Southwood’s Stevenson likely a force up front this fall

By LEE BRECHEEN, Louisiana Football Magazine

This week we will cover the defensive line position for Shreveport-Bossier City, and although it’s not a deep group, it’s a talented group.

Southwood’s Jaydan Stevenson is a sleeper for many FCS programs and some FBS programs if you need a hard-working, strong and smart defensive tackle who can play the noseguard spot, which is a hard spot to find for college coaches. Not everybody can play there in college in the middle of the defensive line and take on one, two, or three blockers most plays.

Stevenson is perfect for that role in college.

After talking to his head coach Jesse Esters, I am impressed that Stevenson has lost over 50 pounds in the offseason to improve his quickness and upside for his upcoming senior year. You don’t hear of many athletes doing this because it’s hard for a big guy to lose weight like that unless you’re completely dialed in — and he is. Stevenson is a legit 6-0, 280 with good feet.

He is “college strong” with a squat max of 650 pounds (one of the best in the state) and a bench press max of close to 300.

“My favorite football team is LSU. My grandmother graduated from LSU and I grew up watching their football team every Saturday,” said Stevenson. “Seeing people in the city wear LSU attire and rally at local restaurants, or even in my grandma’s house, is what led me to loving football.

“LSU recruits some of the top players and it’s exciting to see them enter the NFL and make a career for themselves. Watching an LSU player as a freshman transition to the NFL is motivation for me, especially when local players from my city go to LSU and then enter the pros.”

Stevenson goes on to say how football has really helped him.

“I love football because it helps me escape from my normal life,” said Stevenson. “At an early age I was bullied, and I struggled with schoolwork. Football provided me with the opportunity to interact with people who have the same passion as I have; it’s also helped me build encouragement, self-confidence and structure.”

His defensive line coach, Gene Strogen, says Stevenson’s offseason work in the weight room has made a big difference for his senior year.

“Jaydan Stevenson is a very intelligent kid,” said Strogen. “He works hard on the field and in the classroom, and he’s changed his body in the weight room for this year. We expect him to be a dominant force in the interior line for us in 2022.”

Notes about Jaydan Stevenson: His family ties to sports include his uncle Elijah Robinson, who played high school football at North DeSoto before playing for Louisiana Tech.

His hobbies: “I like to go to the gym. I hang out with my family and watch football shows to keep up with the latest on college football and the NFL.”

Stevenson’s future plans: “My goal is to get a football scholarship and major in physical education. I hope to coach football at a high school in the future.”

He is also on the powerlifting team at Southwood. “This aids in my football skills. It also helps me be consistent with my health.”

In the classroom he has a maintained a 3.6 GPA.

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