By Kyle Huber
On Friday evening, the eve of the LSU-Alabama game, some of the cast of ESPN’s “SEC Nation” took questions from the media. Those who partook in the session were Joe Tessitore, Tim Tebow, and Marcus Spears
By Chucky Colin
The SEC Network’s “SEC Nation” show visited LSU on Saturday for the first time since launching this season. Fans joined Joe Tessitore, Tim Tebow, Marcus Spears, Paul Finebaum and Kaylee Hartung as they discussed the day’s action.
LSU fans were excited as arguably the two most notable pregame college football shows have visited the campus for consecutive games. “College GameDay” brought its show to Death Valley on Oct. 25 as the Tigers faced the then No. 3-ranked Ole Miss Rebels.
First-year LSU graduate student Gary Williams said, “The national media attention adds great excitement to highly anticipated games and it just brings more fuel to the fire.”
This was the Tigers second straight matchup against a top-three opponent.
It was a homecoming of sorts for former LSU Tiger Marcus Spears, who was an All-American and a member of the 2003 BCS national championship team.
As early morning tailgaters made their way over to the set of “SEC Nation,” Spears received many loud cheers as he openly reflected on his days of playing in Tiger Stadium and the game day atmosphere. He also helped to ignite the crowd as he led the Tiger marching band while it played the school fight song.
Fellow co-host Tim Tebow also garnered many cheers as well as boos while on set. Many fans wore Tim Tebow jerseys and received autographs from him following the show.
The former Florida quarterback said that Tiger Stadium was one of the toughest places to play. He didn’t fail to disappoint Tiger fans as he picked the Crimson Tide to defeat LSU.
LSU Tiger fan Joe Gouisha said, “Whether you love or hate Tim Tebow, he forces you to have an opinion because he is one of the more polarizing figures in all of sports.”
Another fan favorite was Hartung, who is the only female member of the cast. In addition to her normal duties, Hartung was also celebrating her birthday which was Friday.
When referring to Hartung, Tiger fan Astasia Williams said, “ She’s a fresh face and being that she’s from Baton Rouge she has LSU in her blood, which is a great thing.”
The next stop for “SEC Nation” will be Texas A&M on Nov. 15.
By Lindsay Rabalais
If Tiger fans take their celebrations onto the field Saturday after the game against No. 4 Alabama, LSU will have to pick up a much heftier tab than they did after the Ole Miss game.
After the Tigers upset No. 3 Ole Miss in Tiger Stadium on Oct. 25, hordes of fans triumphantly swarmed the field.
LSU appeared to accept the inevitable. Police officers did not line the gates at the base of the student section as a preemptive strike against stampeding fans, not even after LSU safety Ronald Martin intercepted the ball with two seconds left in the game.
The Athletic Department also fully accepted the price tag of the celebration: a $5000 fine for violation of the SEC’s access to competition area policy.
Athletic Director Joe Alleva addressed the fine shortly after the Tigers’ triumphant victory. “I hope I have to spend it again two weeks from now,” he said.
Alleva quickly changed his tune, however. He released a statement on Oct. 28 instructing fans to not enter the field after the next football game against Alabama.
“I encourage everyone to celebrate great LSU victories within the seating areas of the stadium, and not on the field … We would never endorse the ‘storming of the field’ by our fans – it is a violation of the protocol established by the Southeastern Conference.”
The monetary cost of storming the field for the second time this season is almost certainly a major concern of Alleva’s.
The SEC fined LSU $5000 for its first infraction. The fine for a second violation would surge to $25,000. In the event of a third violation, the University would owe a $50,000 fine, according to a CBS Sports report.
LSU’s athletic budget is currently $109 million, according to a report from USA Today.
The $5000 fine for the post-Ole Miss game celebrations represented the first time LSU has been fined for storming the field. According to CBS Sports, the SEC’s policy against entering the competition area was enacted in 2004. The last time LSU fans rushed the field was in 2001, after LSU defeated Auburn in Tiger Stadium.
The potential cost of storming the field goes beyond the SEC fine.
It is certainly foreseeable that a fan could be seriously hurt in the rush to the field.
Furthermore, the University would face a host of liability issues if someone became injured, especially if the athletic director encouraged spectators to rush the field.
Rushing the field after a hard-fought victory is a storied component of LSU lore, from the fans who tore down both goal posts after LSU upset No. 1 Florida in 1997 to those who speckled the field in purple and gold on Oct. 25.
However, a $25,000 fine for rushing the field is unprecedented. The costs – monetary and emotional – of an injured fan would be even higher.
If the Tigers defeat Alabama on Saturday, the Athletic Department will almost certainly take steeper measures to ensure fans keep the festivities in the stands.
Teammates to arch-rivals to draft prospects… this is the story.
Eric Reid and Eddie Lacy began a journey together as teammates at Dutchtown High school in Geismar, La., and now they will reunite in the Big Apple for the Draft.
