Return here throughout the day for photos from LSU’s Pro Day, where 17 players from the Tigers’ 2013 will compete in front of representatives of each NFL franchise.
A few shots from the bench press, vertical jump and broad jump areas of Pro Day.
LSU coach Les Miles kissed a pig Tuesday, and the team’s Outback Bowl championship rings arrived, according to photos posted on Twitter.
Miles, as part of a charity event on campus, kissed a pig. Yeah, he did. He really did.
Meanwhile, the Tigers’ Outback Bowl rings have come in. LSU beat Iowa 21-14 in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1. Kicker Colby Delahoussaye tweeted a photo of the rings on Tuesday and so did the official account, @LSUFBEquipment.
— Colby Delahoussaye (@ColbyDely) April 8, 2014
— LSU Football Equip (@LSUFBEquipment) April 8, 2014
Former LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger plans to visit a slew of NFL teams after and before this Wednesday’s Pro Day at LSU, according to a report on nationalfootballpost.com.
Mettenberger, who spoke to us Saturday for this story, will visit the Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Tennessee Titans and Oakland Raiders. The post cites anonymous league sources.
Mettenberger will meet Thursday with the Jaguars and has meetings in Baton Rouge scheduled with the other teams listed above.
Mettenberger, who tore his ACL and MCL in the regular season finale against Arkansas, said Saturday that he’s 100 percent recovered from January knee surgery.
Jack Marucci, LSU’s director of athletic trainers, said Mettenberger will have no restrictions at Pro Day on Wednesday.
“If we had him in spring practice, he’d be participating in spring practice,” Marucci said Saturday.
Said Mettenberger: “I’m just ready to show how healthy I am. A lot of people don’t believe I’m as far along with my rehab as I am. I definitely plan to show Wednesday that I’m fully healthy and ready to roll.”
Mettenberger is projected as mid-to-high round pick in May’s draft.
One big thing came out of LSU’s spring game: The battle to be LSU’s starting quarterback is real.
Freshman Brandon Harris, for the most part, out-dueled Anthony Jennings as the two traded snaps with the No. 1 group (the White Team).
Harris showed beautiful touch on deep passes, a knack for feeling pocket pressure and elusive feet. Jennings, at times, struggled with his deep accuracy and was sacked multiple times.
The quarterbacks’ final numbers are somewhat misleading. Harris completed 11 of 28 passes for 195 yards, tossed three touchdowns and ran for another. He ran six times for 76 yards, including a 41-yard scamper that led to a score.
Jennings was 9 for 17 for 157 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Both of his picks were returned for touchdowns. His play resembled his ugly outing in the Outback Bowl against Iowa. Jennings struggled to make accurate deep passes and was erratic in the pocket.
Other observations from the spring game:
Let the parsing and nitpicking begin. The over-analysis, too.
LSU released the rosters on Friday afternoon for the Tigers’ spring game, which kicks off at 1 p.m. Saturday at Tiger Stadium.
A quick once-over leaves an easy conclusion; the White team is comprised mostly of starters, while the Purple squad is their understudies. Meanwhile, there is some overlap among a handful of players who could switch jerseys.
Here’s a quick breakdown. Players that are sitting out with injuries are noted, as are players moving between both rosters:
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Analysis: It’s no surprise, but Jennings gets the nod with the first unit. His experience right now might be the edge over Harris at signal-caller. Meanwhile, there’s some swapping on the line, namely at right guard, where Fanaika and Washington are battling to replace Trai Turner. Pocic, meanwhile, appears set to get mixed in with porter. The depth issues at running back are somewhat apparent, along with wide receiver. But the arrival of August brings reinforcement.
On defense, it’s interesting to note Thomas has a slot over Gilmore. The rotation at end isn’t too much of a surprise. The departure of Jordan Allen, though, leaves the rotation a man short. At the second level, the experienced hand of Welter will be in the middle instead of the converted Kendell Beckwith along side mainstays in Louis and Alexander. There aren’t any surprises in the secondary.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Analysis: It’s expected that the Purple squad, on paper, is overmatched. Harris doesn’t exactly have a plethora of proven weapons around him at running back, where Melvin Jones is a converted linebacker. At receiver, there’s a duo that’s been nicked up in Peterson and Diarse to go with a converted quarterback in Bolden. Just looking at the offensive lines for both sides, there might be some mixing and matching, which would fit with new line coach Jeff Grimes’ declaration that every spot is up for grabs. Again, the effort to find a rotation at defensive tackle is reflected here. Bain, Herron and Gilmore are all trying to earn reps. At linebacker, it will be the first time we see Beckwith in his new home. At cornerback, Ed Paris, a highly-touted early enrollee, will put his talents on display, too.
You can own an old LSU football locker if you pony up nearly $4,000.
