Updated: Feb 19
by Lonn Phillips Sullivan
Partial stats due to unavailability. If anyone has them, we'd love to put them up. I've personally contacted as many players as possible for the stats as well.
THANK YOU & ENJOY!
GARRETT NUSSMEIER (TEXAS) QB
-MARCUS HIGH CAREER STATS:
8,160 PASSING YARDS
2,815 PASSING YARDS
3,788 Passing Yards
1,557 Passing Yards
This kid could be a freshman starter....
I know, I know, I know...that's a quarterback room 4 deep full of proven SEC winners (all) and multiple SEC & LSU record breakers (Myles & Max) ...it's crazy talk to suggest a freshman, coming off a hand injury, could slide right into debutant Offensive Coordinator Jake Peetz's offense and deliver just like that... right?
He's that good...and the strong belief around LSU HQ concerning their early enrollee quarterback (not to mention his longtime family friend relationship with Jake Peetz, an old buddy of his father's from their Alabama days) could propel him for a shot at the job. His talents will at least be on full display throughout Spring practices, far from relegated on the bench to wait out the results of Myles, Max & T.J's quarterback battle.
We'll see if he can outduel Max or Myles for the gig... but at the same time, Nussmeier doesn't have to grab the starting QB job as a freshman for his legend to grow at LSU. After all, most analysts, fans and coaches would bet on 2022-2024 being his prime seasons of heathen born greatness at Death Valley. A great number of those same people would be blown away if Nussmeier started at QB for Week 1's trip to the Rose Bowl...I wouldn't be one of 'em.
Garrett has many strengths to go with few weaknesses, rocking a neckbreaking character, an ingenius footballing mind, body & soul, boundless / third eye vision, a strong inner faith in God, infinite potential & of course, Nussmeier's father Doug playing & coaching at the NFL or collegiate level has given him a strong classroom background.
But out of his entire on-field arsenal, I feel Garrett's two most untouchable footballing attributes have to be the Marcus High sniper's "Daunte Culpepper on steroids" arm strength or his uncanny play extension showmanship... dancing around, under or through defenders and running one into another as he belts a 60 yard bomb to Sturdivant...this was a common scenario his Texas high school opponents know all too well.
Nussmeier is a prodigy who's innovation & improvisation is Burrow-esque and that's not an overstatement...that's just how good he is.
He wants the Burrow comparisons, he welcomes it...after all, Joe is his favorite, perhaps the quarterback he studies most. If you believe Garrett's love for Burrow is just a post-title afterglow phase, watch his highlights, man...the young fire-breathing Tiger is a feast of opposition famine.
Just to highlight his importance: This past year, Marcus High were enjoying a historic undefeated season, a team littered with top players...until Nussmeier broke his hand during the 1st Round of the playoffs, knocking him out for the year and his school from the playoffs only a game later.
It was a cruel way for his high school career to end, watching his team on the sidelines and knowing inside "if I could only be out there...this game would be ours..."
Nussmeier will be carrying that feeling of vengeance into Spring practices...he will push the other upperclassmen quarterbacks to the brink for that role and they better be ready for it....he's geauxing to be thinking about that title for a while....
LANDON JACKSON (TEXAS) DE
-PLEASANT GROVE CAREER STATS:
6 FR (1 TD Ret)
218 RECEIVING YARDS
-2017 STATE CHAMPION
-2018 RUNNER UP
-2019 STATE CHAMPION
-Texas Sports Writers 4A Def. Player of 2019
-MaxPreps 1st Team Junior All-American
A primal DE who reminds me of Simeon Rice, J.J Watt (his favorite player) & LaCouture all wrapped up in one brutal package.
One of the most accomplished, decorated and productive defensive ends in America, Landon Jackson was also one of the more highly coveted & relentlessly pursued (most notably by his father's alma mater Texas A&M...until Landon witnessed LSU's 50-7 face-collapsing of the Aggies at Death Valley...then, it was over).
Suffering an early season-ending ankle injury (during a freak accident in practice) he's now healing up & feeling better by the day:
Make no mistake, look for Jackson to be an absolute wrecking machine.
Our exclusive interview with the Texarkana Titan here! This was Landon's first full length / non post-game interview since his recruiting process began...it had been nearly 2 years.
SAIVION JONES (LOUISIANA) DE
-ST. JAMES CAREER STATS:
JUNIOR & SENIOR YEAR
159 total (119 solo)
47 TFLs (29 in 2019)
42 Pressures (25 in 2019)
2 FR RET TDs
3 safeties scored
2 blocked punts
The best DE in America, a freight train of SEC pain...he's geauxing to be coming for you, Saban!
The numbers from Saivion are outrageous...unbridled production at the defensive end position that can only be touched by Landon Jackson:
Posting 8+ sacks, 16+ TFLs & a defensive score in each of his previous two seasons, forcing safeties, creating turnovers, Saivion commits violent devastation upon an offense;
But his craziest numbers arrived during St. James' undefeated title-winning conquest: amassing an astonishing 25 pressures, 90 tackles (77 solo stops!!!), 12 sacks and 29 tackles for loss. He was also the main piece of a defensive wrecking crew which forced & pressured 46 total INTs over the previous 2 campaigns, 2019 producing a wild 26 & 2020 bringing 20 picks.
When LSU lost out on Korey Foreman, anyone who really knew Louisiana football didn't bat an eyelash or shed a tear.
While Foreman is rated as the top DE in the nation & overall player by Geaux247 & #2 by Rivals, here at LSU Odyssey, we think highly of Korey...however, I don't feel Foreman is even the top defensive end...that's Saivion Jones.
Without a doubt the most productive defensive end coming out of the high school game over the past two seasons, winning a title & jettisoning his team to a semifinal this past year, showing high character by waiting to sign with his class...and he's only geauxing to get better.