On April 25th, Reid and Lacy awaited their fate in the 2013 NFL Draft. Both Reid and Lacy were in New York City at Radio City Music Hall Thursday night for the draft.
Reid ended up going with the 18th pick in the first round to the NFC champion San Francisco 49ers, while Lacy had to wait until Friday when he was taken with the 61st overall pick in the second round by the Green Bay Packers.
Even though both players have had significant success in their football careers thus far, their stories are substantially different.
Reid, a Baton Rouge native, knew all along that he was destined to be an LSU Tiger. His father, Eric Reid Sr., won a national championship in the 110-meter hurdle in 1987 as a senior at LSU. Reid Sr. is in the schools athletic hall of fame as an All-American hurdler and still works on the LSU campus.
Reid, opted out of his senior season with the Tigers to make himself available for the 2013 NFL Draft. Becoming a professional football player has been a dream of Reid’s since he was a little boy.
“It is my dream, I’m living my dream,” Reid said before the draft to KSLA.com. “It really doesn’t matter what team I go to. I’m doing what a lot of other people aren’t able to do, so I’m very blessed for that.”
In his three years with the Tigers, Reid played on teams that won 10 or more games all three years. In 2011 LSU went 13-1 capturing the Southeastern Conference title and contended against Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game.
Reid and the Tigers came up substantially short against Lacy and the dominant Tide, 21-0. Overall, Reid’s three-year record at LSU was 34-6.
In his final season with the Tigers in 2012, Reid started all 13 games and finished third on the team in tackles with 91. He earned First Team All-America as a junior and was named twice to SEC Academic Honor Roll in 2011 and 2012.
Overall in his collegiate career as an aggressive safety, Reid played in 39 games, starting 29 times. He finished with 194 career tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, and six interceptions.
On the other side of the ball, ground and pound running back Eddie Lacy endured a harder road to the pros.
In 2005, as a freshman, Lacy earned a spot on the varsity football team at Helen Cox High School in Harvey when disaster struck.
Lacy, a Gretna native, was forced out of his hometown when Hurricane Katrina hit and the Lacy family relocated to Texas. After the storm passed, the Lacy family enrolled in the “Share Your Home” program that landed Lacy in Geismar.
“Because of the hurricane, I didn’t know where I would wind up or what my future would be,” Lacy said to the Advocate.com.
At Dutchtown High school, Lacy took his frustration out on the football field while gaining serious attention as a dominant running back for the Griffins.
Both Reid and Lacy received national attention from colleges all over the country despite both players suffering injuries prior to the start of their collegiate football careers.
Lacy’s desire to play out of state led him to sign with Alabama. During his four years in Tuscaloosa, Lacy redshirted his freshman year and then sat patiently waiting behind Hesiman Trophy winner Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson, both now in the NFL.
As a junior, Lacy ran for 1,322 yards on 204 carries and 17 touchdowns, earning First Team All-SEC honors. In his final game as a Crimson Tide, Lacy earned MVP honors and scored two touchdowns and collected 140 yards in the BCS National Championship game against Notre Dame.
“He’s faster than you think,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said to ESPN.com. “He has very deceptive speed and very deceptive quickness. … I think Eddie is a very, very complete player. I don’t really see a lot of flaws in his game. I think he’ll be a very, very good player for somebody.”
In his four years with the Tide, Lacy has been a part of a program that went 50-5 winning three BCS National Championships and two SEC Championships. Needless to say, Lacy has been a part of a national powerhouse with Coach Saban and the Crimson Tide.
Lacy faced a national disaster at the start of his football career but it seems like nothing will detour him on his path to success.
“I can get through anything, any obstacle after you know, everything that I’ve been through,” Lacy said to ESPN.com. “I just know that nothing can stop me.”
Being a Northern Louisiana native, I get a lot of criticism from Cajuns here in Baton Rouge. Over and over again I have been called a “Yankee” or a “Texan”. I will never embrace either of the nicknames but I will do my best to learn more about this red stick land and the football culture that I am surrounded by.
So when I heard about Dutchtown High School having two former players entering the 2013 NFL Draft I had to do some investigating.
First, I googled Dutchtown high to find that it is located in Geismar, which is right outside of South Baton Rouge.
Second, Dutchtown high has close to 2,000 students from eighth grade to twelfth grade.
Third, Dutchtown high has never won a football state championship.
So how does a high school such as Dutchtown, which is not a powerhouse football program, produce two outstanding football stars?
Well when you have players such as Eddie Lacy and Eric Reid in your program, it seems simple.
Eddie Lacy, a former Alabama running back, and Eric Reid, a former LSU safety, are the first two players to be drafted from the Geismer School. And both players decided to forgo their senior season and be available for the 2013 NFL Draft.
More to come on their upcoming journeys to the NFL… stay tuned.