The school is renovating the Jeff Boss Locker Room in Tiger Stadium and is selling nearly 100 old lockers for an “as is” price of $3,950, part of a fundraising effort, the school said. For an additional $230 ($4,180 total), the locker will be refurbished to its original condition.
The lockers were added during a 1996 renovation of the locker room.
In addition to the locker itself, those fans purchasing this piece of memorabilia will receive a certificate of authenticity as well as a copy page for the original plans for the Jeff Boss Locker Room renovations. The dated document from 1996 includes construction drawings and final plans along with the exact location of each locker. Each locker was numbered prior to removal so that you will be able to pinpoint the exact location of the locker that you are purchasing.
The plans will also include the architect’s design elements of the locker along with a matching serial numbered authenticating label that will accompany the locker. This will certify that your locker is a collectible.
For more information about the lockers or to purchase a locker, please visithttp://www.tigerstadiumlockers.net/. Those interested in purchasing a locker but need more information, can submit questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anthony Jennings, for now LSU’s No. 1 quarterback, spoke with reporters after the Tigers’ second day of spring practice on Monday.
The rising sophomore discussed his performance in the Outback Bowl, his growing leadership capabilities and his relationship with players.
He touched on the competition between him, Brandon Harris and Hayden Rettig, and he discussed his maturing football IQ and stronger arm.
What do you need to prove this spring to win the starting job?
Jennings: I just do what I can do. Just become a better teammate, better team leader. Do the things I did to start the bowl game. Just come in and work hard.
How much are you embracing the opportunity to be the starting quarterback?
Jennings: It’s a blessing. Comes with hard work. All my teammates and people that have helped me. All the strength staff. It’s not all about me. It’s all about people around me.
It can’t be easy trying to fill the shoes of Zach Mettenberger, right?
Jennings: Nah. He’s a great quarterback. He’s going to be a great NFL quarterback. Great person. Coming from behind him, I have a lot to live up to.
What’s your relationship been like with Brandon Harris?
Jennings: I’m the only one that’s been in his shoes. Early enrollee, freshman, just like I was last year. He’s trying to compete for the job just like I was. Just trying to tell him things that I went through and just be ready for the moment when it comes.
How different will this year’s offense be compared to last season?
Jennings: We still have great backs, still have great receivers. I don’t think the offense will change that much. I know I have the ability to run but that’s not what I do first. I don’t think the offense is going to change that much. Coach Miles is still the head coach. Think we’re still going to run the ball.
After your Outback Bowl performance, do you feel as if you’ve got a chip on our shoulder?
Jennings: I don’t think that game was one of my best games. If it was, I don’t think I’d be starting. I feel like every game, there are ways to improve, ways to get better.
What did you learn from that game and how many times did you watch the tape?
Jennings: I watched it so many times. I’ve learned that winning is the most important thing. Come out with a win, that’s all you’re really trying to (do is) go in and win the football game. Keep winning games like that, we’ll be national champions.
What were the problems you had in the Outback Bowl?
Jennings: I don’t know. Maybe freshman jitters. All I really know is, my teammates rallied around me and we got the win.
What is offensive coordinator Cam Cameron trying to teach you?
Jennings: Become a better leader. Keep the emotions inside and make those emotions make you play better. Teach me the game of football, how to be a quarterback leader. You have to lead your team. Become a smarter football player, football IQ. All of the little things, like technique and throwing the ball well and accuracy.
Do you think you can win the job this spring?
Jennings: That’s not for me to decide. I’m going to come out here and do my best every day and they make that decision.
Brandon Harris collided with you during some of the roll-out drills, right?
Jennings: I did the same thing to Zach (Mettenberger). I know how it is. You’re not going to be perfect right when you walk on campus. It’s all fine. It’s all fine. I’m ready to get him going and teach him everything that I know and I’m still learning too.
You feel more confident?
Jennings: I’m definitely more confident. I know all of the guys for a year now. I’m confident of every guy on my team that rallied around me to become a better leader, better quarterback. All of us in the quarterback room are getting better. You have better relationships on the team that makes you better.
What have you seen from Hayden Rettig and Brandon Harris so far?
Jennings: Hayden and Brandon look like great quarterbacks. They wouldn’t be here if they couldn’t play on this level. They’re going, just like I am, trying to progress every day. Brandon’s throwing the ball well, still has a lot of things to learn in the offense, but I was in that predicament last year. He’s throwing the ball well. He’s vocal. We’re all trying to get better as spring goes along.
What’s an example of something that happened in the first couple of days in spring that is representative of your growth from last season?
Jennings: Just speaking to my teammates. I didn’t really know anybody (last year). I had just got here. Just talking to them and getting to know them better … I can talk to them on a football level and on a personal level.
How much contact do you have with coach Cameron?
