Billy Embody - SCOUT

Oct. 14 Tiger Bites: Inside Everything LSU

Come inside another edition of Tiger Bites: Inside Everything LSU with updates on football targets and commits, and Tigers Basketball.

2017 wide receiver continues with huge season, talks recruiting

By: Billy Embody

One of the most highly sought after players in the Boot State is becoming 2017 Edna Karr wide receiver Racey McMath. His senior season continues to be wildly successful and it continued on Thursday night in Karr's 65-0 win over Carver at Behram Stadium in New Orleans.

McMath, who had two touchdowns with TCU watching, said the key was getting on Carver early by taking advantage of the Cougars' opportunities.

"Just start early and keep the momentum going on your side. Don't give it to them. Just keep capitalizing off their mistakes and do your job," McMath said. "5-0. We want to go undefeated. Trying to dominate people."

Karr likes to get McMath in space to allow him to do what he does best. On one bubble screen, it took three defenders to wrestle the 6-3, 210-pound receiver down.

"Yea, I'm fast. I can do a lot of stuff, but I like to play the slot, get the ball in my hands early and just make plays with it. 

TCU could be the latest Texas school to enter the mix for McMath.

"I didn't know they was out here. I'm glad I played well. I'm blessed. They came out and saw a good show."

The three-star wide receiver visited Texas A&M for the Tennessee game and came away impressed with the Aggies.

"It was live, it was lit and it was a good game too."

Texas A&M secondary coach Terry Joseph keeps up with McMath every now and again, but has said he's just getting to know the Aggies, who like what he brings.

"How I attack the ball and how I make plays with the ball in my hand."

Former Karr coach and current LSU running backs coach Jabbar Juluke is handling McMath's recruitment, who has a great relationship already with Juluke.

"We keep up. He's my old coach from here so he wants to make sure I'm good. It's good. Knowing that I go out up there, he could look out for me."

As far as the decision to fire Les Miles, McMath said he's watching Baton Rouge intently, but wants to see more passing with whoever the new coach is, like LSU has tried to do.

"I gotta see how things play out with that situation. They passed the ball more."

McMath said he takes his recruitment week-by-week and doesn't have anymore visits for games planned at this time.

McMath called LSU and Mississippi State his leaders recently. For more on McMath's recruitment, check out his interview with Chad Simmons below.

LSU commit preparing for huge game against LSU target, best friend

Billy Embody - SCOUT

By: Billy Embody

2017 Livonia athlete Patrick Queen is prepping for a huge game on Friday against Plaquemine and LSU target Todd Harris, who beat Queen and his team last season. This year, Livonia needs a win more than ever.

"It means a lot. They beat us on our home field last season and that kind of took away our momentum. Everybody's been working hard all season so we feel that this is a W we should get," Queen said. "We're relaxed. Not relaxed like we got this, but relaxed like we know our gameplan and we just have to execute."

Queen plays running back and linebacker for the Wildcats and will look to set the tone for his team in their road matchup.

"Basically, if I set the momentum and set the tone, then we should get the win. I just got to do my job."

Queen and Harris talk a little friendly trash back and forth, but will go back to being friends after. The two linked up after last season and their relationship has grown from there.

"We share some laughs about it. He said he's going to hit me and I said I'm going to run him over, but we're going to see. I told him I'm the king and he's going to have to see me and come and get it," Queen said. "We know once we strap up the helmets, it's no friends, but after that, we can get close again."

The LSU staff was in contact quickly after Les Miles was fired and reiterated he's still in the Tigers' plans.

"They told me everything's good and I'm still their guy. They want me on defense and I still trust them. I want to follow their lead."

LSU sees Queen at their Rover position, like Duke Riley, but sees him have the versatility to also move outside at times. He likes being on the outside of the defense though.

"Just play in space. You don't have to be tied down into the box and get linemen on you all night so I can see myself there working and not beating up my body all night." 

Last season, Queen was played only at running back as he was just about Livonia's only offensive threat, but this year, with more depth, his coach Guy Mistretta gave him linebacker duties too. Mistretta said that Queen's not on a snap count to keep him fresh, but they do watch how he's doing as he has been banged up here and there this year.

"He's just playing more physical and on the other side of the ball. Now that he's fresher, he's been able to play more. We've been backs against the wall and we've needed him," Mistretta said. "He's just gaining experience. He really hasn't played since his freshman year on that side of the ball because of our needs. Learning how to play in space, learning angles, all those things that are needed that really aren't just natural instinct. He's got all that."

Ed Orgeron has impressed Queen with his personality, but hasn't talked too much with LSU's interim coach.

"He's a loud guy. He's a real people person and I know the players really like him. There's a feeling you get when you're around him," Queen said. "He keeps checking in on me. 

He's watching for the Tigers to continue to trend upwards and doesn't see his commitment changing unless something drastic happens.

"Basically, I just want to see them keep playing lights out. Everything hasn't been horrible like everyone thinks it is. They've just made mistakes. It shouldn't matter though if they bring the right guy in. If it's a guy that I really don't fit in with, I might look elsewhere, but other than that, not looking elsewhere."

Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda has been building a close relationship with Queen since his arrival.

"We're real close. I hit him up and he hits me up. It's not all about football. Sometimes we talk about life and he's a great guy."

