The finished product -- a large group of LSU players perfectly outfitted on gamedays -- seems simple enough, but behind the scenes with the Tigers' equipment staff reveals a much more turbulent scene.
From requests for gear from former stars now in the NFL to tracking down a missing set of shoulder pads, it's a long road to game days, as detailed in an expansive report from Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated.
The story details one of LSU's newest editions, a cooling container crafted by Lafayette's Paul Boudreaux. The shipping container is similar to ones that have already been featured at Saints training camp this year.
The New Orleans Saints keep finding new ways to beat the heat of training camp.
Below are some excerpts from the report:
"Greg Stringfellow’s phone begins to quack like a duck. He removes it from his pocket to see a string of text messages from New York Jets safety Jamal Adams requesting the school send him some of his old college gear. ... As LSU football’s equipment director, Stringfellow’s responsibilities extend to alums playing professionally. Just recently, he shipped to quarterback Danny Etling, now in New England, and to running back Derrius Guice, now with the Redskins, their college-worn shoulder pads. Running back Leonard Fournette, with the Jacksonville Jaguars, still wears his college shoulder pads, the purple and gold flaps sometimes peering from beneath his jersey. 'It’s a comfort deal,' Stringfellow says. 'Shoulder pads get broken in and become a part of them.' "
Former LSU running back Leonard Fournette came up big for the Jacksonville Jaguars in Sunday's AFC divisional playoff with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"On Friday, new issues arise. A box containing shoulder pads belonging to older players has vanished. ... Saahdiq Charles’s precious set of shoulder pads are in the lost box. The 6-foot-5, 320-pound left tackle shoots Stringfellow a glare upon learning of this. 'We’ll find’em!' Stringfellow promises the sophomore. Stringfellow’s second in command, Eric Cookmeyer, isn’t as confident. The 26-year-old from Mandeville was thrust into the No. 2 role this week, and you can tell. His hair is a bit of a mess, the result of running his hands through it continuously. 'I’m stressed about the shoulder pads,' he grumbles.
"A day before camp opens in Baton Rouge, Hudson Lemoine, a local manager at Coca-Cola, has stocked LSU with 8,000 bottles of water and 1,000 bottles of Powerade. That does not include the 100 gallons of water trainers have prepared for Day 1 of camp or the 1,500 pounds of ice ready to go, too. A player might lose as many as 12 pounds during a two-hour practice in the Louisiana heat, and so each consumes an average of two to three gallons of water a day, says Jack Marucci, LSU’s head trainer and one of the founding members of the Marucci Bat Company."
For the full Sports Illustrated report, click here.
The hometown baseball team will soon be swinging the hometown-made bat.