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11 LSU players to study abroad in Senegal next week

Eleven LSU players will have the opportunity to study abroad next week.

The players will be heading to Dakar, Senegal, for an eight-day trip that begins on Saturday. The players will return on May 21. It’s the first time that Tigers football players have participated in the study abroad program.

The 11 football players selected to make the trip are running back Noah Cain, receiver Chris Hilton, offensive tackle Emery Jones, receiver Malik Nabers, linebacker West Weeks, running back Josh Williams, defensive tackle Mekhi Wingo, offensive lineman Bo Bordelon, receiver Javen Nicholas, defensive lineman Fitzgerald West and long snapper Slade Roy.

“One of the things that I have tried to do since coming to LSU is to not only set the standards and the process of building a program that graduates champions, but to help our players establish an identity outside of football,” coach Brian Kelly said in a release. “To get the opportunity to study abroad is an experience that student-athletes really don’t get the chance to do so for our players to be able to participate in this unique educational program is something that I think will have a lifelong impact on them.

“I want our players to have the opportunity to see things from a different perspective and to really take ownership in their studies and to understand that there’s much more out there than just being a football player. The opportunities of being an LSU football player go far beyond the field so I want to use the study abroad program to help them understand that. This is one of those pieces that we can continue to build on as we work with their identity outside of football and they are excited about it.”

LSU offered a description of the program:

The robust itinerary for this study abroad experience will purposely explore the course themes of race, sports, and civic engagement in a Senegalese context. Student-athletes will have the opportunity to learn Senegal’s Wolof language, engage in a service-learning opportunity with an international NGO, and meet local Senegalese families, among other highly immersive events. The program holistically introduces LSU student-athletes to Senegal’s rich culture and its strong ties to Louisiana.

It’s a neat opportunity for these LSU players, and with spring practice in the books, they will take advantage of some of their precious little down time to have what should be the experience of a lifetime.

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Story originally appeared on LSU Tigers Wire