The “X-Man” cashed in on
opportunity following the conclusion of the 2006 NCAA Outdoor Championships in
Sacramento, Ca. when he choose to forgo his remaining two years of eligibility
at LSU and gave up a football career in order to join the European circuit.
The rising star had a
stellar year that was capped off at the outdoor championships where Carter made
history in winning four titles at the 2006 NCAA Outdoor Championships in the
100m, 400m, 4x100m relay and 4x400m relay. Carter started off running the second
leg of LSU's 4x100m relay team, which was triumphant in 38.44 seconds.
The next day began with a
10.09 seconds victory in the 100 meters and continued a half hour later with a
winning 400m time of 44.53 seconds. Carter finished off his weekend anchoring
LSU's 4x400m relay team, which won the national title by more then half a
With his performance, Carter
became the first athlete since Jesse Owens in 1936 to win four titles at a
single NCAA Outdoor Championship and the first athlete ever to win both the 100m
and 400m at an NCAA Championships. Carter was named both the SEC's Indoor and
Outdoor Runner of the Year in 2005-2006, and capped his collegiate season by
earning All-America honors at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Carter’s ultimate goal is to
be a member of the 2008 USA Olympic Team in Beijing, China. At only 20 years old, Carter
has an opportunity to qualify for both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. If he still
wishes to play professional football following the Beijing Olympics, he will
have the opportunity as only a 22-year-old.
However, after the Olympics,
it may be difficult for Carter to leave track and field because of his
marketability. After competing and succeeding on a world stage, the possibility
of “X-Man” shoes, clothing and sports drinks could be probable.
As Carters “X-Man”
marketability spreads across the nation and Europe, the sophomore sprinter was presented with a great
opportunity to run professionally after matching Owens efforts. He eventually
signed with Nike and is now tearing up the professional circuit.
In only his first week
sprinting for Nike, he clocked the second fastest 200-meter time in the history
of the world by scorching a 19.63 performance at the Athletissima 2006.
On the football field,
Carter’s playing time dwindled as the 2005 season progressed. He finished up his
second season playing in 10 games, including the Tigers' 40-3 win over Miami in the Peach Bowl.
Because his playing time
diminished, so did his stats. At the end of the season, he managed only four
catches for 86 yards, including a 49-yard touchdown reception in LSU's win over
North Texas. He also scored on a 36-yard run
against Mississippi State, finishing the year with a total of
27 yards on four rushes.
In most years Tyrus Thomas
would be the Male Athlete of the Year. He was picked as the No. 4 overall pick
in the 2006 NBA Draft and was a major contributor to LSU’s Final-Four
appearance. However, unfortunately for Thomas, Carter happens to be one of the
best athletes in the world.
Thomas became the 12th
player in school men's basketball history to be selected in the first round of
the NBA Draft and was the fifth player from LSU to be drafted in the top four,
joining Bob Pettit in 1954 (2nd pick, Milwaukee);
Pete Maravich in 1970 (3rd pick, Atlanta); Chris Jackson in 1990 (3rd pick, Denver); Shaquille O'Neal in 1992 (1st pick, Orlando) and Stromile Swift in 2000 (2nd pick, Vancouver).
Thomas moved into the
starting lineup nine games into the Tigers 27-9 season and averaged 12.2 points,
9.2 rebounds and had 99 blocks in 32 games. He missed four games late into the
season with a sprained ankle, including the SEC Tournament, but returned for the
NCAA Tournament and was named the MVP of the Atlanta NCAA Region.
The redshirt-freshman had
such a large impact on his squad during the regular season, he was named
Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year.
Glen “Big Baby” Davis is perhaps LSU’s most
recognizable face. As a sophomore power forward, Davis with the help of Thomas led his squad
deep into March, eventually qualifying for the Final Four.
Because of his contagious
smile and constantly humoring the media, “Big Baby” became a household name this
past spring and was accepted as a fan favorite. With a nickname like “Big Baby,”
Davis shares the
same marketability that has projected Carter’s career.