Queen will be on hand for LSU's game this weekend against Southern Miss. Indiana, Nebraska and Ole Miss are also scheduled to get visits after the season, but nothing beats Tiger Stadium for Queen.

"It's the best place on earth. The atmosphere, the fans, the coaches, the players — it's electric."

Robinson ready to be healthy, contribute
Billy Embody - SCOUT

By: Billy Embody

LSU junior big man Elbert Robinson hasn't been healthy as much as he'd like while at LSU and while he was still working on recovering from a groin injury this summer, new assistant coach Robert Kirby has been working to perfect his game.

“I was limited. I couldn’t really work out like I wanted to. Coach Kirby has helped me a lot with my footwork and helping me do a lot on the inside," Robinson said. "Just getting low and setting my man. I don’t have to rush the shot. I’m the biggest guy on the court so I shouldn’t let someone else rush my shot.”

No matter how Robinson plays, Kirby expects the best out of the big man.

“He wants perfection and he wants something right every time. That’s a big goal is if you make a shot that’s good, he’s going to tell you it’s not right and you should do this. Just execution.”

While he's not 100 percent yet, Robinson continues to work on contributing to his team.

“I’ve been getting better. I don’t feel like I’m 100 percent, but I’m getting there. That’s been the big goal is to get healthy so I can play. It’s been bothering me for a while.”

As far as how he sees this year playing out, Robinson wants to be a bully for the Tigers.

“Just demanding the paint and being a bully in the paint. Being a rim protector. I might not be the greatest shot blocker, but you know, altering shots. That’s a big thing.”

New center Duop Reath and Robinson have been making each other better in practice and Robinson said Wednesday that's what it's all about.

“It’s fun. It’s competitive. It gets physical sometimes. Duop is a great player and a great shot blocker so playing over his length, he runs the floor, brings a lot of energy. That makes me bring the energy more. Seeing his motor, makes me turn on my motor more.”

Reath's size makes it difficult for Robinson to matchup with.

“The length part. Usually, I’m the biggest guy on the floor so I just can hook shot right over somebody. It’s difficult because he is a shot blocker. Just scoring over him is difficult.”

As far as the team, Robinson sees LSU getting closer as a team this season, which is an improvement over last year's squad.

“The team bonding. We’re a close team and we all hang out together and we’re going to do things together. I feel like there’s great energy on the court,” Robinson said. “It’s a great mix. We have fun together. There was a lot of distractions and the outside distractions let that bother us. We just mesh now. We got closer.”

Robinson averaged 2.4 points and 2.1 rebounds in his sophomore season.

2019 4-star wide receiver picks up long-awaited LSU offer
Devonta Lee (Photo by Chad Simmons)

By: Billy Embody

2019 4-star Amite (La.) wide receiver Devonta Lee has been waiting on an LSU offer and this week, good news came from his mentor that the Tigers had offered.

"It's a good offer. Nice school, SEC offer. I like LSU and it made me feel happy too," Lee said. "It means a lot. I never thought it'd all happen this soon."

As far as playing for his in-state school, Lee could see it happening.

"It'd feel good. I'd be at home so my family could come see me play. I don't have to worry about anything else."

Over this summer, Lee was injured and couldn't compete at LSU's camp, but he wants to see LSU throw it more to receivers that Dameyune Craig does a nice job coaching up, Lee said.

"They got some great receivers, they don't throw it enough though. Coach Craig is a great coach though. I like how he works with the receivers. He was a great player when he was in school. All his players make plays for LSU."

As far as LSU's next coach, Lee wants to see LSU bring in the spread offense.

"I want to see them throwing the ball more with a big spread offense while still grounding and pounding it. I want to see them make the playoffs every year."

Ole Miss also recently jumped in with an offer recently and the sophomore is high on the Rebels as well.

"That's another big offer. Great school, great coach, great program. They got a nice offense that I like. I like how they use their big receivers and tight ends in that offense. I like the spread."

Lee plans to visit Memphis this weekend with some teammates, but will take in the LSU-Ole Miss game, he says. Miami, Clemson, Arkansas and a host of other schools have offered Lee.

2019 LSU commit has eyes set on state title, The Opening
Billy Embody

By: Billy Embody

2019 Southern Lab (La.) offensive guard Kardell Thomas has been improving each game his sophomore season and losing weight to help in pass protection.

"It's going great. Just working on my pass blocking, working on my jabs, just trying to be more aggressive and dominate," Thomas said, who has last 20 pounds to get down to 320 pounds."

Thomas took in LSU's practice last Thursday and could immediately see a difference in the way LSU works under coach Ed Orgeron.

"Basically, they just said keep working and to me, it didn't really change anything because I'm still at Tiger," Thomas said. "It's uptempo. They were flying around and new schemes and all that. Lot of new faces in the lineup. It's like everybody is running around and it's not a lazy practice. I feel like they're going to come out good this year."

Even though Thomas isn't looking elsewhere, Florida and Miami have been the latest schools showing interest in Thomas.

Thomas has set a goal of getting to The Opening as a junior to compete with the best of the best this summer.

"Just really trying to work hard and get another state championship so I can get to The Opening. I'm trying to get ready for that. That's my biggest goal. I saw someone go last year and that's one of my goals to get there too."

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