Jennings: Pretty much up here six days a week. So just trying to talk to him and get what he knows and trying to get that in my arsenal to play quarterback.
What’s been his main focus with you?
Jennings: Becoming smarter. Smarter in the game. Football IQ. Knowing what I have to do to get better. He’s been trying to teach me things.
How much more confident are you this season?
Jennings: I’m a lot more confident. I’ve been in the system for a year. I feel confident in the plays we’re running and things we’re doing in the leadership role. I’m not saying I’m a leader like Kenny Hilliard or La’el Collins, but I’m rapidly increasing my IQ and just trying to get better.
You feel the team following you?
Jennings: Definitely. Like last year I was kind of like shaking, didn’t know what to call in the huddle. Now I’m confident and speaking up.
What’s your development in the passing game?
Jennings: I can extend plays with my legs. I’m not worried about that. Just becoming more accurate and doing the reads and (reading) the defense so I know where to go with the ball. I know that I can throw the ball with the best of them. It’s just a matter of showing it now.
Have you and Cameron discussed you not running as much?
Jennings: I didn’t really run that much in the bowl game. Just stand in the pocket, knowing where to sit, move, step up in the pocket. Those are going to come with time.
Has Cameron compared you to any NFL quarterback?
Jennings: Yeah, he’s coached Tyrod Taylor, Antwaan Randle El. Those kind of guys. He said those kind of guys kind of remind him of (me).
Do you fit those roles?
Jennings: I guess so. Tyrod Taylor can throw the ball with the best of them. He said Tyrod Taylor is a great quarterback. Antwaan Randle El is a great quarterback. I like those comparisons.
Was the Outback Bowl humbling after the success against Arkansas?
Jennings: Definitely. I always knew that if you win the game and you do well, the quarterback position, they’re going to praise you. If you don’t do well, they’re going to blame it on you. It’s just a matter of sticking in and don’t get to high and don’t get too low.
Has Mettenberger offered you advice?
Jennings: I’m still talking to him pretty much every week, seeing how things are going, doing those things. He just said, ‘It’s a grind. Becoming an LSU quarterback is one of the most prestigious positions in all of college football. You’ve got to do the right things even when no one’s looking.’
What do you need to do to win the starting quarterback job?
Jennings: Just do what I have been. Throw the ball well. All of the quarterbacks can do that. Separate myself (in) the film room and in the class room. Becoming a more student of the game.
You compare yourself a lot with Brandon Harris. How similar and dissimilar are you two?
Jennings: I think we’re two similar quarterbacks. He can run the ball just like I can. He can throw the ball with the best of them. What’s different right now, he doesn’t know as much as I do. That comes with time.
What did you do in the off-season?
Jennings: I just been doing a lot of drills, trying to hone in on my lower body strength to drive the ball more, become quicker in my thinking. Reading a lot of inspirational books of how to lead, a lot of autobiographies of who has led, who’s done it great. Trying to become a better leader first of all and become a better quarterback.
Have you gained arm strength?
Jennings: I think I’m driving the ball exponentially more than I did last year, in that last bowl game.
Mettenberger developed relationships with Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry. Are you expecting to do the same with the new receivers?
Jennings: Jarvis and Odell had three quarterbacks. I think I can make that move with the receivers now and the receivers coming in with the freshman class.
What’s your relationship with the receivers now?
Jennings: It’s great. I talk to them every day. Try to get them up here, throwing extra, them and Cam. Trying to get better every day. That’s what we’re trying to do.
What was the reception after the Arkansas win and compare to the one you received after the Outback Bowl.
Jennings: Obviously, you win an SEC game in the last minute or so you’re going to get a lot of praise, but obviously it was still a win. Still a win in the bowl game, still a win in the Arkansas game. We wouldn’t have gotten to the Outback Bowl if we lost that Arkansas game. All of my teammates, they still believed in me. Nothing has changed. I don’t really give in to all of the outside talk. I don’t make any excuses nor do I take any from anybody else.
What have coaches told you guys about the quarterback competition?
Jennings: What they’ve said is, it’s a competition. You’ve got to come in and do your best. Right now, I’m taking the 1s. I’m just trying to keep that going and eventually become a starter, be named a starter.
LSU practiced for the first time in full pads Tuesday, the third practice of spring drills.
The highlight during the media’s 30-minute viewing window? The Big Cat Drill.
There’s video above. It includes coach Les Miles playfully calling former safety Craig Loston to join the drill, where an offensive and defensive player collide while the team watches. Loston, a senior last season, was on hand.
It also features new defensive back Ed Paris, an early enrollee, taking down receiver John Diarse and eliciting a celebration from teammates.
Here’s the pairings during the above video portion of the drill:
LSU announced dates for the 2014 Tiger Tour on Tuesday.
Here’s the schedule:
Speakers at each tour stop will be announced at a later date.