LSU Football Morning Practice Report: Day 5
A recap of the Friday morning LSU football practice session.
For the first time, the 2013 LSU Tigers came together for a full squad workout Friday morning; also the first time they practiced in full pads. Today was one of the practices made available to NFL scouts and a host of temas were represented: Redskins, Texans, Jaguars, Jets, Seahawks, Broncos, Colts, Saints, Patriots, Bears, Chargers and Buccaneers. Also, the NBA’s second all-time leading scorer Karl Malone was on hand to watch his son, freshman OL KJ Malone.
Before breaking for individual drills, the team began with the Big Cat Drill. For those that are unfamiliar, this is the point where I try my best to emphasize that nothing of consequence should be derived from what I am about to type. Players that “win” Big Cat battles do not automatically achieve starter status or get to sit on a toilet seat of gold. This is a drill that Les Miles implemented several years ago to attempt to increase the intensity at practice – and it has worked. Essentially, Miles calls out the names of an offensive and defensive player who then come to the middle of the circle and have to drive the other man off the ball. “Winners” and “losers” are often subjective.
Big Cat Drill:
-Jerald Hawkins and Jordan Allen pushed (Miles told Allen to “get the hell in the back” after Allen barked something at Hawkins)
-KJ Malone and Mickey Johnson pushed
-Evan Washington and Tashawn Bower were in a stalemate until Bower flipped Washington to the ground. Miles had to instruct Bower that was not the purpose of the drill.
-Christian LaCouture defeated Hoko Fanaika but probably got the worst of it as he suffered a gash on his forehead causing blood to run down his face. It was kind of bad ass.
-Jonah Austin def. Greg Gilmore
-Quentin Thomas seemed to get the best of Andy Dodd, but John Chavis screamed at Thomas to “keep going!”
-Travis Dickson and Frank Herron pushed
-Justin Maclin destroyed a TE transfer named Jake Franklin. This elicited the second largest reaction from the team.
-The largest reaction came when JC Copeland made Duke Riley look like a tackling dummy. Les Miles seems to do this to a freshman every year and it’s just unfair – although it is fun to watch.
-Dillon Gordon def. Kendall Beckwith at which point Anthony Johnson shouted, That’s not even fair, he’s a 300 pound tight end!”
-The running backs fared well as Kenny Hilliard def. Lamin Barrow and Jeremy Hill def. Deion Jones.
-After breaking from the Big Cat drill and before going to individual drills, the offense lined up and ran a play against air and sprinted to midfield. We got to see what appeared to be the first three offenses.
-Vadal Alexander was back at practice and working with the first unit at left guard. Jerald Hawkins worked as the first team right tackle. Josh Williford was absent, which would appear to confirm reports that he suffered a concussion during Thursday’s workout.
-Alfred Blue ran at the first team RB followed by Kenny Hilliard and Jeremy Hill.
-The 2nd OL from left to right was: Evan Washington, Jonah Austin, Ethan Pocic, Hoko Fanaika and Andy Dodd.
-Anthony Jennings ran as the second QB with Stephen Rivers as the third.
Once the offense broke for individual drills, they began with a 5-station circuit. One station had players wrapped around the goalpost catching passes to simulate catching a ball around a defender. Another station was working on catching passes in the corner of the end zone. The other stations had players catching balls thrown at their feet, passes thrown behind them and catching passes while shuffling between dummies.
-It was fun to watch this group work today with all the players present. Jeryl Brazil was with the DBs and did not participate in the route tree work.
-I got my first look at Quantavious Leslie and my first thought was Demetrius Byrd. He’s tall, very thin and can fly. He even has the dreadlocks hanging out the back of his helmet. Leslie made the catch of the day too, tipping to himself a ball throw behind him and making a juggling catch. I didn’t see him earlier in the week, so I trust reports that he struggled, but he looked just fine to me today.
-Anthony Jennings looks so fluid throwing the ball, but if he has an area to work on it’s accuracy. Multiple times, Cameron had to remind Jennings to put the ball up at the receivers’ facemask. It appeared that his accuracy waned on out routes and fades, which makes sense because the field shrinks on those throws. I wouldn’t take too much out of that except that they are moving him along quickly because they expect big things from Jennings.
-Mettenberger looks great. He makes every throw. He looks smooth, confident and comfortable.
-I spent very little time watching the defense. It looks as though the first four DEs are Jordan Allen, Jermauria Rasco, Danielle Hunter and Justin Maclin. After Anthony Johnson and Ego Ferguson, the DTs were LaCouture, Mickey Johnson, Quentin Thomas, Maquedius Bain and Greg Gilmore.
-LSU will hold their first full squad two-a-days Saturday with their annual media Day and Fan Day Sunday.