Seniors ready to finish strong

Senior Russell Shepard

TSD's Austin Cooper takes a look at how this senior class of LSU Tigers will be remembered, by the numbers and by the memories.

When they run out of the tunnel and onto the grass of Tiger Stadium for the last time on Saturday, LSU's senior class will have countless reasons to be happy. This senior class of Tigers has accomplished a lot of things throughout their careers at LSU that most can only dream about. Every member of the senior class will have different memories of their time at LSU, but, in terms of football, they have accomplished things that most in the state of Louisiana won't soon forget.

Perhaps the biggest accomplishment of the senior class was having the first 13-0 regular season in school history in 2011 to go along with the first 8-0 conference championship in the same year.

This class has won 41 games together up to this point, and that is sure to increase as this season finishes up. Some of these wins include one SEC Championship (2011), a Cotton Bowl victory (2010), and, for some members, a Chick-Fil-A bowl victory (2008) as well as an appearance in the 2012 BCS National Championship Game.

More impressively, the fourth-year seniors have played every game as a Tiger ranked in the top 25. The fifth-year seniors have played all but two games for a top-25 LSU team.

The craziest thing about these accomplishments is that most of the senior class would not say those are among their fondest memories as a Tiger. They will remember the true feeling of what it meant to be a Tiger.

Russell Shepard explained after the Alabama game that what he is going to remember is running out of the tunnel beneath the lights of Tiger Stadium. The crowd of Tiger Stadium is also something that will stick with him for years to come.

"There is nothing like playing in a game like last Saturday," said Shepard. "That kind of put the nail in the coffin for me. I'm happy and I'm blessed to be able to come here to a school like this and represent them."

Josh Downs explained that the defensive seniors remember going to battle along side guys that they have grown to love in their time at LSU.

"I think my favorite moment of being a Tiger is every Saturday night that I get an opportunity to play beside the guys that I practice with and have grown up with and really grown to love over my four years as a Tiger," said Downs.

Memories are constituted of different things depending on the person you talk to. For the fans, all of the things that this class of seniors has accomplished on the field are most memorable and will be how this team goes down in history.

For the seniors themselves, the memories will include night games in Tiger Stadium, playing against the very best every Saturday, and most of all, the LSU faithful.

"I'm sure it will be emotional just because it will be my last time getting to play along side the guys on our field and run out of the tunnel into Tiger Stadium," said Downs. "I'm really going to miss the fans that we have in that stadium. It well definitely be emotional for me."

When they step out of the tunnel and into Tiger Stadium for the last time on Saturday at 2:30 pm, the LSU seniors will be focused on victory and nothing else. As usual, Tiger Stadium will be ready, the fan base will be loud, and the senior class will be ready to lead their team to victory at home one last time.

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