEC teleconference Wednesday that he still doesn’t know when, or if, senior tackle Alex Hurst will return to the team. Hurst missed last week’s game against South Carolina after Miles said he was “nicked” and dealing with a personal issue.
Josh Dworaczyk started in his place against the Gamecocks and will likely resume those duties Saturday.
Miles also expressed uncertainty in the return of right guard Josh Williford, who suffered a concussion against Florida and missed the South Carolina game. He has not practiced this week.
“I’m not certain,” Miles said. “He’s made some progress at this point, but I’m not certain.”
Redshirt freshman Trai Turner made his first career start in Williford’s place, and said Monday he was still working with the first-team in practice.
Freshman for a freshman
When one freshman linebacker goes down with an injury, Miles just inserts another.
Lamar Louis started against South Carolina in place of fellow freshman Kwon Alexander, who broke his ankle against the Gators. After playing in four games before making his first career start, Louis recorded two assisted tackles.
Miles said Wednesday he expects Louis to start against Texas A&M, and likely share time with Luke Muncie.
“Lamar Louis played very well in that game,” Miles said. “He’s doing some things that we’d expect him to do. He’s a very talented guy, very athletic and physical. He just needs comfort in the position, and it appears he’s getting there.”
Despite playing eight games before the team’s open week, Miles expressed no concern that his team would feel any effects of fatigue.
Instead, he pointed the finger back at the media after a press conference that only lasted six minutes.
“We really need an open week for (the media),” Miles said. “I realize that late in the season, there’s a little edginess in the room. I can see it. I can feel it. The nonverbals are strong in this room. I don’t pretend that you’re hiding behind this façade of motionless professionalism. I can see right through it.”
Logan vs. Spurrier?
When television cameras picked up South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier yelling in Bennie Logan’s direction, rumors swirled that the two had gotten into an on-field altercation.
Logan dispelled those rumors Tuesday, saying Spurrier had actually been yelling at an official about a late hit, and Logan just happened to be in the frame.
“He was getting on the referee about something, and it just so happened that I’m in the picture,” Logan said. “It seems like he’s fussing at me, but we’ve never had any words exchanged. I was just standing right there. ...
“I don’t think it’s appropriate what he said, so I’m not going to (repeat) it.”