Round Rock, TX, May 04, 2007 --(PR.com
)-- The LSU Tigers set a school record this weekend by having four of its five players selected in this year’s NFL Draft taken in the first round. At exactly 12:20 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Saturday, April 28, the Oakland Raiders with the first overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft selected “quarterback JaMarcus Russell, LSU.”
LSU, which uses Sportexe synthetic turf systems at its on-campus indoor football practice facility, added another seven free agent signings to bring LSU’s total of 12 players to sign with the NFL from last season’s Sugar Bowl championship squad.
Three other LSU standouts were selected during the first round along with Russell, including safety LaRon Landry, sixth overall to the Washington Redskins; wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, 23rd overall to the Kansas City Chiefs; and wide receiver Craig Davis, 30th overall to the San Diego Chargers.
Defensive end Chase Pittman was the fifth Tiger taken during the two-day selection process as he was a seventh round pick of the Cleveland Browns.
“The entire State of Louisiana is proud of JaMarcus and his teammates making the jump to professional football,” said LSU offensive coordinator Gary Crowton. “They did an outstanding job for the LSU football program as players and will continue to do so as ambassadors for our university.”
Russell became only the second football player in school history (joining Billy Cannon in 1960) to be selected with the top pick in the NFL Draft. The 6-foot-6, 260-pound junior, who has shown the ability to throw the football 60 yards while kneeling, compiled a 25-4 record as the Tigers starting quarterback. Russell finished his career ranked among the top five in every career passing category kept at LSU.
“It was clear from the moment the NFL Draft opened that JaMarcus Russell was the undisputed choice for the No. 1 pick,” said football insider and Sportexe spokesperson Aaron S. Lee. “Chants of ‘Ja-Mar-Cus Rus-Sell!’ rang throughout New York’s Radio City Music Hall before the Raiders were even on the clock.”
LSU (11-2 overall, 6-2 Southeastern Conference) finished the season ranked No. 3 nationally – capturing its second straight Top 5 finish – after a 41-14 victory over No. 11 Notre Dame in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. And during the past two seasons, only the defending national-champion Florida Gators have equaled the Tigers’ 22 wins for most victories in the SEC.
“Football is not a game you can win without a sincere commitment to the sport, and that commitment begins with practice,” said Crowton, a former head coach for both BYU and Louisiana Tech and coordinator for the Chicago Bears. “We are so lucky at LSU to have a university that provides us the tools to honor that commitment. Our indoor practice facility, which uses Sportexe turf, is an example of the tools we utilize on a consistent basis to achieve our goals.
“When teaching young players the fundamentals and techniques needed to be successful in this game, the last thing we need are distractions from improper footing or inclement weather,” he said. “Our indoor field featuring Sportexe gives us a quality environment with no distractions.”
The Tigers’ 82,555-square foot, climate-controlled practice field connects to the LSU Football Operations Center. The facility was built in 1991 and features the same Sportexe turf system used in the Louisiana Superdome and M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
“Russell’s selection is a testament to not only his skill, but the entire LSU program that head coach Les Miles has built,” said Lee. “There is no doubt as to why LSU has been so successful over the past few years, and Sportexe is proud that the Tigers chose Sportexe turf for its practice facility. LSU takes its equipment selection and daily preparation quite seriously, and for 12 NFL-bound LSU Tigers practice has definitely made perfect on Sportexe.”
Sportexe, a global leader in the synthetic turf industry, can be found underfoot of many of the nation’s elite athletes from the NFL and NCAA, including practice fields for the San Francisco 49ers, Buffalo Bills, University of Alabama and Tulane, and game fields for the Baltimore Ravens, New Orleans Saints, University of California and Southern Miss. Sportexe is also the exclusive turf provider for the Arena Football League, arenafootball2, Major Indoor Soccer League and National Lacrosse League.
• Sportexe •
With offices in Ontario, Texas, and Georgia, Sportexe is dedicated to delivering top notch synthetic turf solutions to each and every client. As an acknowledged leader in the industry, the U.S Company prides itself on delivering products that feature the latest in innovation and superior engineering with an emphasis on research and development. Currently Sportexe is the exclusive or official turf system supplier for The Arena Football League, (AFL/AF2), National Lacrosse League (NLL), Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL), U.S. Indoor Soccer Association, and the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA). Additionally, Sportexe partners with the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA). Sportexe has also made tremendous progress in the international scene by securing relationships with both the International Hockey Fédération (FIH), and the Federation International de Football Association (FIFA).
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