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LSU Names “Next Great 25” Team

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Former captains name their best of the last 25 years.

NCAA Football: Texas A&M at Louisiana State
Nov 25, 2017; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; New York Giants wide receiver and LSU Tigers former player Odell Beckham Jr. plays with the LSU band during a game against the Texas A&M Aggies at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

LSU released an all-time team of sorts, or a some-time team for the last 25 years anyway. The “Next Great 25 Team:

As part of LSU’s celebration of 125 seasons of football in 2018, the school has released “The Next Great 25,” a team comprised of the 25 best players by position over the last quarter century. The team was selected by the permanent team captains from 1993-2017.

For players to be placed on the ballot they had to fall under one of the following categories: First Team All-America, First-Team All-SEC, or first round NFL Draft pick. The team consists of 11 players on offense and defense along with three specialists.

The “Next Great 25” serves as a compliment to LSU’s Team of the Century, which was selected as part of the school’s Centennial Football Celebration in 1992.

The selections are as follows:

LSU’s “Next Great 25” Team (1993-2018)

Offense

C Ben Wilkerson, 2001-04

OL Andrew Whitworth, 2002-05

OL Alan Faneca, 1995-97

OL La’el Collins, 2011-14

OL Trai Turner, 2012-13

QB Matt Flynn, 2004-07

RB Leonard Fournette, 2014-16

RB Kevin Faulk, 1995-98

WR Odell Beckham Jr., 2011-13

WR Josh Reed, 1999-2001

WR Michael Clayton, 2001-03

Defense

DL Glenn Dorsey, 2004-07

DL Kyle Williams, 2002-05

DL Marcus Spears, 2001-04

DL Anthony McFarland, 1995-98

LB Bradie James, 1999-2002

LB Ali Highsmith, 2004-07

LB Kelvin Sheppard, 2007-10

DB Patrick Peterson, 2008-10

DB Tyrann Mathieu, 2010-11

DB LaRon Landry, 2003-06

DB Corey Webster, 2001-04

Special Teams

RS Trindon Holliday, 2006-09

PK Colt David, 2005-08

P Donnie Jones, 2000-03

The obvious question mark is the choice of Matt Flynn over Jamarcus Russell. I suspect the “former captains” selection process plays a role there, as Flynn has remained very active in the university community since.

Ali Highsmith is an interesting choice as well, over players like Kwon Alexander and Kevin Minter — although the former may not have hit the all-conference threshold. Still, with a team like this, at a program like LSU, there will always be notable exceptions. Players like Gabe Northern, Chuck Wiley, Drake Nevis, Mo Claiborne, Dwayne Bowe and Eric Reid among others also have gripes. Although when it comes to defensive line and defensive back, it’s pretty tough to leave off any of the current members.

I’d probably also take Josh Jasper at kicker as well. So what do you think?