GUILBEAU: T-Bob's Louisiana roots run deep

In the end, LSU received a commitment from nationally recruited center T-Bob Hebert of Greater Atlanta Christian recently over Georgia, Florida and Ole Miss because of unfair recruiting advantages.

The NCAA will not be investigating, however, because it cannot legislate against grandfathers and fathers.


"His grandfather keeps a horse for T-Bob in Lafourche Parish, and I have a lake house on Toledo Bend," said T-Bob's dad, former Saints quarterback and Cutoff native Bobby Hebert. "That was kind of hard to match."


So were the desires of Bobby's dad, Bobby Hebert Sr., a 1961 LSU graduate and passionate Tigers' fan.


"Dad is an LSU diehard," said Hebert, who is now an announcer for WWL Radio in New Orleans. "I can remember him ranting and raving while watching or listening to LSU games when I was a kid. He broke a few lamps after an LSU loss one time."


There is no telling how many light fixtures the elder Hebert, 68, may have destroyed had T-Bob, a 6-foot-3, 256 pound center with quick feet from , committed to Georgia or Florida.


"To see T-Bob go to LSU is a dream come true for dad," said Bobby Hebert, a quarterback for 1977, 4A state champion South Lafourche who was not recruited by LSU.


A safety until his senior year and a late bloomer, Hebert beat nationally recruited quarterback John Fourcade of Shaw on his way to the state title and became a star in a sophisticated offense at Northwestern State. Hebert started his pro career in the U.S.F.L. before playing for the Saints from 1985-93 and finishing his career with the Atlanta Falcons. He and his wife and children still have their permanent home in the Atlanta area.


"I think it's more meaningful to dad than it is to me," Hebert said. "I'm an LSU fan, too, but dad just really loves LSU."


Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron, a premium recruiter as a USC assistant who has shown some recruiting prowess with the Rebels, was a teammate of Hebert's at South Lafourche and at Northwestern and also recruited T-Bob. He offered T-Bob a chance to play his true freshman season, which is somewhat rare for offensive linemen. That didn't work.


"He could've played right away at Ole Miss," Hebert said. "But to be truly successful as an offensive lineman, I don't think on the job training is always a good idea. So much of football is confidence. He'll be better after red-shirting."


Should LSU need a center next season because of injuries or otherwise, Hebert does not want his son to play.


"I'm not going to let my son play his true freshman season," Hebert said. "Because I know it's all about mental in college. And I know he'll be a different man two years from now. Plus our family has always had a lot of late bloomers. I red-shirted my freshman year at Northwestern State. He's only 265 now and needs to be about 285 or 295 to play center against Division-I opponents. I know how strong you have to be. I think it's in his best interest to be red-shirted. I know what it takes."


After that year to get ready, look out, dad says.


"He understands the game," he said. "He understands the concept of offense. He's been making all the calls this season."


T-Bob, like his dad, is athletic and can move. Hebert was a good running quarterback at Northwestern State and could do it if needed while in the U.S.F.L. and NFL. As a safety his junior year at South Lafourche, he intercepted eight passes.


"He's like his dad. He's not a stiff white boy," Hebert said. "He can dance like a brother."




Glenn Guilbeau covers LSU and the Southeastern Conference for Gannett News Service. Read him at  or in the Shreveport Times, Monroe News-Star, Alexandria Daily Town Talk, Lafayette Advertiser, Opelousas Daily World and occasionally USA Today. You can contact him at

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