His talents have been brilliantly developed by the coaching staff at St. James under Coach Robert Valdez, potential which should only skyrocket at the next level.
When Saivion arrives at LSU this summer, he'll be coached by D-Line Impresario Andre Carter, he'll find himself learning from DE superstars such as Ali Gaye, B.J Ojulari or Andre Anthony & lining up alongside interior destroyers like Jaquelin Roy, Maason Smith, Jacobian Guillory & Neil Farrell Jr. With such a large group of expertise and experience to call upon, Jones will have a large array of leadership to guide him as he continues to learn his craft.
He's well beyond his peers, positioning himself as an elite duke of destruction....a riveting O-line annihilator who will subsequently continue his metamorphosis into a first class Tiger of the highest order.
SAGE RYAN (LOUISIANA) S/WR/RET
-LAFAYETTE CHRISTIAN 2019 STATS:
702 RECEIVING YARDS
8 RUSHING TDs
263 RUSHING YARDS
7 RUSHING TDs
-LAFAYETTE CHRISTIAN 2020 STATS:
576 RUSHING YARDS
13 RUSHING TDs
297 RECEIVING YARDS
3 RECEIVING TDs
3 PUNT RETURN TDs
19 TOTAL TDs
-Won a State Championship in all four years of high school, back to back Division IV titles in 2017-18 & consecutive Division III titles in 2019-2020.
Here is a Tiger with the blood of LSU ingrained in his very soul...
Not only is Sage Ryan a local Louisiana legend, he's also the nephew of LSU linebacker mastermind Trev Faulk; then, his cousin just happens to be the Tigers' all time leading rusher, the SEC's all time producer, 3x Super Bowl Champion Kevin Faulk....also currently on staff as LSU's Running Backs Coach.
Anyone thinking this young man was seriously heading to Alabama had to be delusional or under the Saban bag man spell...
Either way, here he is...Flash Ryan is a spectacular talent, as well as the greatest multifaceted weapon within Louisiana State University's most versatile class ever.
Much like Derek Stingley's time at Denham Springs, Flash terrorized opponents through every phase of the game, exhibiting spooky "one touch" scoring power at receiver, running back as well as punishing punters for booting the ball anywhere near him.
The 5 Star versatile safety can also play nickel, cover slot receivers with ease, rough up bigger tight ends, play wide receiver on offense, run the football from the backfield with his uncanny vision, and most dangerous of all, he really is a Mathieu-esque special teams megaforce.
During his time at Lafayette Christian Academy, the team were almost universally undefeated, geauxing a crazy 48-3 during Ryan's four years as LCA brought home a title after every season of his tenure.
Sage also hauled in significant individual honors: Ryan was named Mr. Football by the Louisiana Writer's Association, 2A Offensive MVP in 2020 and made the Sports Illustrated All-America
He told this very author just the other day "it feels like I’m stuck in a dream that I don’t wanna wake up from. I'm doing good, just took a week off. it’s coming along great I’m ready to get on campus though!"
When asked if LSU's new DC Daronte Jones had contacted him, Sage said "Yeah he did contact me. It went good, he real down to earth."
More of our interview, including Sage's impressions of DC Daronte Jones, coming soon.
PEYTON TODD (LOUISIANA) P
-WEST MONROE 2019 STATS:
42 YARDS PER PUNT
20 PUNTS DOWNED INSIDE THE 20 YARD LINE
-LED WEST MONROE IN INTERCEPTIONS, PLAYING LB
Peyton Todd is without a doubt the best punter born in the 2021 class, a complete grade A footsman.... this kid is a gem. His propensity to pin opponents deep will prove to be Von Rosenberg-esque when Todd takes the main stage during 2021.
He'll need to be ready to geaux right out of the gates, expected to be LSU's freshman starting punter when the Tigers face Chip Kelly's UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl. Todd will be working under special teams king Greg McMahon (the architect of the Saints' 2009 Super Bowl-winning / 2nd half-opening onside kick); accordingly, the Super Bowl / National Championship winner should be excited to coach such a highly decorated punter.
Peyton Todd will have big kicking boots to fill after the legacy ZVR left behind, however the young man's pedigree is outrageous and if you believe McMahon's past pedigree is worth a damn (Cole Tracy, Cade York, ZVR, Avery Atkins) which it obviously is, then I think Todd will be juuust fine.
But there's much more to Peyton Todd than just the game of football...after you read this, you'll be rooting for this kid until your voice is gone:
As his cousin Morgan Todd tells us, Peyton is a young man who had to "grow up fast" after the 2012 passing of his father...when young Peyton was only a tender 10 years old.
Peyton's father Hunter Todd was a huge LSU fan who's dream was to see his son become a Tiger....this is the year Hunter, as well as everyone else, will finally get that chance.
Morgan told us a little more about what drives Peyton:
"He is my BABY! BIG TALL BABY! But always my baby. He’s the kindest, most soft hearted, disciplined, God fearing 18 year old I know. It was a dream of his daddy’s to see him in Death Valley, dressed in purple and gold on Saturdays. He’s the kid you see after practice, on Saturdays, on Sundays after church, kicking.. over and over and over. Always trying to do better. It’s an honor to see him where he is. He deserves the world. He had to grow up so young; I pray he soaks in the moments and seizes this opportunity at LSU."
In closing, Morgan had one final piece of advice for the young Tiger:
“In all the glory, stay true to yourself. You are a Todd and that’s something to be proud of. Wear it across your shoulder and work hard. I’m so proud of you. I love you. -Sissy.”
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LET'S GEAUX 2021
by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
Copyright 2021 Uninterrupted Writings Inc LLC
SHOUTOUTS: REDSTICK 2020 IS THE MAN!