Eric Spadoni, a fourth-year LSU student, took a break from studying for final exams in mid-May. As it turned out, he had a good place to go on campus to take his mind off of schoolwork.
His younger brother, Jason, who will be a senior running back at John Curtis this fall, was at the LSU practice fields working out at the Nike invitational combine.
Soon afterward, while Eric waited outside, Jason met with LSU head coach Nick Saban, who extended a scholarship offer to the 5-foot-11, 195-pound athlete (timed at 4.47 in the 40-yard dash). Later in the week, Jason called Saban from his home in Kenner to commit to the Tigers.
"I was at the combine with him," Eric said. "We were talking with (defensive line coach) Pete Jenkins, and they wanted to take Jason up to coach Saban's office. We looked at each other, and we were both thinking he (Saban) was going to tell him about school and football or whatever.
"Then he came out of coach Saban's office and said, ‘They just offered me a scholarship!'"
Jason, who ran for more than 1,199 yards and 12 touchdowns on the way to the Class 5A state championship game last season, said his commitment wasn't a very tough decision. Eric and his parents, Anita and Earl, both stressed the positives of staying close to home.
"I told him, ‘J, whenever you want to go home, all you have to do is hop in the car and you're back there in an hour,'" Eric said.
Jason was in the student section of Tiger Stadium with Eric last season as LSU upset Tennessee and Mississippi State. Jason has frequented Eric's abode in Baton Rouge, having taken a personal tour of the campus with his brother.
"He's seen a lot of this place, so he knows what he's getting into," Eric said. "Now he's got this over with. Now he can concentrate on his senior season. He wants to win the state championship."
Spadoni was the MVP of the state title game last season but didn't want to accept the trophy. He was dejected because John Curtis had lost to Salmen on a game-winning field goal as time expired.
- Editor's note: Height, weight and 40 time come from figures taken at the LSU Nike Invitational Combine.