The hometown sophomore was
named SEC Player of the Year for his efforts by averaging a league leading 18.6
points per game and a league best 9.7 rebounds per game. He became the 10th LSU
player to lead the league in scoring (a total of 18 times) since 1933 while
making 49.5 percent of his field goal attempts (250-of-505), fourth best in the
Davis also led the league
in offensive rebounds at 4.03 a game. In conference play, he led the SEC in
rebounds by grabbing 10.2 rebounds a game while adding 19 double doubles this
season, 11 in SEC play, including 10 in the last 16 games the Tigers
Every coach needs a Kyle
Williams. In 2005, the star tackle was the Tiger leader. He led vocally in the
locker room and physically on the field, helping LSU reach the SEC Championship
Game and destroy Miami 40-3 at the Peach Bowl.
His most notable
contribution in 2005 could not even be seen on the field. During halftime of the
Alabama game in Tuscaloosa, the Tigers trailed 10-0 against the
undefeated Crimson Tide in the game that would decided the SEC Western Division.
In the locker room, Williams
motivated his teammates by questioning their desire to win and throwing anything
he could find across the room. The Tigers came out in the second half and forced
overtime with 10 unanswered points and a 16-13 victory.
The Ruston senior started all
12 games with 60 tackles, including 7.5 for loss with 4.5 sacks and 21
quarterback hurries. The first-team All-SEC player was a second team
All-American and led an LSU defense that ranked in the top 10 in the nation in
The senior had a motor that
would never quit and teamed with fellow tackle Claude Wroten to comprise perhaps
the finest defensive middle in the country.
Quinn Stewart was a powerful
hitting fifth year senior who shined on a struggling team throughout the season.
The Rowlett, Texas native capped off his stay at LSU when
he signed a free-agent contract with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays after starting 129
games in 2006.
Stewart had a remarkable
season, where he completed the year tied for the SEC lead in home runs (23) with
Josh Morris of Georgia and finished No. 3 in the
league in slugging percentage (.664).
He also finished at No. 5 in total bases (148) and tied the LSU
single-game record with three homers vs. Stetson (March 11).
Most fans in 06 remember
Stewart’s big bat when he homered in five straight games. He was notably a fan
favorite and consistently delivered in the clutch with a big hit. He finished
No. 2 in the nation in homers (23), trailing only James Madison’s Kellen
Kulbacki, who had 24 homers.
At the conclusion of the
season, Stewart was honored with First-Team All-SEC, First-Team ABCA All-South
Region and First-Team All-Louisiana selections.
StewarT now finds himself in
Fairbanks, Alaska with the Alaska Goldpanners.
FEMALE ATHLETE OF
Seimone Augustus not only
changed the face of women’s basketball in Baton Rouge, but she changed the face of
women’s basketball across the nation. Augustus became a household name in
women’s basketball because of her skill and technique. But it was her dominance
that landed her on a national stage.
No too many athletes can
take over a game when need be, but Augustus could. She consistently set the
tempo of the contest and played at a constant rate of hustle that arguably can
not be matched.
She was as clutch as could
be, and her defense was just as good as her offense. Everyone in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center could sense something special was
happening when Augustus handled the ball.
Perhaps most impressive
about Augustus was that she was the total package at guard.
It always says a lot when
the hardest working player on the team is the best player on the team. Her style
of work and play set the standard for the squad, a team that earned its third
straight trip to the Final Four.
Because of all these
efforts, Augustus was named the National Player of the Year in 2006 for a second
year in a row. The senior from Baton
Rouge was also named the 2006 SEC Player of the Year and
a first team All-American by the AP.
She became the fourth player
in LSU history to reach 2,000 career points and ended her career second at LSU
in career points with 2,702. She also added 26 20-plus point games in 2006,
adding to a 72 20-plus point games total.
The Capitol High graduate
finished the season as the NCAA scoring leader with 22.7 points per game while
also placing 21st in field goal percentage in the nation. On Feb 16, she scored
a career-high 35 points at Florida in their only regular season
conference lose of the year.
Augustus excelled off the
court as well. She graduated in August of 2005 with a general studies degree and
after taking 15 hours this past fall is three hours shy of earning a second
degree in business.
conclusion of her season when the Lady Tigers fell again in the Final Four for
the third time, this time against Duke, Augustus was selected as the first
overall pick of the 2006 WNBA Draft by the Minnesota Lynx.
She then joined the 2006 USA
Basketball Women's Senior National Team at the Opals World Challenge in
Australia following the WNBA
Now as a professional,
Augustus’ game has no limit. She now has one responsibility, which is to eat,
sleep and dream basketball. No more late night studying or early classes to
attend. Her game has the chance to move to a level that has never been seen
before in women’s basketball.
