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St James rb Sean Lebeouf (2) leaps over the line and is tackled by Union Parish olb Hayden Edwards (26) during the playoff game at St James in Vacherie, La.

Sean Lebeouf spent last week getting an idea of what college life might be like. He walked the Southern University campus to make sure he knew where his classes will be.

Make no mistake about it, the former St. James High running back still plans to do what he always does — hit the ground running.

“I think my biggest adjustment in college will be time management. In high school, it is mandatory for you to go to class. You don’t have your parents or anyone to wake you up," Lebeouf said.

“I am looking forward to meeting new friends and learning new things in my classes. As far as football goes, I’m ready to compete.”

Of course, the 5-foot-9, 193-pound Lebeouf’s debut will be delayed until the Jaguars’ spring season. But the story of how he joined SU’s list of newcomers over the summer puts another interesting slant on an unusual offseason.

Lebeouf was a three-year starter for the Class 3A Wildcats and helped them win their first LHSAA title in 40 years last fall. He signed with Navy after running for 1,613 yards with 19 touchdowns and averaged 6.9 yards per carry as a senior.

However, Leboeuf could not be cleared to attend Navy because of a medication he took as a youngster. Over the summer, he pondered his options while considering Southern, Alcorn, Lamar and Houston before picking the Jaguars. Running the Mississippi River levee to strengthen his legs provided time for Leboeuf to think.

“When I heard he was going to Southern, my first thought was, they got a steal,” said Brusly coach Hoff Schooler, whose team played St. James in the 3A quarterfinals. “He looked good on film, but that did not really do him justice. You could see he was a playmaker and do things in space. But he is also such a tough runner between the tackles.”

St. James coach Robert Valdez, a former Southern lineman, uses some of the same superlatives to describe Lebeouf. He adds a few other points.

“Sean was just one of those tough, real scrappy guys. The hard work never fazed him,” Valdez said. “The kid could probably go for hours and hours if you asked him to. He brings the success, work ethic and a lot of experience with him from high school.

“It will take some time for him to adjust to the speed of the college game. He responds to challenges.”

Lebeouf has already found a kindred spirit in his roommate, former Catholic High running back/return specialist Braelen Morgan. In addition to walking the campus together, the two freshmen have met with coaches and some of SU’s returning players. Lebeouf said he looks forward to an apprenticeship under the Jaguars’ top rusher, Devon Benn, among others.

“We’ve been working out with some of the older guys on our own, trying to get a feel for the team and the offense,” Lebeouf said. “I am going to learn from him (Benn) and the other running backs. They are going to teach us the college game.”

The Southern coaches have told Lebeouf and Morgan they will have chances to earn early roles for the Jaguars this spring.

“Coach (Ashton) Warner (running backs coach) told us we can be a 1-2 punch,” Lebeouf said. “But we have to earn it. I can’t wait to get started.”


Email Robin Fambrough at rfambrough@theadvocate.com