Dear Bennie Logan,

LSU defensive tackle Bennie Logan is one of the best players in the league, but you wouldn’t know it based on the preseason All-SEC team released last week. PHOTO GETTY IMAGES.

I really hope you read this. I wish the SEC coaches could too.

That’s everyone except your own coach Les Miles, of course. Surely he wouldn’t have been this dense if he could have voted for his own players on the All-SEC team.

Maybe someone did vote for you. Maybe. But somehow someway, you were left off of the All-SEC team.

Not even third team. Left off entirely.

Maybe, just maybe, it really wasn’t a true vote at all. Maybe it was one of those gatherings between coaches that end up being a series of nominations and discussion instead of votes. That may be how some of these preseason all-conference players got there, because LSU couldn’t have twelve players on the team, and they certainly couldn’t have eight on the first team. Nope. 11 total and seven on the first team is plenty enough, thank you very much.

That had to have been how it was. You were really thought highly of, but you were the sacrificial lamb on a team that is as dominant as there’s going to be in college football this year.

Then again, I’m sure it wasn’t determined that way. I’m sure the SEC coaches do it the right way like they’re supposed to and not like a group of high school basketball coaches do when voting for All-District. That’s the extent of my experience with all-league “voting.”

But the bottom line is that we don’t have to even get into the hows of the result of this “vote.” The only thing that matters is that you were left off the team, regardless of the means it took to get there.

Here is a look at the other defensive tackles voted to the first, second, or third teams ahead of you.

John Jenkins (Georgia) – 28 tackles, 6.0 TFL, 3.0 sacks, 1 FF
Abry Jones (Georgia) – 48 tackles, 7.0 TFL, 4.0 sacks, 1 FF
Shariff Floyd (Florida) – 46 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks
Jesse Williams (Alabama) – 24 tackles, 4.0 TFL, 0.5 sack
Josh Boyd (Miss. St.) – 51 tackles, 8.0 TFL, 4.5 sacks
Dominque Easley (Florida) – 37 tackles, 7.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks
Rob Lohr (Vanderbilt) – 41 tackles, 11.5 TFL, 5.0 sacks, 2 FF

Here are your numbers in comparison:

Bennie Logan – 57 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 3.0 sacks, 1 FF

Granted, when you talk about defensive tackles, statistics often don’t matter. Sometimes, especially in a 3-4 defense, you’re asked to simply tie up blockers to allow linebackers to make the tackles and pile up the stats. Sometimes, perhaps even oftentimes, a defensive tackle’s true worth is not reflected in final stats.

But this is not the case with you, Bennie. Because you eat up blocks and produce stats in a 4-3 defense. You are remarkable in that regard.

You could take my word for it based on the fact that I watched you help make teammate and fellow defensive tackle Michael Brockers a first round draft pick. You were every bit as good as Brockers, and I often had a hard time distinguishing you two. And it had nothing to do with the fact that it seemed I never could remember who was No. 93 and who was No. 90.

Back to the players that made it ahead of you. Not that ESPN.com is the end-all-be-all in its opinions, and certainly Chris Low and Edward Aschoff are not always spot on in their assessments. But on Friday they released an article ranking the top 10 defensive tackles in the SEC. They agreed with the SEC coaches, generally speaking, as six of the seven defensive tackles on the All-SEC teams made their list. Only third-teamer Jones from Georgia, one of the unbroken ties, didn’t.

Lohr was ranked eighth on their list, right behind your teammate and future No. 90 Johnson, who didn’t make the preseason all-conference list and rightly so, at least with what little he produced in a limited playing time role as a true freshman.

The interesting thing is that Johnson may very well end up being better than all of them this year. That’s why he’s on that ESPN list–reputation and potential–because he didn’t play enough in 2011 to warrant a No. 6 ranking.

But this is not about your pal Anthony. This is about you. Guess where you were listed by Low and Aschoff, the same sportswriters that generally agree with the coaches?

You were No. 1 on their list. Numero Uno. The best defensive tackle in the Southeastern Conference.

But according to the coaches you are not one of the top 12 defensive linemen in the conference. Oh wait, top 13. Ties were not broken in the “votes,” which is how Jones of Georgia got on. So you are not one of the top 13 defensive linemen in the conference.

Forget the fact that they don’t delineate between tackles and ends on the team. They just vote in “linemen.” You may not be everybody’s No. 1 tackle, but if you are anybody’s No. 1 at ESPN, you need to be on the all-conference team. Especially ahead of some of these tackles listed ahead of you.

Here is what Low and Aschoff said of you in the article:

1.    Bennie Logan, Jr., LSU: Overshadowed last season by eventual first-rounder Michael Brockers, Logan will anchor what should be one of the most dominant defensive lines in college football.

They said this of you in another set of rankings in which they voted LSU’s defensive line the best in the SEC:

1. LSU: All you really need to know about the Tigers’ defensive line is that they have three players — ends Sam     Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo and tackle Bennie Logan — who may go in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft. … LSU is swimming in talent and depth up front.

Surely you know yourself and didn’t need to read any of that. But I write it just to let you know I know my football. I know a good player when I see one and I want you to know that I and others recognize your abilities

Maybe you don’t care about not getting accolades, especially preseason ones. I don’t see you all over Twitter and such so maybe you’re a humble guy. Maybe you’re feeling just dandy that Vandy has someone on there. Let them enjoy some of the limelight for a change.

But even though you might be a humble guy off the field, I am betting that fire you have as a starting defender on a John Chavis coached defense is burning right now at the fact that the SEC coaches have such little regard for your play.

I know what kind of player you are. And as a former high school coach I want to challenge you to do something this year.

Make sure they don’t forget you again.

That’s right. Don’t sneak on to the third team All-SEC squad at the end of the year. Don’t even play well to earn second team. I don’t even want you to have a great season and just earn first team honors.

I want you to dominate as an All-American and make them put you on the first team before there’s even a vote. That is, of course, if there is a vote. Because if it is just nomination-discussion, I want your name to be there with the Mingos and the Montgomerys and the Mathieus, three surefire All-Americans based on their names as much as their talent. All they have to do is come close to their level of play last year and they’re in.

You should get a two-ton chip on your shoulder like your teammate Mathieu does.

Go make a name for yourself, Bennie Logan. You are just as good as they are, and they are very good. I’m not knocking your teammates. I make this point to challenge you to rise to their level.

Dominate every opponent you play. Dominate like a Glenn Dorsey and a Kyle Williams. Like a Claude Wroten and a Chad Lavalais. Be All-American good. Dominate the SEC and make sure no one makes you a sacrificial lamb on any list again.

You are no sacrificial lamb, Bennie Logan. You are no meek kitten. You are a Tiger, and I fully expect you to roar this year.

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2 thoughts on “Dear Bennie Logan,

  1. Great Job Jeff…He’ll be around the ball all season long once again…I remember back in the days of the “Dome Patrol”, maybe the best group of LB’s to play together on one team in the history of the NFL would never have been the team they were without the likes of a Frank Warren…That is how I see a Bennie Logan.

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