INDIANAPOLIS — The LSU Tigers consistently put one of the country’s most talented teams on the field.
But there’s been something missing since their most recent national championship game appearance more than four years ago. A five-game losing streak to rival Alabama serves as proof that Les Miles’ program needs an extra boost to take down Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide.
Former lineman Jerald Hawkins thinks the pieces are in place for the power balance to shift back toward Baton Rouge.
“Honestly, I believe they’re on that level,” Hawkins told media Wednesday during the NFL scouting combine. “We’ve just gotta make sure we can finish. That’s been the main thing for the past four years. We’re always in the game, but we just have to finish the thing.”
Easier said than done, especially against an Alabama team that has won four of the past seven national titles.
“It’s a mindset,” Hawkins said. “You’ve gotta have the mentality. As long as everybody has that, they’re gonna be well off.”
The Baldwin, La., native had another year of eligibility left at LSU, but he decided to go pro despite the NFL advisory committee’s recommendation that he stay in school another year. He’s projected by many to be a second or third round selection.
“It was really a personal choice, if you feel you’re ready,” Hawkins said. “That’s how I felt.”