PONCHATOULA, LA (WVUE) - A little more than 24 hours removed from making one of the biggest decisions of his life and committing to LSU, Ponchatoula junior quarterback T.J. Finley and his teammates spend their post practice time helping out a local charity in Ponchatoula. These items headed to a city-wide garage sale will benefit Dante's Hope dog rescue, and Finley and his team's willingness to pitch in is just a small example of their character.
"That's probably his number one quality," says Ponchatoula Head Coach Hank Tierney. "We all know he can throw. And we know what he can do on the field. But his best quality, to me, is that he's so unselfish with such a great work ethic. He's very popular with his teammates."
And as you watch Finley work, you can't help but notice his size. He's 6 foot 6 inches tall and 210 pounds with two years to continue developing before he steps foot on campus. It's a big reason why the Tigers have been after the class of 2020 commit for several years.
"LSU's been recruiting me since eighth grade," says Finley. "We stay on the phone 24/7. I was actually on Facetime with Coach Orgeron the other day. He's a funny guy. Our personalities match. We like to work hard. We like to get stuff done. We pay attention to detail. They are the only school to be in contact with me four days out of every week."
But it's not just Coach O that's made an impact. LSU wide receivers coach Mickey Joseph built a strong relationship with Finley, as well as the Tigers new offensive coordinator.
"Coach (Steve) Ensminger, once he found out that I was here, he and coach Hank had a bond," says Finley. "He came down here. He was spending time with me up here during school, before school, after school and waking me up at six in the morning and coming to the school to work out and watch film. It was just a bond thing that really drove me to LSU."
And in turn, Finley's already trying to bring a few more of the state's top prospects with him. After all, even if it's the class of 2020, it's never to early to start lining up Louisiana's best.