There really is no place quite like Louisiana. But its people might be the most dynamic of it all—loud, proud and passionate, particularly when it comes to their sports teams. So as the state’s flagship university finds itself heading in a new direction under new leadership and with a roster of star-studded players, expectations from those passionate sports fans will be high.
To some Tiger fans, new head coach Brian Kelly’s lack of experience coaching in the SEC was slightly worrisome. But one thing Kelly has made clear early on in his Tiger tenure is that he’s not dipping his toe into the water. He’s diving headfirst into the bayou. “Our family, we’re going to immerse ourselves into the culture of Louisiana,” Kelly said at his introductory press conference. “We’re not here to change anything. We’re here to get changed by it.”
And the 2021 class—laden with talented, top-ranked recruits who have already made a name for themselves across the state—seems ready to follow his lead. “I don’t think we could have hired somebody better than Coach Kelly,” Jack Bech tells 225. “I think he’s just what we needed.”
Through interviews with LSU players and coaches, 225 is unpacking it all in our August cover story. In our reporting, we found that the players all agree on one thing: They’re ready to compete. “I think this year will be even better for us and (even better) the year after that. I think (LSU) is going to shock the world,” says LSU defensive lineman Maason Smith. “I really feel that.”
Also in our August issue, we’re unveiling the 2022 edition of Tiger Pride, our annual celebration of the passion and pageantry of LSU football. The special issue is packed with content about Tiger-inspired food and art; a preview of the first-ever match between LSU and Southern University; expert analysis by Matt Moscona; exclusive interviews with players like defensive end Ali Gaye, quarterback Jayden Daniels and running back Noah Cain, plus so much more.
The August issue also has stories on hot air balloons, plant pop-up shops, a review of the eats at Istrouma Brewing and more. Flip through it all below, and be sure to pick up the print copy on newsstands now around the Capital Region. Let us know what you think at [email protected].