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Brian Babin

THE LEAD OF THE PACK

by Mike Miller

November 20, 2009 – In 2005 when Southeastern Louisiana University’s fledging footballBrian Babin program signed St. Amant High School quarterback Brain Babin, few would have believed he would have become one of the nation’s top passers. “I only had one school offer me,” said Babin. As he finishes his senior season, his passing arm has shattered records and propelled the Lions to the brink of a Southland Conference title and a first ever trip to the FCS playoffs.

Despite throwing for over 2,000 yards and 23 touchdowns as a senior at St. Amant High School, Babin was not one of the state’s most converted recruits. Five years later, Babin is not sorry. “I couldn’t be happier,” he said. “Being here is best for me.”

A preseason All-American candidate and a member of the Senior Bowl watch list, Babin is set to break many of the records held by former Lions All-American Martin Hankins. “I don’t really worry about that,” said Babin. “I just wanted to be the guy to get the program going in the right direction.”

As he enters his third year as trigger man for the Lions offense, his numbers and the Lions wins are starting to add up. Going into November’s action, Babin was nationally ranked in six different passing categories and the SLU offense, which was last in the Southland Conference in 2006 and one of the nation’s worst, is now in the top 20 in total offense, scoring offense and pass efficiency. More importantly the upstart Lions program is now ranked in the top 30 in both of the nation’s top FCS polls.

Despite missing one game with an injured shoulder, Babin has thrown for more than 2,000 yards and 22 touchdowns in 2009. He has been name the Southland Conference Offensive Player of the week twice. Known for his smooth release and touch passing, Babin has amassed 6,882 yards with 59 touchdowns, good enough to rank 14th in the nation in active career passing leaders. With two regular season games left, Babin trails only Hankins’ 7,777 yards and 65 touchdowns in the Lions record book.

As his college career comes to a close, Babin’s size (6-5,220) has attracted NFL attention. He has attended the Manning Passing Academy. “A good experience,” said Babin. “I really enjoyed it.” He also spent an afternoon working out with NFL great Brett Farve back in August when Farve was trying to decide if he was going to resume his NFL career. He and his Lions teammate Merrick Lanaux appeared on national television when the rocket armed Favre drilled Lanaux in the helmet. Babin and Lanaux both laughed off the incident and relished the experience. “A laid back guy,” said Babin, referring to Favre. “Impressive.”

Regardless of the NFL, Babin who is set to graduate still has football in his career. The son of a football coach, he plans on a coaching career. His older brother Seth Babin, also former Southeastern starting quarterback is a coach at St. Amant. Still he knows he will miss SLU. “Made a lot of good friends.”

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