11 with Louisiana ties headed to Super Bowl LV

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L'Jarius Sneed

Unless you have a wager (or two) on Super Bowl LV, how interested are you going to be as to who wins and loses? Where does your allegiance lie?

Do you want Tom Brady to get his seventh ring? Do you prefer Patrick Mahomes make it back-to-back titles? Are you strictly an NFC fan? Are the styles of the uniforms your thing?

Here’s something to consider: 11 players on the squads have Louisiana ties (5 with the Chiefs, 6 with the Buccaneers). Of that group, seven of the 11 are former LSU Tigers. Two others played for Tulane while one each come from UL Lafayette and LA Tech respectively.

Let’s look at them one-by-one.

KANSAS CITY

Clyde Edwards-Helaire
The first round pick in ’20 (32nd overall) prepped at Catholic in Baton Rouge and stayed in town to play college ball. He totaled 2,123 career rushing yards including 1,414 with 16 touchdowns in LSU’s 15-0 run to the 2019 national title. As a rookie this season, CEH compiled 803 rushing yards and four touchdowns, adding 36 catches for 297 yards and another score. He has battled injuries or his stats would be even better.

Darrel Williams

In his third pro campaign after arriving in Kansas City as an undrafted free agent, the John Ehret alum who he ran for 2,201 yards and 32 touchdowns as a senior in 2013 is another versatile LSU product. Bet you didn’t know that Williams was the first player in LSU history to run for 100 yards and managed 100 yards receiving in the same game (vs. Ole Miss in 2017). While with the Tigers, he totaled 1,651 rushing yards with 19 touchdowns, adding 38 catches for additional 462 yards. He shares the Chiefs backfield with Edwards-Helaire and LeVeon Bell, but his 13 carries for 52 yards and a touchdown were instrumental against Buffalo in the AFC Championship two weeks ago.

Tyrann Mathieu

The Honey Badger is a St. Augustine product who seems like he’s been around for ages but is just 28 years old. A third round of Arizona in 2013, he also lined up for the Texans before spending the past two seasons with the Chiefs. This three-time 1st team All Pro was a Heisman finalist at LSU in ’11. His playmaking and instincts are legendary. Many are expecting Tyrann to have a major hand in the game if the Chiefs repeat. No one would eb shocked his he put in a performance good enough to earn Super Bowl MVP honors.

Thakarius “Bo Pete” Keyes

Grabbed in the seventh round of the ’20 draft out of Tulane, the Laurel, Miss. native didn’t play football until his junior year in high school. Prior to that he starred on the hardwood but then transitioned to a successful career at cornerback for the Green Wave. At 6-foot-1, 202-pounds with 4.44 speed, he possesses all of the ingredients for longterm success in the NFL.

L’Jarius Sneed

He has proven to be a steal as a fourth round pick out of Louisiana Tech. The rookie made 33 starts at Tech as both a safety and cornerback. The Minden, La. native was recruited to Louisiana Tech by LSU’s new linebackers coach, Blake Baker. Sneed earned PFWA All Rookie recognition after recording 41 tackles, three interceptions and two sacks. Cleared to play this Sunday after time in concussion protocol, he will likely play an important role against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay passing attack.

Eljjah McGuire

In his third NFL season but currently on the Chiefs practice squad, the Vandebilt Catholic product led the state with 2,603 yards (on a 11.8 average) and 31 touchdowns in 2012. He also finished his career at ULL as the school’s all time all-purpose yardage leader with 5,968. McGuire finished with three consecutive 1,000 yard rushing seasons and had 4,312 career rushing with 52 touchdowns in Cajun Country. He was a member of the Chiefs LIV champion team as well.

Leonard Fournette

TAMPA BAY

Leonard Fournette

Like Mathieu, you’re tempted to think the stud runner has been around forever, but the 26 year old is just in his fourth NFL season. He only had 367 yards rushing with six scores this season, his first for the Bucs but the St. Aug alum has 211 in their three playoff wins. He was Jacksonville first round pick (4th overall) in 2017 and served the Jaguars on the field well despite their dwindling success. Overall, Fournette has produced 2,998 yards and 23 touchdowns on the ground with another 1,242 yards and two touchdowns as a receiver. He was twice a high school All-American before starring over three years at LSU where he had 3,830 rushing yards and 40 touchdowns as a bellcow back.

Kevin Minter

In his eighth year in NFL, the former second round selection of Arizona in 2013 has racked up 314 tackles with six sacks in 107 career games. The Suwanee, Ga. native was first team All-SEC at LSU in 2012. He has filled in well as a backup to very good Tampa linebackers this season.

Ryan Griffin

The Westlake Village, Calif. native went undrafted out of Tulane but stuck with the Saints where he spent 2013 and 2014. He has been in Tampa since 2015. Griffin holds Tulane all-time records in pass attempts (1,396), completions (836) and completion percentage (.599). He is a solid and smart reserve quarterback.

Devin White

One of the leaders of the Buccaneers, the North Webster product has been as good as advertised in the pros. If Tyrann Mathieu is a prime candidate for game MVP honors, the same holds true for White if the Bucs prevail. The fifth overall pick in the ’19 draft was the Butkus Award winner in 2018 to cap three standout seasons for LSU. His 166 tackles in 2020 with nine sacks and an interception this season are his best numbers yet. His 91-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown in 2019 against Atlanta is a franchise record. His four fumble recoveries last season is a franchise standard as well.

Cyril Grayson

A member of Tampa’s practice squad, the Archbishop Rummel product went undrafted to Seattle in 2017. He spent part of 2019 with Saints. The Kenner, La. native is a four-time NCAA track champion and seven-time All American at LSU. He’s still trying to polish his game on the gridiron. Grayson recorded one catch in 2019 for three yards and a kick return for 20 yards in 2020 for his only NFL stats thus far.

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Rene Nadeau

Rene Nadeau

CCS/Fox Sports/ESPN/WFAN

Born and raised in the New Orleans area, Rene Nadeau has been involved in sports ever since his earliest memories. Rene played basketball, wrestled, ran track, and was an All-District running back in football at John F. Kennedy High School. He went on to be a member of the LSU football program, developing a passion for the game in even…

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