Evangel products Bernard-Converse, Baskerville ride LSU credentials to NFL opportunities

BIG APPLE BOUND:  Evangel’s Jarrick Bernard-Converse (24) was a sixth-round NFL Draft pick of the New York Jets on Saturday after making impact last fall in his only season at LSU after four years playing at Oklahoma State. (Photo by PETER FOREST, Journal Sports)


Evangel product Jarrick Bernard-Converse is headed to the New York Jets, after the LSU cornerback was the 204th selection in the NFL Draft, going Saturday afternoon in the sixth of seven rounds.

Another Eagle alumnus, LSU linebacker Micah Baskerville, has signed a free agent deal with the Chicago Bears.

Bernard-Converse, a 6-foot, 196-pounder, started 47 games in four seasons at Oklahoma State, then transferred to LSU where he started nine times and played in 13 games for the Tigers as they won the SEC West Division title, played in the SEC Championship game and blew out Purdue in the Citrus Bowl.

Bernard-Converse sparkled in his final contest with the Tigers, winning a game ball from first-year coach Brian Kelly after he made a goalline interception and collected three tackles. Unlike some other seniors, he did not pass on playing in the game, something Kelly appreciated. Apparently, so did the Jets.

Bernard-Converse also had another key interception in LSU’s 32-31 win over Alabama, picking off No. 1 draft pick and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young in the end zone. He started seven games at cornerback and two more at safety after LSU had some injuries at that post, and totalled 44 tackles and five passes broken up along with the two interceptions in the red zone.

He had a 4.40 time in the 40-yard dash and a 42-inch vertical leap at LSU’s Pro Day after being snubbed for an invitation to the NFL Combine. He did play in the East-West Shrine Bowl.

Bernard-Converse and Baskerville helped Evangel win a 2016 state title. The Eagles were stopped in the state semifinals in their senior season of 2017.

Baskerville was quickly picked up by the Bears after the draft concluded. He played in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl after wrapping up his LSU career. The 6-1, 228-pounder played in 54 games for the Tigers and was a member of the 2019 national championship team, getting 30 starts, making 260 tackles including 22.5 for loss and four sacks.

He led the Tigers in tackles last fall with 89, playing all 14 games, starting 10. He had a career-best 15 tackles against Tennessee.