As LSU continues to roll in what’s been a season for the ages, three former Destrehan alums have helped propel the Tigers into the SEC Championship Game and a 12-0 start: junior wide receiver Justin Jefferson, junior defensive end Glen Logan and running back John Emery.
Destrehan head coach Stephen Robicheaux said the experience of watching his former players be a part of what could be a historic season has been very special.
“To see Justin and Glen and John out there on Saturday nights and doing what they are, it’s an amazing kind of deal,” Robicheaux said. “It’s always good to see LSU have success, and they’re a part of that. They deserve the recognition, because those guys are not only very talented, they’re just great kids, great people.”
At Destrehan, Jefferson finished his career with 944 yards and eight touchdowns as the Wildcats’ go-to outside receiver.
At LSU, he’s emerged as one of Heisman Trophy candidate Joe Burrow’s favorite receivers. This season he’s caught 81 passes for 1,092 yards and 13 touchdowns, a big part of a massive step forward offensively for the Tigers this season. His reception mark is a team high.
Robicheaux recalled a conversation with LSU wide receivers coach and former San Francisco 49ers assistant Jerry Sullivan about Jefferson that hinted at the standout receiver’s future.
“He said he saw something in Justin that was really special,” Robicheaux said. “He saw it early. It’s been so exciting to watch him develop into the player that he is. It’s fun to watch, but it’s not surprising. He’s got the kind of ability that makes it really difficult for anyone to match up with him.”
In Logan’s case, the run-stopping defensive end was sidelined for part of the season due to injury, but returned Oct. 12 against Florida. Prior to being injured, he had his best statistical performance of the season under the brightest lights, making an impact at Texas in a primetime, nationally televised battle of highly ranked teams. In that game, Logan tallied three tackles, 1.5 for loss and recorded a sack. On the season, he has 17 stops and has chipped in a pair of pass deflections, but primarily has made opening running lanes difficult for opponents.
“I think he’s a different player this year,” said Robicheaux. “He’s lost a little weight and he’s more active and disruptive. He’s been taking on more of a leadership role for them. You can’t help but be excited for him. He’s such great kid and he’s making a difference for LSU.”
At Destrehan, Logan was a force that went noticed on the national level. He left Destrehan as the No. 2 overall prospect in Louisiana as per Rivals.com and closed out his senior season with 54.5 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and four sacks. He had a breakout year in 2018, his first as a starter, recording 46 tackles, 4.5 for loss, and four sacks.
As the youngest member of the trio, Emery’s workload has been up and down throughout the season, as one would expect of a true freshman running back—that he’s found playing time in the SEC as a first-year player is perhaps a sign of how highly regarded his talent is by the LSU staff.
Emery’s rushed for 189 yards and three touchdowns on 36 carries thus far this season and added five receptions for 51 yards. His best effort thus far saw him gain 79 yards on 12 touches against Utah State on Oct. 5. He’s followed up on that with another strong effort against Arkansas, turning two carries into 42 yards and a touchdown and showing his explosiveness.
He also made a nice splash on social media prior to the season, when a video of Emery making an impressive run at practice circulated amongst fans hungry to see the former star recruit in action —Emery was regarded as ESPN’s top running back recruit in the country during his senior year at Destrehan, when he rushed for 1,683 yards on 218 carries (7.7 yards an attempt) and scored 28 total touchdowns.
“He’s obviously a special player and his work ethic is ridiculous,” Robicheaux said. “He’s such a great kid. On the field, he’s got all the characteristics you want of a really good running back … he’s versatile, fast and has great vision … he runs angry.”