LSU Football Practice Report: and so it begins
A recap of the Tigers first practice of fall camp.
LSU hit the practice field for the first time in Fall Camp Monday morning where the storyline was easily the number of true freshman participating in the veteran practice. Typically, the split-squad workouts are used to acclimate freshmen to their practice routine before joining the veterans for full-squad workouts later in the week. It’s pretty clear from Day 1 that LSU will be counting on more than a few new arrivals to play key roles in 2013.
-It’s tough to tell much from a practice without pads for the lineman. Mostly, the defense worked a three-circuit drill hitting dummies and working on hand placement.
-The expected veterans were Anthony Johnson, Ego Ferguson, Jermauria Rasco (who was in a green no-contact jersey) and Jordan Allen.
-Freshmen: Christian LaCouture, Greg Gilmore, Tashawn Bower, Lewis Neal
-LaCouture looks like he’s gotten even bigger since spring and should be a natural fit in the DT rotation. Greg Gilmore is impossible to miss. He’s listed at 6’4, 275 and that might be generous. He’s pushing 300 pounds and will be a run-stopper from Game 1.Both Bower and Neal look more suited to play DE.
-Surprisingly, Danielle Hunter was not with the veterans.
-Expect this group to change throughout the week as Les Miles will try to get as many young DL work with the vets as possible.
-As noted Sunday, Lamin Barrow is wearing No. 18.
-After the first three of Barrow, Tahj Jones and DJ Welter, this group was populated mostly by walk-on’s, but three true freshman worked here as well: Kendall Beckwith, Duke Riley and Melvin Jones. (More on Beckwith later)
-Jalen Mills was wearing Green but participated fully.
-Mills, Jalen Collins, Ronald Martin, Craig Loston and Derrick Raymond were the veterans. They were joined by freshman Rickey Jefferson and Jeryl Brazil. (More on Jefferson and Brazil later)
-Biggest surprise here was that Ethan Pocic was not present. This is likely to ensure that there is a center present to work in the afternoon practice.
-At no point did this group line up in a 5-man formation, so it’s impossible to know what the first 5 would look like yet.
-Present were: Elliott Porter, Josh Williford, La’El Collins, Trai Turner, Vadal Alexander, Jerald Hawkins and Evan Washington.
-The most notable thing about this group is their size. There aren’t tall, lean guys like Alex Hurt among this group. I will be interested in watching them pass block when we have a chance to see it.
When I moved to the offensive backfield drills is when things got the most interesting. The QBs were throwing the gauntlet drill where receivers run the width of the field catching five passes from left to right and then turning up field for a sprint.
-I was disappointed not seeing Quantavious Leslie int his group. The true WRs at practice were Odell Bechkham, Jarvis Landry, Kadron Boone, James Wright and Travin Dural.
-Most people should know when they are getting from the veterans here, but Dural looked great. He has clearly put on size and moves effortlessly. He could be a big factor in the vertical passing game.
-Four participated: Travis Dickson, Dillon Gordon and freshman DeSean Smith
-DeSean Smith is good. Really good. He might already be the best pass-catching option at TE.
-During the gauntlet drill, the RBs participating were Alfred Blue, Kenny Hilliard and JC Copeland. Terrance Magee will work out in the afternoon.
-Copeland had some trouble catching on the run, but that probably won’t be a big part of his game anyway.
-Blue was not wearing green and showed no ill effects from his knee injury that kept him out last year.
-Kenny Hilliard has clearly taken Jeremy Hill’s legal situation as an opportunity. He is as lean as I can remember seeing him at LSU. He carries his 231 pounds with ease.
-Zach Mettenebrger and Stephen Rivers participated.
-Clearly Mettenberger is showing no signs of any reported injuries from the offseason.
-Les Miles told the media Sunday that there will be competition and that his staff would evaluate many players at different positions. He wasn’t lying.
-During the gauntlet drill, Jerryl Brazil and Rickey Jefferson left the DB groups and worked on catching passes. The biggest surprise came when LBs Kendall Beckwith and Melivn Jones caught passes too! Beckwith is listed at 6’3, 225 pounds but looks much bigger. With there being so much competition at LB this season and Beckwith having played QB in high school, Cam Cameron could be looking for ways to create mismatches out of the backfield and this would certainly qualify.
-After running the WR drills, Brazil went and took reps with the running backs and Jefferson went to work with the DBs. Beckwith and Jones joined the LBs.
-When Brazil joined the RBs, they worked on taking tosses and then throwing a pass downfield.
-Cam Cameron was clearly running all offensive drills and Les Miles floated from group to group.