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SmashMouth 11-04-2017 09:38 AM

LSU, Alabama loyalty: When NFL players can't let go of their college gear
Take a look around the Bengals' locker room and almost all of the lockers look fairly identical. Most of them have one set of orange and black pads above them. The only two that stand out happen to be right next to each other.

AJ McCarron sports red and black pads; Brandon LaFell sports purple and gold. Both are the same pads they have worn since they played at Alabama and LSU, respectively.

With their two alma maters set to square off on Saturday, just a mention of the pads brings up some friendly banter between the two. McCarron waves off the notion that Alabama, a heavy favorite, could be in trouble and says they'll beat LSU easily. LaFell cautions that it'll be closer than he thinks.

The two players have grown close over the past year, and LaFell was disappointed for McCarron when an attempted trade to the Browns fell through at the last minute. Had McCarron made it to Cleveland, those red pads probably would've come with him.

LaFell, 30, and McCarron, 27, attended rival schools, but they didn't play at the same time.

Their colleges are clearly still close to their hearts. During the bye week, LaFell returned to Baton Rouge to celebrate LSU's 2007 national championship team, and stayed on the sideline the entire game.

The pads he wears today are the same pads he wore when he caught a touchdown pass in the BCS National Championship Game to beat Ohio State that year. He has kept them through stints with the Panthers, Patriots and Bengals. He refuses to get rid of them.

"I've been wearing those pads since 2006," LaFell said. "I had to get them refurbished when I got to New England because they were falling apart. Those are my babies. I've been wearing those since day one and I'm not changing."

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hagan714 11-12-2017 06:28 AM

Re: LSU, Alabama loyalty: When NFL players can't let go of their college gear
I will say this. When it comes to college football there is no where like the south on Saturdays. I have lived all around this great country of ours and nothing compares to the passion. closest was the upper mid west but even the Michigan Ohio state game paled in excitement, it is a way of life in the south

then again student loans could be a factor also.

100k in debt and all I got was a stinking T shirt

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