LSU commit Josh Boutte: Jamboree Report

FOXSportsNEXT.com will closely follow the senior season of four-star LSU commit Josh Boutte at Westgate High School. Last night, Boutte and his teammates got one final dress rehearsal -- vs. rival New Iberia Senior High -- in a preseason jamboree at Lloyd G. Porter Stadium in downtown New Iberia. Boutte talks about the jamboree inside.

Westgate trailed New Iberia Senior High at the half of Friday night's jamboree, although Josh Boutte and the Tigers salvaged a 7-7 tie by converting a touchdown after intermission.

"We started off slowly," Boutte said. "We didn't run many (different) plays at all. Coach (Ryan) Antoine saw us working hard. We did some things in the second half, and Coach Antoine saw us controlling the ball. He explained that we could have won and I agree. Coach said we need to get off our breaks faster and get to that second (level) block."

Conditions were far from ideal at the jamboree. Rain began to fall steadily, at times heavily, from approximately 6 P.M. to 9 P.M. By the time Boutte and the Tigers took the field in game three, the playing surface had been reduced to muddy slop.

"We only ran the lead and the counter between the tackles," Boutte said. "I've told the other linemen that we'll get positive yardage if everybody does their job.

"We were able to comeback (and forge the tie). After NISH scored, our defense kept holding them and we came back harder. I picked up a fumble on our scoring drive. I saw it rolling on the ground and other guys were diving at the ball, so I recovered it and actually got into the end zone."

While the senior would love to have scored a touchdown on the fumble recovery, the ball was marked close to the goal-line. Shortly thereafter, Westgate got the six points and the all-important PAT.

NISH and Westgate will settle things once and for all on the same field in week five. Westgate took last year's matchup by a 31-14 margin. Boutte and the Tigers are in action Thursday night in the season opener -- again, at Lloyd G. Porter -- vs. the Breaux Bridge Tigers (4A semis in 2011).

"I didn't play any defense in the jamboree," said Boutte, who got regular reps at DT during his junior campaign. "I'll be in there during some goal-line situations. I'm also on the punt coverage team."

Boutte gets his game face on during the early morning hours each week.

"As soon as I wake up it's game day and I'm ready, he said. "I don't play around. I'm focused.

"We're having fun at practice. Our team workouts are improved. We start with physical conditioning in fourth block and continue with practice until 5:30 P.M. If we practice hard, we go home early. If we don't go hard, we don't leave early."

Last year's Westgate head coach, Brian Fine, made the long drive from northeast Louisiana to watch Boutte and the Tigers in the jamboree.

"When I saw Coach Fine, my whole expression and feelings changed," Boutte said.

FOXSportsNEXT.com will bring you detailed coverage of Boutte's regular season opener next week. He is a four-star prospect ranked No. 9 nationally at his position (OG).


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