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LSU running back Darrel Williams was named a team MVP for 2017. But did he deserve it?

LSU football names 2017 MVPs, but did they get it right?

Nick Suss

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Awards extravaganza

LSU held its annual year-end awards banquet Monday night with running back Darrel Williams and linebacker Devin White splitting team MVP honors. Running back Derrius Guice and wide receiver DJ Chark were co-recipients of the Outstanding Offensive Player award, while White and cornerback Greedy Williams took home the Outstanding Defensive Player award.

There’s a lot to unpack there. First and foremost, how does a player win MVP but not Offensive Player of the Year, when a position-mate of his does? The sheer logic of giving Williams MVP and Guice the OPOY is vexing enough.

But then there’s the question of whether either of the running backs belonged in the MVP discussion. White is a fair, albeit bland choice. He had a great season at a position that might not be as valuable as it seems on paper. Leading the SEC in tackles and having one of the most productive inside linebacker seasons in LSU history does merit some praise. Obviously.

But Guice and Williams? It’s hard to argue either had a more outstanding season than Chark or fellow senior wide receiver Russell Gage. Williams’ versatility as a runner, receiver and blocker was well-known. But Chark and Gage also ran and received and blocked, not to mention served as LSU’s most pivotal special teams assets. Chark as a punt returner, Gage as a gunner downing punts and tackling return men.

Were it up to me, I would inverted these awards. My team MVPs would’ve been Greedy Williams and Gage, while Darrel Williams and White could’ve taken home position specific awards. But it’s not my choice to make. It’s yours.

Your weekly LSU football poll question

Let’s put this up to your vote. Who do you believe should’ve been named LSU’s MVP for 2017? Vote in the poll below. We’ll review your answers in the Bayou Bengal Briefing on Wednesday.

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Practice notes

LSU returned to practice Monday, continuing preparation for the Citrus Bowl on New Year’s Day versus Notre Dame. As you’ve probably come to expect, a few notable LSU Tigers were absent. Here’s a rundown of some of those players:

  • Running back Derrius Guice
  • Fullback Tory Carter
  • Outside linebacker Arden Key
  • Outside linebacker Corey Thompson
  • Cornerback Kevin Toliver II
  • Linebacker Donnie Alexander

Key and Alexander have missed all of bowl season recovering from injuries. This was Guice’s first practice absence since the end of the regular season.

NFL draft prep

Three LSU football players earned postseason all-star game invites Monday, headlined by one Tiger booking a trip to Mobile, Ala., for the Senior Bowl.

Chark became the first LSU player to earn an invite to the Senior Bowl for 2018 (Jan. 27), following in the footsteps of 2017 standouts such as Tre’Davious White, Duke Riley, Kendell Beckwith, Ethan Pocic and Dwayne Thomas. Gage and defensive end Frank Herron also stamped their respective invites Monday, receiving bids to play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on Jan. 20 in the Rose Bowl.

These three certainly won’t be LSU’s last postseason bowl athletes for 2018. Expect guys such as defensive linemen Christian LaCouture and Greg Gilmore, Alexander and quarterback Danny Etling to receive invites of some sort, potentially to the East-West Shrine Game.

Checking in with the ‘croots

We’re inching closer and closer to the early signing period for the recruiting Class of 2018, set to begin on Wednesday. As that period looms, SEC Country recruiting guru Sam Spiegelman has you covered on all the info you need. In case you missed any of it, here’s some of the headlines from a busy Monday on the recruiting front:

In hoops news

The LSU basketball team returns to the court Tuesday night, fresh off a home loss Saturday versus Stephen F. Austin.

The Tigers will host Sam Houston St. at 7 p.m. CT in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Coach Will Wade said Monday that he plans to tinker with the starting lineup, bringing senior forward Duop Reath in for sophomore Wayde Sims and subbing out 3-guard Randy Onwuasor for Daryl Edwards.

Wade said he doesn’t expect junior Brandon Sampson to be available for Tuesday. Sampson hasn’t played since the Maui Invitational as he continues to rehab an ankle injury.

LSU versus Sam Houston St. will be available for stream through WatchESPN and the SEC Network+. The game will not be televised.

Today in arbitrary anniversaries

Dec. 19 is a weirdly incredible day in the history of movies. According to the folks at, a quintet of some of the most iconic movies in cinema history all premiered on this date. So, let’s take a trip down memory lane:

  • Dec. 19, 1971: Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange premieres.
  • Dec. 19, 1979: Kramer vs. Kramer starring Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep premieres.
  • Dec. 19, 1980: Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull is released in the United States.
  • Dec. 19, 1986: Charlie Sheen vehicle and eventual Best Picture winner Platoon premieres.
  • Dec. 19, 2001: The first of Peter Jackson’s epic Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring, makes its premiere.

I don’t suggest marathoning all five of these movies back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back. That might take longer than Dec. 19 does. But it really is a great day for cinephiles everywhere. Pick your favorite entry and give it a rewatch.

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