She could be like
Not too many gymnasts come
Rouge and get a day named after themselves. May 10, 2006
was proclaimed April Burkholder Day by Mayor Kip Holden and the East Baton Rouge
Parish Metro Council in honor of her efforts and skill she displayed at LSU over
the past four years.
Burkholder concluded an
incredible career at LSU in 2006 and leaves the school as the most decorated
gymnast in Tiger history. She capped off her senior season with her best
performance at the NCAA Championships where she grabbed the NCAA beam title and
earned first-team All-America honors on each of her four events and in the
She eventually left her most
successful night of her career also placing third in the all-around standings
and placed among the top eight on the vault, bars and floor.
The Houston native left her
stamp on the LSU record books. She owns the school’s all-around record (39.875)
and shares the school record marks on the vault, beam and floor, having posted
perfect 10.0s on each of the three events.
Burkholder also turned in a
solid academic career while at LSU as she was named to the SEC Academic Honor
Roll in 2005, graduating in 2006 with a degree in general studies.
Leslie Klein returned to her
freshman form in 2006, earning All-American honors for the second time of her
career. In 2004, the outfielder became the first Lady Tiger to earn All-American
honors as a freshman. The next fall, she tore her ACL, an injury that cost her a
lack luster 2005 season.
But in 2006, Klein was back.
She ranked in the top 10 in the SEC in batting average, slugging percentage,
runs scored, hits, RBIs, doubles, triples, total bases and stolen bases. The
junior from Sunrise, Fla., hit .396 for the
season with 14 doubles and led the team with four triples, nine home runs and 53
stolen bases. In addition, she recorded 18 stolen bases and did not post an
error in 87 attempts in center field.
She was a Top 25 Finalist
for USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, and recorded a team-best 12-game
hitting streak during the year, which is tied for seventh longest in LSU
history. On 12 occasions, she knocked in the game winning runs, including wins
over four nationally-ranked teams.
Klein is motivator and a
hard worker who should go on to have an even better senior season in 2007. Klein
will have her chance to shine in her senior season when she leads a squad that
advanced to the Super Regional, which lost to the eventual national champions
(Arizona Wildcats) and only lost four seniors.
Ivana Kuzmic only played at
LSU for two season, but she most certainly left her mark on the volleyball
The “Croatian Sensation”
dominated the front net during the tail end of her collegiate career, and she
did a fine job of it. A native of Spilt, Croatia, the 6-4 middle blocker had a
great senior season.
She earned honorable mention
All-American honors following her senior season and was a first-team All-SEC
honoree. She was named the Louisiana Player of the Year and broke the LSU career
record for blocks per game with a 1.65 mark in her two seasons with the
She also broke the
single-season record with a 1.71 mark, posted the third-most single-season
blocks assists in school history with 160 and ranked second in the SEC and
seventh in the NCAA with 1.71 blocks per game.
In her two seasons with the
Tigers after transferring from Arkansas-Little Rock, she posted a total of eight
double-figure blocking matches, including four in each season, becoming the
first player to achieve that feat at LSU since the 1985-86 seasons.
Because of her
efforts, Kuzmic and the Lady Tigers qualified for the NCAA Tournament and won
the SEC Western Division title with a 21-8 overall record.
Emily Turner was untouchable
in 2006, and it was her pitching that led the Lady Tigers to a 55-14 overall
record and a appearance at the NCAA Super Regional.
She is unlike most softball
players. She has a mother-daughter relationship with head coach Yvette Girouard,
where the pair pushes and pulls from each other throughout the season.
As a junior, Turner was
named USA Softball National Player of the Week on April 18. She was a third-team
NFCA All-American and first-team All-SEC selection, while also being named to
the SEC All-Tournament team.
The Chula Vista, Calif. native compiled a 28-9 overall record
with a 0.93 earned run average, and ranked ninth in the NCAA in earned run
average and 14th in wins. In addition, she ranked in the top 10 in the SEC in
wins, ERA, saves, strikeouts, strikeouts looking, opponent’s batting average,
innings pitched and games started.
She posted a 14-7 record
against nationally ranked teams, and was named Louisiana Pitcher of the Year.
She did the unthinkable when she knocked off 2006 National Champion Arizona in
the NCAA Super Regional, one of only three pitchers to defeat the Wildcats at
home this season.