On Monday night, one of Lafayette’s very own became a national champion with the LSU Tigers.
They say defense wins championships. To claim the national title, the LSU defense had the tall task of containing the offensive firepower that the Clemson Tigers boast. LSU held a team that averaged 45 points per game to just 25 points.
That defense was anchored by Notre Dame alum Tyler Shelvin, who helped the Tigers hoist their first national championship trophy since 2007.
“It’s a blessing,” Shelvin says. “First national championship ever in my life. First time playing here. At home. I can’t explain it. It’s just a blessing all the way around.”
The blessing of a championship didn’t come without some adversity though. For the first time all season, LSU trailed by double digits in the second quarter. Shelvin and the Tigers defense held Clemson to just 8 points in the second half, allowing the LSU offense to secure the win.
“We knew going into the game it wasn’t going to be easy,” Shelvin said. “Nothing is easy in the national championship. We just waited it out and just played our best, to the best of our ability. We came out with the victory.”
Tyler’s talent on full display on college football’s biggest stage. It’s all a show his dad is used to watching.
“His speed, his size, his strength,” Tyler’s dad Germole Shelvin says. “His mindset of knowing what he needs to do to adjust to open up other opportunities for his teammates to make a play, or as you know, he’s gonna get in there himself.”
That speed has earned Shelvin an unlikely nickname.
“Dancing bear,” Germole says. “His speed. He likes to dance, and he gets the moves from his dad, you know. I let him use it.”
In the midst of the celebration, Shelvin made sure to tell fellow Acadiana native, Clemson’s running back and Jennings High alum Travis Etienne “good game.” He said it was just the natural thing to do since they’re both from Louisiana.