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Jade Demps : BIG Time LSU Volleyball Transfer on Why She Chose the Tigers and more ...

Tonya Johnson reached into BIG10 country and reeled in a BIG addition to this years Volleyball team in the former Wisconsin Badger, Jade Demps. She was part of a National Championship team in 2021 and a squad that reached the Elite Eight in 2022. Coming out of high school she was ranked No. 13 by Prep Volleyball and the Fab 50 . Demps also won the 2020 Gatorade North Carolina Player of the Year. She was a big contributor for the badgers with 317 total kills averaging 1.67 kills per set, a .282 hitting percentage and nine aces to go along with 46 blocks and 152 total digs.

Jade was kind enough to do an interview with me on why she chose the tigers. She spoke of her time at Wisconsin saying " like you said, at my old program, we did a lot of great things. We, accomplished a lot of things and some of the big goals that I had in my life

and, eventually I just kind of got to a point where I realized that I wanted more than where I was at and wanted to pursue a different path so then I transferred." Where did LSU come into the picture for Jade ? She commented " throughout that process, LSU

obviously was one of the schools that reach out to me and my initial impressions

were great. I got to talk to the coaches and a Zoom call and it was nice to hear from them because funny enough, I actually played Jill before when she used to be at Ohio State. So her and I had, you know, kind of already met each other almost but never fully interacted with each other." She added "Tonya is awesome as well. It was really great

talking to all of them and, and Kevin just because, hearing the things that they had in mind for this program and the goals that they wanted to set were really awesome."

She also discussed what set LSU apart stating "a big thing that stood out to me was that they wanted this culture to be player driven. I feel like the girls here have really grabbed

on to that. And from my experience, that was something that worked really well. So that was something that really caught my attention as soon as I heard it. I was like, that's great. And then from talking to the girls, they, like I said, they embodied that and wanted to learn and grow. And then, honestly, a lot of them were similar to me, which is another thing that I was looking for because I'm very competitive and I wanted to be in a place that had people like me and that had people that wanted to work for their goals and were willing to do the extra and go the extra mile. And then honestly, with just Baton Rouge andLSU as a whole, the culture here is amazing. That's one thing that I have always said is since I've gotten here is that you can have a culture within a team. But the fact that there is a culture, a very rich culture that emanates throughout the entire community is amazing to me. Like I came on my first visit and everyone treated me like family, everyone was so friendly and welcoming and it just felt right when I came. So that's kind of. what did it for me." She added on the culture " it's been amazing, like I have yet to play a season here. But even we're walking around and people when they find out that we're on the LSU team, they get so excited and they, like, want to take a picture with us

even, then I'll chat with them over a little bit and we tell about how the season is gonna be a great one, in my opinion. I feel like we can do a lot of great things and that makes them excited and even just going out to places and seeing. people in all their LSU gear and like, just so excited to represent this university and support the athletes is really awesome."

Coming from a volleyball power like Wisconsin, I asked Jade if she noticed any similarities between her old program to this LSU program. Jade shared " So I've been on campus since January. What I've seen so far is like I said, very similar minds and the difference though is that just differences in where we are. I mean, we just got in Tonya who is amazing and this staff has done so much to change the culture. Obviously Fran before was also a great coach, but the the new experiences that, that they bring to this program and with so many transfers and freshmen that we have coming in, everyone is just really hungry to do well. We have quite a large team this year, which to me is honestly awesome because we have so much depth right now and even we've been in the practice gym, a few days now, just starting off our season and the practices have been so competitive. And that's one thing I actually commented on this the other day that I noticed that was similar was that when I was in my old gym with my old team, a lot of times the competition in the, the gym was sometimes more competitive than matches were. I felt that almost the same exact way in these last practice we've had, which was super awesome for me to see, especially just knowing how hard we have worked throughout the summer and the spring and this program is still new. But I feel like the girls here and the coaches here have done such a great job of being super open and wanting to learn so that we can get to that the point. of where let's say the program that I was at was at. I feel like. That's the similarity, we're just at a different point along that timeline where that program had a few years of being like that and we are like starting that and starting to get the ball rolling for that."

On her goals for the season Demps said " I think less about the actual like achievements and awards and just more of the impact that I can leave. And that's kind of my biggest goal is to take the knowledge that I have learned and the things that I have seen that worked well and are necessary for a very successful team and to bring that here, but not only to bring it here, but to mold that into a way that works for our team because, not every great team goes about things differently. Everyone has different personnel. So it's like really figuring out what works for us. I think that's a big thing for me is being able to take what I have learned and mold that into a way that is most beneficial for our team.

This one is going to be a big one for the volleyball program ...stay tuned



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