LSU Football News and Notes from the second week of May, 2006

Since news is scarce right now, I thought I’d try something different. The following are excerpts from this week’s articles that didn’t really deserve a link on their own:

  • Xavier Carter
  • Florida Today (05/13):

    Palm Bay graduate and LSU sprinter Xavier Carter won his heat of the 200 at the SEC Outdoor Championships at the University of Arkansas.

    Carter won the heat in 21.24. He will compete in the 400 today.

  • Ben Wilkerson
  • Cincinnati Enquirer (05/13):

    Center Ben Wilkerson was cleared at the end of the regular season after spending 2005 on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury List. Wilkerson was the nation's top collegiate center at LSU in 2004 before suffering a series knee injury. He could push second-year player Eric Ghiaciuc for the job of backup center behind Rich Braham.

  • Bennie Brazell
  • Cincinnati Bengals (05/12):

    The other seventh-rounder, Bennie Brazell, the 400-meter Olympic hurdler turned wide receiver, arrives with just 17 career catches in a part-time role at LSU.

    “We’re checking their strengths and weaknesses and what we have to work on with each guy,” said offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski. “There are always surprises after you draft them. Some are sharper mentally, they have that football intelligence and they pick it up. Some act like it’s too big for them and they’re intimidated by it. Some come in and right away its, ‘I belong here.’ ”

    The Bengals aren’t intimidated by Brazell’s lack of experience. Bratkowski points to the one season of Division I played by Pro Bowl wide receiver Chad Johnson and the 70 college snaps played by emerging right tackle Stacy Andrews before they were drafted. Bratkowski is looking for a few things from Brazell.

    “We need to look where he is in his route-running and how he handles certain breaks,” Bratkowski said. “We may find out, ‘Hey, we’ve got a good one here.’ That’s what you’ve got five practices for, to evaluate what you have.”

  • Skyler Green
  • Dallas Star-Telegram (05/09):

    Fourth-round draft pick Skyler Green has a chance to make an immediate impact as a kick returner.

    First, he has to lose some weight, as Bill Parcells said he came to minicamp too heavy.

    Second, he must show Parcells he can do more than just return kicks, such as play receiver and possibly cover on special teams.

    "If he can't do that, he is not going to make it," Parcells said.

    Parcells was impressed with Green's return ability and knowledge.

    He has pretty good skill catching punts and kickoffs," Parcells said. "Whoever was coaching him at LSU in that regard, I would look to as someone who knew what they were doing. He had a lot of good information. I said, 'What do you know about this.' He started, 'Well, this is what I've been told.' A lot of that was good. I added to it what I thought was important."

    Ranch Report (05/07):

    One player who Parcells said showed some promise -- but still needed to improve -- was Skyler Green, the return specialist/wide receiver Dallas drafted from LSU.

    "I told you Friday that he's too heavy," Parcells said of Green, who weighed in at 197 pounds. "He's got a tough job, now, because he's got to show me he can play a few plays other than just returning kicks."

    Dallas Cowboys (05/06):

    Rookie receiver Skyler Green, primarily a punt returner in college, said the Cowboys plan on using on both kick and punt returns. One possible plan is for the Cowboys to line up Green with Tyson Thompson, who set club records his rookie season last year with 57 returns for 1,399 yards.

    Green averaged 14.3 yards and scored four touchdowns returning 69 punts during his LSU career. But he only returned 31 kickoffs in three seasons, and never more than 11 in one season, for a 21.4 career average.

    The Cowboys drafted Green primarily as a return man, but also would like to find him plays as a receiver in the offense.

  • Claude Wroten
  • NFL Draft Blitz(05/12):

    In round 3 the Rams had 3 picks. Their first 3rd round pick, acquired from Denver, was used to select Claude Wroten, DT, LSU. Wroten is an explosive one-gap penetrating DT with excellent initial quickness, good leverage, and very good anticipation skills. He is a late 1st round talent that dropped in the draft due to testing positive at the NFL combine and an earlier arrest for marijuana possession. Coach Linehan personally checked his background through Dolphin coaches who coached Wroten at LSU. If Wroten's problems are behind him and he continues to improve his technique and lower body strength, the Rams got a steal in round three.

    Belleville News, IL (05/10):

    Haslett thinks LSU defensive tackle Claude Wroten, taken in the third round, also could make an immediate impact.

    "We thought he had first-round potential," Haslett said. "He's a guy who can get after the quarterback, probably the best pass rusher in the draft from that spot."

    Wroten was arrested earlier this year and charged with charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

    Those charges were dropped, and Haslett believes that having Glover as a mentor will help keep Wroten out of further trouble.

  • Melvin Oliver
  • San Francisco 49ers (05/07):

    McCloughan also liked what he saw in defensive lineman Melvin Oliver out of LSU who worked at right end in the 3-4 front. Despite Manny Lawson getting worked into the ground in his first practice with linebacker coach Mike Singletary, the NC State standout proved he can move his hips well and drop in coverage.

    “He really looks like he’s played backer before,” said McCloughan. “He’s got speed coming off the edge and they worked him in a two and three-point stance and he’s really going to help us this year.”

  • Miscellaneous
  • Tiger Rag (05/13):

    Kiper did say on his early draft board that LSU should have its fourth straight first round draft pick next season. Following in the footsteps of Michael Clayton, Marcus Spears and Joseph Addai, Kiper said LaRon Landry is projected as the eighth player to be taken in next season’s draft. A three-time all-SEC performer, Landry will be returning as a four-year starter for the Tigers.

    Bengals notebook (05/11):

    LSU tight end David Jones received a signing bonus of $2,500.

    Dayton Daily News (05/07):

    Bengals' rookies see first action: LSU has five representatives here — C/G Ben Wilkerson, OT Andrew Whitworth, G Nate Livings, WR Bennie Brazell and Jones.