December 18th, 2019. A day TJ Finley will never ever forget. In the morning, he signed with LSU at Ponchatoula High School. That afternoon, the 6′7″ quarterback suited up for the Tigers and hit the practice field.
“It was very crazy and adventurous. Waking up in the morning and knowing I’m fixing to have one of the biggest days of my life, not only for me but for my family. We’ve been working for this for 12 years. Ever since I put a football in my hand we’ve dreamed of me playing D-1 football. Signing to a D-1 school, and compete at a higher level than high school football. Then that afternoon, walking into the LSU facility, just being embraced by all the coaches and the players and the football staff. The equipment team took care of me right away. Got my helmet, jersey, shorts,” said LSU QB TJ Finley.
“You know, his family has had a plan. His high school coaches had a plan. They’re very aggressive. They are into the rules, into everything. T.J. is very motivated. And it was totally legal, went through compliance. We got it done. That’s the first time it’s ever been done,” said Ed Orgeron.
Signing early afforded Finley the opportunity to soak up some of Joe Burrow’s championship guidance.
“Just getting some nuggets of knowledge that he had, his two years there. As a backup at Ohio State, just the things that he learned throughout his college career. It was good to get some knowledge from him, because he’s had a lot of experience,” said Finley.
When you’re 6′7″ QB, you kind of stand out, even on a campus as big as LSU. Something Finley is adjusting to quickly.
“Now I’m on a campus with 20,000 students, if not more, every class I go to the teacher knows me. All the students in the class know me. They want pictures, and autographs, stuff like that. I kind of walk around with my hoodie on, so I can get to class peacefully, and not worry about that side of stuff. It’s been very fun, the campus has been respectful of me,” said Finley.