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Stroup happy to be able to contribute for Tigers

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / August 19, 1998

BATON ROUGE – Football practice started for LSU this past week and Tiger fans cannot wait for the season to open.

They are not the only ones.

“I am glad to be back in camp,” junior quarterback Andy Stroup said. “I amexcited about this year. I am pumped to be here.”For Stroup, getting the chance to play for the Tigers is a dream come true.

The East St. John graduate transferred to LSU from Galveston (Texas)College and redshirted the 1996 season. Last season, he was considered avaluable member of the Tiger scout team, playing just about every position on the scout team and helping the team prepare for future opponents.

“I want to contribute any way I can,” Stroup said. “I want to help the teamget better. I am just glad to be a part of LSU. I was blessed to be here.”Stroup could play a bigger part this season for the Tigers. He was thestarting holder on special teams coming out of spring practice.

The Tigers are ranked in the top 10 in most preseason polls but said that is something for the media and the fans to discuss.

“As a player, I don’t think about it that much,” Stroup said. “I just go outand compete.”Stroup did say there are a number of factors that will determine whether the Tigers will meet those lofty expectations.

“Hard work, a little luck and senior leadership,” Stroup said.

Stroup said the latter is already being accomplished.

“The seniors have played a super role,” Stroup said. “It has been the bestgroup I have been around.”LSU has gone through a number of distractions this season including the dismissal of Cecil Collins who was expected to make a major contribution coming out of the backfield. But Stroup said the team didn’t let themeffect what they had to do during the offseason.

“We can’t look at it as a distraction,” Stroup said. “We didn’t let ithamper our summer training.”It has been a long road to Tiger Stadium for the three-sport athlete from East St. John. A three-time all-district selection in baseball, he helpedthe Wildcats to the state championship in 1992. Stroup was an all-district selection in football as a free safety and was named honorable mention all-district as a quarterback. At the time of his graduation, hewas the Wildcats’ career leader in attempts, completions, yards and touchdown passes. Stroup was also an outstanding student, finishing inthe top 10 in his senior class.

Now, getting a chance to step on the field of Tiger Stadium, makes traveling that long road all worth while, Stroup said.

“Eighty thousand people going nuts,” Stroup said of the atmosphere of Tiger Stadium on a Saturday night. “The best fans in the country. Justgoing through the runnel makes it all worth it. God put a piece of heaven onearth in walking into Tiger Stadium.”

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