LSU’s ‘grandpa,’ DT Quentin Thomas can flex again _lowres

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- LSU defensive tackle Quentin Thomas (95) is fully healthy after off-season biceps surgery.

Quentin Thomas needs a new theme song.

The senior defensive tackle played through torn left and right biceps last season, and his teammates used a popular tune to make light of his situation.

“When I tore (my biceps), my theme song was ‘No Flex Zone,’ ” Thomas said. “Usually when that came on they kind of looked at me like ‘Q, your song is on.’ ”

More than a week into preseason camp, Thomas is back at full strength and has fully participated in practices after missing spring training because if surgery on his left biceps. Doctors used one of his hamstring tendons to repair his left biceps, something his fellow linemen give him grief for, too.

“My position group always talks about that. They say ‘You got a hamstring for an arm,’ ” Thomas said.

Despite the frequent jokes, Thomas said his teammates kept him from getting down about his injuries.

“For a while I just felt like ‘Dang, how am I going to get through?’ But every day I came in here, they were like, ‘Q, we got you,’ ” he said. “I didn’t do spring, so I kind of fell behind. So when summer and camp came along, they pushed me through all that. They built my confidence and told me ‘You’re not as far behind as you think you are.’ ”

Thomas picked up nine totals tackles and half a tackle for loss playing through pain in 11 games last season. He tore his right biceps in preseason camp while attempting to tackle running back Leonard Fournette. He ruptured the left biceps during the fourth game of the season.

He’s expected to be in the rotation at defensive tackle behind projected starters Christian LaCouture and Davon Godchaux. He’s the only fifth-year senior on the team and the lone player with a championship ring — the 2011 SEC title.

The self-proclaimed “grandpa” of the squad, Thomas’ experience will be a valuable asset for the young group of defensive linemen. And now that he’s healthy again, perhaps he’ll make a play or two, as well.

“I feel better now than I did in the past,” Thomas said. “But that’s more so because of (defensive line coach Ed Orgeron) and what they’re teaching me about hand placement. Using your hands to get off instead of your head. As far as my arms, I’ve gotten better with using them.”

Ball eats crawfish

First-year LSU receivers coach Tony Ball is diving into south Louisiana cuisine. That includes eating and peeling crawfish.

Ball, a Tennessee native who spent the previous nine seasons as an assistant at Georgia, recently learned how to peel the popular Louisiana shellfish.

“I still have a hard time understanding how you can enjoy doing something you’ve got to work so hard to get,” a smiling Ball said Sunday.

SEC Nation coming to BR

The SEC Network’s version of “College GameDay” is coming to Baton Rouge for LSU’s game against Auburn on Sept. 19.

The traveling pregame show starts at 9 a.m. on Saturdays. It set up in front of the PMAC last season. This year’s crew includes host Joe Tessitore, analysts Greg McElroy and Marcus Spears, the former LSU star defensive lineman, and radio personality Paul Finebaum and reporter Kaylee Hartung.