Recruits commonly say they come to LSU to win championships.
Three former Tiger standouts took that to the next level Sunday, representing LSU as they lifted the Lombardi Trophy for the first time in their still young careers.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Kansas City Chiefs in an impressive 31-9 fashion in last weekend’s Super Bowl, and the Tiger alums were a big reason why.
The Bucs defense silenced the high-powered Chiefs offense, thanks in large part to the efforts of linebacker Devin White. The Springhill native was the leading tackler in the game, finishing with 12 total tackles (eight solo), two tackles for loss and a pass defended.
“We talked about beating them bad,” White said in his post-game press conference. “We knew they weren’t physical enough. We don’t play like that. We like smash-mouth football. We liked coming downhill and getting in the trenches. That’s what we’re built off. … We didn’t want them to score. That was our biggest thing. Everybody says they’re the best offense in the world, and they were going to score 30 or 40, and they didn’t score a single touchdown.”
In fact, it was the first time that former league MVP Patrick Mahomes has been held without a touchdown in his three-year NFL career.
Another big piece to that accomplishment was Kevin Minter, who was an All-SEC linebacker in his Baton Rouge days. Minter didn’t record a tackle in the game, but he and White both were chosen as team captains for the game.
“Devin was hitting me up his freshman year,” Minter said in an interview with ESPN Baton Rouge this week. “This kid was in my DMs telling me he’s going to break all my records. To see how (White) has grown and developed—I’m so damn proud of this kid. He’s going to be one of the greats. If he keeps playing like he’s playing, they’re going to be sizing him for a (NFL Hall of Fame) gold jacket.”
But it wasn’t just the Tampa defense that stole the headlines.
Local legend Leonard Fournette finished as the game’s leading rusher, carrying the ball 16 times for 89 yards and a touchdown. He added four catches for 46 yards to his day.
As illustrious as Fournette’s football career has been to this day—a two-time national All-American in high school, an All-SEC and All-American in college and a Heisman runner-up—the win marked his first championship at any level.
“This means everything,” Fournette said in his post-game press conference. “I’m a world champion. I’m blessed. We knew their offense was good and their defense was good, but you’ve just got to bring the fight to those guys. We came out and fought our tails off.”
There are now 54 Super Bowls won between 44 former LSU athletes.
Even in defeat, the Tigers were well-represented.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Darrell Williams and Tyrann Mathieu all made their impact on the game for the Chiefs, giving LSU six players featured in the Super Bowl—the most of any school in the country.
Edwards-Helaire finished the game with nine carries for 64 yards and a pair of catches for 23 yards, followed by Williams’ two carries for 5 yards and two catches for 10 yards. Mathieu tallied three tackles in the contest.
The LSU lineage isn’t all that hidden either. TV cameras and photographers picked up on purple and gold pads peeking through both Fournette and White’s jersey, proving that even if you leave Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge doesn’t always leave you.