LC native Quinn rode wave of glee after upset win

Published 8:25 am Monday, November 3, 2014

The whole thing is still kind of a blur, even if the picture is crystal clear.

But best he can remember, Trey Quinn was basically minding his own business in the moments before he became a Twitter icon and Instagram star.

That body surfer dude.

The LSU wide receiver, a true freshman just a year removed from setting the national high school record for receiving yards while at Barbe, had just made two key receptions for 42 yards in the Tigers’ 10-7 upset of Ole Miss last week.

But apparently that was coincidental to his sudden fame and celebrity.

“It’s been crazy” he said Friday night while enjoying the Tigers’ open date by taking in the Barbe-Sulphur game.

“I think I was just at the right place at the right time.”

Or maybe he was just the right size at the right time and place, which would be 6-foot, 195 pounds in the immediate aftermath of LSU’s upset in the corner of the field where a good chunk of the student section rushed the field for the first time in a dozen years and turned the postgame scene into a rock concert’s mosh pit.

Quinn had to look a lot more accommodating for what the students had in mind than some of the bulkier Tigers, which are in no short supply on this year’s team.

“My dad said, like, they were smart not picking up an offensive lineman like La’el Collins or somebody like that.”

At any rate, Quinn was the chosen one.

He’s just still not clear how it happened — just that he somehow found himself swept away by an unstoppable force in the tidal wave of ecstasy following the game.

And what a wave — and wild ride — it was.

However, it happened, Quinn soon found himself up in the air, up above the bubbling heads of the civilian students’ celebration on the field, flat on his back and being passed along upon the celebrants’ fingertips as smoothly and gracefully as a cloud floating on a calm day.

And that might have been that.

Except that Crystal LoGiudice, a freelance photographer working for Gannett News that night, snapped a perfect photo of the moment.

There were other shots of Quinn’s body surf, many taken by the participants with cell phones, but the LoGiudice photo is the one that best summed up the moment.

And in this instant-information age, her photo went viral on social media in less time than it takes for a TV timeout.

For now, it will stand as the perfect illustration for Joy of Victory, Tiger Stadium style.

“I think it’s gotten more notoriety than the game itself,” Quinn said. “I was just happy for the win, but everybody seems to love that picture.”

LSU punter Jamie Keehn must have been some kind of jealous. The quirky Australian had said just a few weeks earlier that his football fantasy was to be swept up by the student section and body-surfed to the top rim of the stadium.

Quinn never imagined anything like that happening. His football fantasies run more toward the mundane, your game-winning catches and the like.

But his magic carpet ride began with him just trying to say hello to and hug with some buddies.

When defensive back Ronald Martin sealed the upset of the Rebels with an interception with two seconds remaining, Quinn had cast a glance toward the corner of the field where the student section resides.

“You could tell they (students) were going to come over the wall,” he said. “The security wasn’t going to be able to hold them back.”

It wasn’t the worst place to be wearing an LSU uniform, filled with back-slappers.

“Don’t get me wrong, I was ready to run down there and celebrate the win,” said Quinn, who soon found himself in the middle of the glee.

As luck would have it, he ran into two buddies from Barbe, Tavius Clark and Alex Garrido, in the midst of the pandemonium.

He can’t be sure, but he suspects they may have had something to do with what happened next.

“I heard somebody say, “Pick him up.’ The next thing I know I got picked up,” Quinn remembered. “I don’t know if it was them that started it, but they were nearby.”

The rest was almost an out-of-body experience, body-surfing division.

“I got lifted up a little bit at first, then a couple more feet … then the next thing I know, I’m getting passed around.”

He figures the whole trip lasted about a minute and covered maybe 25-30 yards, starting in the end zone and ending out at about the 20-yard line, never touching ground, gliding easily along those fellow student’s fingertips.

“I don’t know how they did it,” he said. “I felt like a feather. They were passing me around like I was nothing. I feel for those people that had to hold me up. They were smart. They picked up somebody that doesn’t weigh that much.”

When things finally settled down, he showered and went out to meet his family at the locker room entrance outside the stadium.

A recruit in for the game who Quinn knew, showed him the picture on his cell phone.

“I said that’s a pretty cool picture, why don’t you send it to me.”

He needn’t have bothered.

It wasn’t until then that Quinn checked his own cell phone, which remarkably had not exploded.

“I’ve got all these notifications and stuff from Twitter. There’s nothing but that picture in my phone.

“That’s when it kind of hit me that it was going all over everywhere.”

Quinn was a bona fide social media star, which has led to a lot of ribbing from teammates last week.

“Nobody’s giving me an easy time with it,” he laughed. “It’s like, ‘What’s up surfer boy’ (or) ‘Now we got Mr. Famous Crowd Surfer in here with us.”

Be said it wasn’t too bad around campus and classes.

“I think I kind of blend into the student population, most (classmates) don’t realize I’m even on the team,” he said.

But the photo op came up in one of his girlfriend’s classes, with a spirited discussion between professor and students.

“She was just sitting there,” he recalled her telling him. “Nobody had an idea she was dating me. She thought it was funny.”

If Quinn’s budding football career continues on its current path — he’s second on the team in receptions — the relative campus anonymity isn’t likely to last.

But it also gives him time to work on something else.

“I’m looking forward to creating a name for myself for something other than body surfing,” he said.


Scooter Hobbs covers LSU sports. Email him at LoGiudice/USA Today)