LSU sees a new group of players step up to make big plays

Jontre Kirklin runs for a touchdown during the first half of a game between LSU and Vanderbilt...
Jontre Kirklin runs for a touchdown during the first half of a game between LSU and Vanderbilt at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020.(Gus Stark | Gus Stark)
Updated: Oct. 7, 2020 at 1:04 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - With the departure of so many players from last year’s squad, LSU is seeing big plays from several guys who have been stepping up.

In high school, Jontre Kirklin was a magician at Lutcher High School. He was an improvising quarterback whose legs never stopped moving and an arm that somehow reached receivers on the run. Now, after three years of patience and waiting, Kirklin is finally making plays as an LSU Tiger.

“After I scored my first touchdown, I came back to the sideline and I almost cried but I didn’t because I felt like I had more to give,” said Kirklin. “I actually, like literally, felt all the love just cover me. I just had to shake it off, like, you gotta finish.”

Against Vanderbilt, Kirklin had three catches for 65 yards and two touchdowns.


Junior defensive back and former Plaquemine star Todd Harris has done his share of waiting as well after a knee injury basically wiped out his entire 2019 season. But Harris has worked his way back and intercepted a pass in Nashville.

“He’s one of those guys where he helps the team chemistry,” said senior safety JaCoby Stevens. “He’s one of those guys that everybody’s cool with, everybody likes and so, when he went down, it hurt us a little bit. But he was here every day getting treatment, getting rehab just trying to work his way back and he worked his tail off to get back this year.”

In addition to the pick, Harris had three tackles against the Commodores.

LSU assistant coach Bill Bush, who played a large role in bringing Joe Burrow to Baton Rouge, gets credit for what could be the Tigers' top newcomer on defense this season.

“I have goals of becoming my best self and becoming a better player, becoming one of the top defensive linemen in the country, which i’m still working toward,” said defensive lineman Ali Gaye.

Gaye had three tackles, including a tackle for loss, against Vanderbilt. He was also credited for two quarterback hurries.

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