Another Way To Describe Glenn Dorsey: Clairvoyant

Dorsey said he expects to be in top form by kickoff

Jan. 2, 2008

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Glenn Dorsey didn't need to play for a national championship an hour from his hometown to validate his decision to pass up a huge payday in the NFL last year.

Even after he returned to LSU, he certainly could have been excused for sitting out a few games after a stomach-turning illegal chop block in midseason left him nursing a sprained right knee.

Still, the way it turned out made the Tigers' star defensive tackle seem almost clairvoyant, didn't it?

"A lot of people told me I did the wrong thing," Dorsey recalled of both his decision to return to the Tigers, followed by his insistence to play hurt. "I could have easily sat on the bench because of what I had at stake, but it wasn't about me. It was about my team and I'd do it again, especially the way it worked out for us. It was all worth it."

With five weeks between No. 2 LSU's past game - a victory in the Southeastern Conference championship on Dec. 1 - and its next contest against No. 1 Ohio State in the BCS national championship game Monday night, Dorsey said he expects to be in top form by kickoff.

His future, meanwhile, should be brighter than ever when the game ends.

At 6-foot-2, 303 pounds, Dorsey was expected to be taken in the first round of last year's NFL draft. Then he decided to go back to LSU.

This season, even while playing at less than full strength and battling constant double-teams, his statistical line through 13 games is impressive: 39 solo tackles, 25 assists, 11 1/2 tackles for losses, six sacks, four pass breakups and four quarterback hurries.

That got him named to the All-American team for a second time. He also won the Outland, Lombardi, Lott and Nagurski awards as the nation's premier defensive lineman.

On a personal level, there wasn't much more he could win, other than the Heisman Trophy. Perhaps he might have contended for that as well if not for the midseason knee injury and a bruised tailbone that slowed him late in the season.



"It felt like I won the Heisman," Dorsey said. "I won all of those awards and my team got in the national championship game. I felt like my team won the Heisman.

"Y'all just got to understand how happy I am we're in the national championship game. You come in. You set goals at the beginning of the year. Just to get the opportunity to achieve that big goal, the last goal on our board, it means a lot."

Dorsey is from in Gonzales, a small town along Interstate 10 between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Like many who grow up in the rural South, he's loved football for as long as he can remember.

However, leg braces he wore as a youngster prevented him from playing in the yard with friends and relatives. Or if they let him play, they picked him last.

What was an impairment back then instilled in him a seemingly inexhaustible drive to excel. That served him well after the braces came off and when he grew into such an imposing presence.

Now, coaches and teammates gush when asked to describe Dorsey or compare him to other greats in the game.

"Glenn is at a point now where you don't have to make comparisons. Glenn Dorsey is Glenn Dorsey," said LSU defensive coordinator Bo Pelini, who will become head coach at Nebraska after this season. "I think he is as decorated a football player that has ever come through LSU and it is with good reason. ... It is the type of person he is, the character he has and the leadership that he brings to the table that makes him special...

"If everyone had his work ethic, integrity and character, no matter what the talent they would have his success."

LSU defensive tackle Marlon Favorite said the example Dorsey set with his toughness and commitment during his injuries was inspiring.

The injuries "made him work harder," Favorite said. "His work ethic is through the roof... I think he should have won the Heisman."

When those things are repeated to Dorsey, he quickly downplays both the injuries and the significance of continuing go play.

"I was beat up, but everybody was beat up," he said. "I didn't really dwell on it. I still had a successful year, so no regrets, no nothing, I'm just enjoying it."

There's been a lot to enjoy.

One thing that attracted Dorsey to LSU was the fact Tiger Stadium was about a 20-minute drive from Gonzales. His family and friends got to see him play with regularity.

Wanting another year of that, as well as another shot at a national championship made the decision easy.

"I take a lot of pride in it. This is where I'm from. This is my home. I like playing for the state of Louisiana," Dorsey said. "Just playing for my home state... it influenced me a lot. ... I feel like I made the right decision."

Almost clairvoyant, some might say. Like he knew something nobody else did.