Lighter linebackers are the new norm in the NFL, which is good news for LSU’s Deion Jones _lowres

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- LSU linebacker Deion Jones (45) stands up Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen (10) in the first half Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015 in Baton Rouge.

Jim Hawthorne wasn’t in the radio booth, but he had a spot saved on the 15-yard line.

LSU’s longtime radio play-by-play man was honored at the end of the first quarter of No. 9 LSU’s 31-14 loss to Arkansas on Saturday night in Tiger Stadium for receiving the 2015 Chris Schenkel Award.

Hawthorne hasn’t called the past two football games following a medical procedure two weeks ago. LSU coach Les Miles briefly spoke to Hawthorne after the crowd showered him with applause.

The award, presented by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, goes to “individuals who have had long, distinguished careers broadcasting college football with direct ties to a specific university,” according to the NFF.

Hawthorne called 387 straight LSU football games before missing last week’s contest at Alabama. The school announced last February that Hawthorne will retire at the end of the men’s basketball season.

No Teuhema, Washington, Smith

For a second straight game, defensive end Sione Teuhema did not dress out. Redshirt freshman tight end Jacory Washington also did not dress out against the Razorbacks.

Teuhema, thought to be the No. 4 defensive end on a line that has struggled with depth, has missed the last two games because of a coach’s decision, Miles said.

A reason for Washington’s absence is unclear. Washington has not played this season.

Junior tight end DeSean Smith didn’t dress after participating in warmups. His absence, coupled with senior Dillon Gordon’s season-ending Achilles surgery a few weeks ago, left the Tigers with only two tight ends: junior Colin Jeter and true freshman Foster Moreau.

Hawkins exits game

After failing to get a push early against Arkansas’ defensive front, junior left tackle Jerald Hawkins left in the second quarter and did not return. According to the team’s radio broadcast, Hawkins went into the locker room and X-rays on his hand came back negative.

Sophomore KJ Malone, son of NBA legend Karl Malone, filled in at left tackle.

‘We miss him’

Steve Ensminger’s first phone call after the game against Alabama last week went to Gordon, the senior tight end who’s out for the season.

“It’s hard on him,” Ensminger said in a pregame interview that aired on WNXX-FM.

Gordon suffered a season-ending Achilles injury against Florida and had surgery days later. Gordon, at 310 pounds, served as one of LSU’s key run-blockers in a run-centric offense.

Jeter, who has replaced Gordon, is more than 50 pounds lighter than Gordon. Moreau has been thrown into duty as a rookie.

Ensminger said coaches are focusing on Moreau’s form and technique. His pad level is “too high,” the coach said.

“We miss him,” Ensminger said. “It’s amazing. He talked to all of our tight ends before the (Alabama) game. First person I called after the game was him.”

Winner, winner

Emmet and Toni Stephenson are no strangers to philanthropy.

The 1967 LSU graduates were recognized during the first quarter of Saturday’s game as the winner of Fournette’s South Carolina jersey auction. The signed, game-worn jersey, along with an LSU helmet signed by Miles and a Gamecocks helmet signed by former South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, sold for $101,000 in an auction that ended last Monday morning.

The money from the Stephensons, who gifted LSU $25 million the year after Hurricane Katrina, will go toward the relief fund for victims of severe flooding in South Carolina last month.

Fournette’s jersey will be displayed in the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute in LSU’s Business School.The Stephensons will donate the Spurrier-signed helmet to South Carolina and hope the Miles-signed helmet will be placed in Tiger Stadium.


Hawkins ran out of the tunnel holding the French flag, and LSU held a moment of silence before the game in memory of the victims of Friday’s terrorist attacks that killed more than 100 people in Paris. ... SEC commissioner Greg Sankey was in attendance Saturday, his first trip to Tiger Stadium this season. Sankey had watched LSU play two road games earlier this season. … Captains for the game were Hawkins, linebacker Lamar Louis and defensive backs Jalen Mills and Jamal Adams. ... Members of the 1966 LSU football team, which defeated Arkansas in that year’s Cotton Bowl, were honored as guest captains.

Marcus Rodrigue and Ross Dellenger contributed to this report.