The 2023 Reese’s Senior Bowl will kickoff this Saturday at 1:30 p.m. CT in Mobile, Alabama. Two LSU Tigers will be participating in this year’s Senior Bowl: defensive end Ali Gaye and cornerback Jay Ward. Gaye and Ward will both be on the American Team rosters as they will be taking on the National Team in Hancock Whitney Bank Stadium. The Reese’s Senior Bowl is regarded as the premier college football all-star game and it gives players a first taste of the NFL Draft process that they will be going through in the upcoming months. Check out which Tigers will be taking the field this Saturday and what they did during their career at LSU:
Ali Gaye, Defensive End:
Before coming to LSU, Gaye spent his first two season at the junior college level. He spent the 2018 season at Arizona Western Community College where he saw action in 11 games with eight tackles. Gaye spent the next season at Garden City Community College where he would be named to the 2019 All-Jayhawk League First Team and would be rated as the No. 2 JUCO defensive end in the country after the 2019 season.
During the 2019 season, Gaye would have 44 tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, a pass breakup and two blocked kicks. After the 2019 season wrapped up, Gaye would enroll at LSU in 2020 and would participate in spring practices with the team.
Before the 2020 season started, Gaye would earn preseason accolades as he was named to the second team All-SEC honors. Gaye would start in all 10 games for the Tiger defense as a defensive end. He would record 32 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks on the year. Gaye would rank sixth in the SEC in tackles for loss (9.5) and he would lead the team in quarterback hurries (five).
His 2021 season would be cut short due to an injury that he suffered against Kentucky. Gaye would finish the year with 19 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. The veteran defensive end would announce that he would be coming back for another year heading into the 2022 season. In the 2022 season, Gaye would record 36 total tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. He would finish his career with 87 tackles, 18.0 tackles for loss and 7.0 sacks.
Jay Ward, Defensive Back:
Ward would begin his collegiate career during the 2019 season and was a part of the Tigers quest to the national championship. He would see the field in 13 games with LSU. Ward would finish his freshman campaign with four tackles, three pass breakups and a quarterback hurry. He would continue to see the field more heading into his sophomore season in 2020.
During the 2020 season, Ward finished the year with 29 tackles, six pass breakups, and three interceptions. Ward would start in the Tigers three of four games down the stretch as he was starting to add a vital role to the LSU defense that was struggling throughout the season.
He would continue to serve a key role during the 2021 season as he finished the year third on the team with 71 total tackles. Ward would also lead the team in interceptions (2). The Moultrie, Georgia native, would tack on four pass breakups, a forced fumble and a blocked kick. His final season would be in 2022 as he would cap off his LSU career with 60 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and interception and a fumble recovery.
Ward would be named SEC Defensive Player of the Week after the Mississippi State game where he tied his career-best in tackles with 11. He would finish his career with the Tigers with 164 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and six interceptions.
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