Updated: Mar 16, 2021
by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
"BUGG" STRONG (MISSISSIPPI) LB
-MISS GULF COAST 2020 STATS:
12 QB HURRIES
LSU's 2021 "London Fletcher", former Mississippi Gulf Coast's JUCO LB Navonteque "Bugg" Strong was part of a defensive unit nicknamed "The Regulators", a #1 ranked (NJCAA) badass group surrendering 191.9 total yards per game & a #2 ranked 12.3 points...and he loves to stalk sidelines wielding a chainsaw....
So....it geauxs without saying "of course he'll be great in purple and gold", right???
He may not be blessed with speed...he isn't consumed by his own athleticism...he isn't going to make Todd McShay drool at this juncture, but what he executes on a game in-game out basis is an exercise in pushing one's self to their maximum, only to find out how much more they've got on the other side...Bugg flies to the ball.
Already a fan favorite (first for his Miss State decommitment, 2nd for his badass nickname, 3rd for his cool demeanor), I expect Strong to bring that swagger & toughness to a linebacking crew in serious need of confidence. Even if he doesn't grab a starting spot, Strong's practice intensity, coupled alongside his high octane competitive nature, will elevate the overall play of Blake Baker's linebackers.
To back up our instinctual feelings on Navonteque "Bugg" Strong, we spoke with his DBs Coach at Mississippi Gulf Coast, Clarence McDougal and we noticed some really interesting things he had to say:
LONN: What was your impression of him, coming into MGC?
COACH MCDOUGAL: We came in at the same time, my first year was his first year and he was a quiet leader, definitely a go-getter. He's really talented, he has great instincts for a linebacker. He just kept getting better. He got overlooked in high school because he came from a small school. He's a great kid, a hard worker and on the field that kid puts on a show.
All last season he made the biggest plays all year.
LONN: How good was Navonteque Strong in coverage, in your view as a DBs Coach?
COACH MCDOUGAL: He was good in coverage and good at covering the running backs out of the backfield.... and anyone coming across the middle? He's gonna put a hat on 'em and he's going to do his job.
LONN: What did Navonteque tell you about LSU or why he chose the Tigers?
COACH MCDOUGAL: I think he chose LSU because they move a lot of linebackers and they struggled on the defensive side last year...and he thinks he can come in and play. LSU has a great reputation of linebackers with Devin White and a lot of other guys.
LONN: Did you expect this type of reaction of excitement towards Strong from the LSU fans?
COACH MCDOUGAL: I think they see it cause he's a great kid. The LSU faithful have a great fanbase and they see a great kid who's ready to go lights out for them. I'm just happy for him.
LONN: There's photos of Strong rocking a chainsaw on the sideline, what's the chainsaw about, Coach?! That's awesome!
COACH MCDOUGAL: Well, we call ourselves on defense "The Regulators" and we lay down the law. The chainsaw is a defensive thing we use to keep ourselves motivated. When the kids break it out, they go crazy.
LONN: Does the Chainsaw go to the best defensive player each week?
COACH MCDOUGAL: Yeah, but it goes to the best defensive player or a lot of times it's the captain who has it, usually the leader of the defense because they're leading the team.
LONN: You guys have totally developed Bugg in the perfect way, he's come in with an intense vibe. A lot of the coaches are struck by how dialed in he is and that's a testament to you guys there .
COACH MCDOUGAL: Well he's no prima donna, he's a country kid, he's gonna go to work and show it on the field.
LONN: I knew I had to talk to the people who developed him.
COACH MCDOUGAL: He knows what his goals is, he knows what he wanna do, and he's going to try and win the job. I know there's a lot of competition at LSU but he's gonna fight and battle, try to win a spot and take care of his family. He's got his mind right. He's a quiet assassin man, he's going to do his work. He's a quiet leader and he's going to lead by example. He's going to be ready to work, he's going to be ready to grind.
by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
Copyright 2021 Uninterrupted Writings Inc LLC
SHOUTOUTS: Thank you Coach Clarence McDougal and Mississippi Gulf Coast's defensive juggernaut "The Regulators". We'll take good care of "Bugg"!