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Trey Quinn signs with LSU on Wednesday during National Signing Day. (Rick Hickman / Special to the American Press)

Trey Quinn signs with LSU on Wednesday during National Signing Day. (Rick Hickman / Special to the American Press)

Lake Area's pipeline to LSU football

Last Modified: Friday, February 07, 2014 1:43 PM

By Troy LaFleur / American Press

When Jacory Washington and Trey Quinn signed their names on the dotted line Wednesday, they became the third and fourth athletes from Southwest Louisiana to sign scholarships to play football at LSU in the past two years, following in the footsteps of Desean Smith and Melvin Jones.

The foursome represent the largest number of local players to ever go to Baton Rouge on football scholarships in a two-year span.

Jones and Smith both made their true freshman debuts for the Tigers in 2013.

Jones, a Washington-Marion product, was recruited as a linebacker out of high school, but began the transition to fullback in his first season. His debut came in the Tigers’ homecoming game against Furman, when he caught his lone pass of the season — a 7-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Jones has a chance to seal up the starting fullback spot in August as both J.C. Copeland and Connor Neighbors exhausted their eligibility.

Smith, a Barbe graduate, saw his first action in LSU’s opening game versus Texas Christian. He appeared in two more games, catching one pass for 14 yards. The tight end is expected to compete with junior Dillon Gordon for the starting job next season.

Smith will be reunited with former high school teammate Quinn this fall. The duo helped lead Barbe to the Class 5A state championship game in 2012, their final game together in high school.

“The sky is the limit for those two. They are great kids who work hard, and they compete,” said Barbe head coach Mike Cutrera. “They both have the chance of getting playing time early on in their careers.”

Washington will join Smith on the depth chart as a tight end where he hopes his athleticism will propel him to early playing time.

Other Southwestern Louisiana athletes to sign scholarships with LSU in recent history include Sulphur linebacker Tahj Jones, Leesville running back Michael Ford, who now plays for the Chicago Bears; Elton defensive tackle Al Woods, who spent two years with the New Orleans Saints; and Barbe running back Justin Vincent, who was with the Pittsburgh Steelers for their Super Bowl XLIII victory after spending four years with the team. Currently on the LSU roster as walk-ons are placekicker Alex Kjellsten and wide receiver Lenny Breda, both of St. Louis Catholic.

“Southwest Louisiana has some good football,” Cutrera said. “There are good coaches in this area who do a really good job and there is a lot of talent. That mix will hopefully bring more colleges to check out what we have in this area.”

Jennings wide receiver/defensive back Malik Williams also signed to play for a Division I college program Wednesday when he submitted his National Letter of Intent to Louisiana-Lafayette, where he will be joined by preferred walk-on Chuck Harlow, an offensive tackle from DeRidder.

“Hopefully they set the stage for next year,” Cutrera said. “We’ve got good talent in this area and hopefully more guys from here will have the chance to play at places like LSU.”

Posted By: Richard B Pruitt On: 2/8/2014

Title: Been there done that many times....

I have to differ on the allegation that this is the first time LSU has signed four local athletes in two years. LaGrange did that in the 1969-70 signing classes when Jimbo Benglis (69), Don Soileau (70), Randy Skelton (70) and Greg Foreman (70) signed on. Another Gator, Mike Patrick signed in the December early signing period bt signed a National Letter of Intent with Houston. You also can jump forward to the foursome of Orlando McDaniel, Efram Davis Cooley, John Falgout and Lawrence Williams from 1978. The 70's saw many local athletes signing with LSU every year. If you like you can pull up the LSU signing classes stretching back to 1969 on the web.

Posted By: Billy Myers On: 2/8/2014

Title: Connor Neighbors

Neighbors has one year of eligibility remaining and will start at fullback for LSU.

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