Ex-Catholic star 'knew' he would play for LSU By SCOTT RABALAIS [email protected] Advocate sportswriter Advocate staff photo by Patrick Dennis LSU incoming freshman Doug Planchard shows off the room in his home that has all things LSU including blankets, afghans, a purple and gold sofa and other LSU paraphernalia. Officially, Doug Planchard won't be an LSU Tiger until Tuesday. In his heart, though, Planchard has been a Tiger as long as he could remember. When he was 4, Greg and Kay Planchard set their son on the late Eric Andolsek's knee for a keepsake photograph of LSU linemen present and future. By the time he was 5, Doug knew all the words to LSU's fight songs and could belt them out on demand for family and friends. The Planchard family's south Baton Rouge home contains a game room that is a monument to all things Tiger, complete with a purple and gold couch, posters of great LSU moments and even an old LSU license plate, circa 1960, that was on Kay Blanchard's grandmother's car. About the only thing missing from Doug Planchard's LSU repertoire was the opportunity to don the purple and gold gear and run through the goalposts. But his time is coming. And even though there are endless summer days of sweat and two-a-day practices between now and Sept. 1, Planchard is ready to soak in every moment. "I've really felt like a Tiger since I committed my junior year," at Catholic High, Planchard said. "Now, it's even better." Planchard graduated from CHS on May 18. Two days later he was at LSU, running, lifting weights, coming back for karate workouts Wednesdays at 6 p.m. The Tiger fan in Doug Planchard loved it all. The 6-foot-4, 285-pound defensive tackle in him loved ... most of it. "I don't like to run," said Planchard, though he can negotiate the 40-yard-dash in a respectable 4.9 seconds. "I don't know any big man who likes to run." What Planchard does like to do is throw some weight around. He won the Class 5A state championship in the shot put this spring with a toss of 59 feet, 6 inches (his personal best: 61-4). Planchard was also third in the discus with an effort of 165-7. With the consent of both LSU football coach Nick Saban and track and field coach Pat Henry, Planchard plans to throw the shot put and hammer in college. His forté, of course, is football. Planchard recorded 62 tackles in his senior season, 12 for losses. It was enough to earn him Advocate Super Dozen and all-district honors and a rating as the nation's No. 18 defensive tackle prospect by Rivals.com. Florida, Auburn and Notre Dame all were smitten enough to make scholarship offers, but Planchard had only one true love. After committing to LSU, he wouldn't even consider an official visit elsewhere. "I felt if you're committed to somebody you should only go to that school," said Planchard, who said he expects to stay on the defensive line. A commitment to LSU football is a family thing. The Planchards have had season tickets in Tiger Stadium for 30 years. As much as Doug wants to play for LSU, he wants just as much for his parents to see him playing on Death Valley's floor. "My parents are fired up," Planchard said. "It's a dream come true for them for their son to play for LSU." Merely having a son was a dream come true for the Planchards, who adopted both Doug and his sister. "This is just so unbelievable for us," Kay Planchard said. All those years after that fan day picture with Eric Andolsek, Kay Planchard wonders how many breathless little boys could fit on her son's knee at fan day this Sunday. One of them may one day get to play for LSU, and recall years from now that he has dreamt of being a Tiger as long as he could remember.