No matter how cautious, reasonable and level-headed you are throughout the offseason, once college football’s opening weekend begins to creep up, the excitement starts to set in. And with it comes expectations, oftentimes unreasonable.
But that’s part of the fun of the college football season. At this point, anything can happen. And when your school begins to compile more and more preseason accolades, it’s hard not to get ambitious with your predictions.
This past week, seven LSU players were named to the Preseason Coaches All-SEC team, headlined by cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. and kicker Cade York, who were both named Preseason First-Team All-Americans by the Associated Press just days prior.
Sophomore wide receiver Kayshon Boutte, senior offensive guard Ed Ingram, senior defensive end Ali Gaye and sophomore cornerback Eli Ricks were voted to the second team All-SEC, while graduate offensive tackle Austin Deculus rounded out the remaining Tigers as a third-team selection.
The honors only add to an already lengthy list of praise LSU is receiving entering the 2021 season. The Tigers have 14 players named on preseason award watch lists, again led by Stingley who is featured on five different watch lists:
• Maxwell Award (Outstanding Player) – Kayshon Boutte • Walter Camp Award (Player of the Year) – Derek Stingley Jr. • Bednarik Award (Defensive Player of the Year) – Derek Stingley Jr., Eli Ricks • Biletnikoff Award (Outstanding Receiver) – Kayshon Boutte • Rimington Trophy (Center) – Liam Shanahan • Butkus Award (Linebacker) – Damone Clark • Jim Thorpe Award (Defensive Back) – Derek Stingley Jr.,Eli Ricks • Bronko Nagurski Trophy (Outstanding Defensive Player) – Derek Stingley Jr., Eli Ricks • Outland Trophy (Interior Lineman) – Ed Ingram • Lou Groza Award (Placekicker) – Cade York • Wuerffel Trophy (Community Service) – Damone Clark • Paul Hornung Award (All-Purpose) – Derek Stingley Jr.
The excitement now leads into preparation as LSU turns its attention to the season opener against UCLA. For the early part of the offseason, the Tigers focused on themselves, installing new playbooks, nailing down the fundamentals and building a rapport. Now, after final fall scrimmage, the focus shifts to the Bruins.
“The whole deal was to have a final great scrimmage, now we’re going onto next week,” Ed Orgeron said in a press conference earlier this week. “We’re going to fix LSU obviously, but it’s totally game planning for UCLA. We’re going to have a mock-game next Saturday against UCLA, and then we’re going to go over the game plan again.”
LSU will fly to Los Angeles on Thursday to give itself a couple days to adjust to the time change in preparation for the Saturday night kickoff at the Rose Bowl.