Tag Archives: #Les Miles

Twitter Mailbag: You asked about Clifton Garrett, tailgates, the D-line and more

Tailgates are fun. (Patrick Dennis)

Tailgates are fun. (Patrick Dennis)

Twitter Mailbag is a blog series running each Tuesday answering readers’ questions about the LSU football and teams. Readers submit their questions through Twitter each Tuesday, and the best are posted here with answers. Follow us on Twitter at @DellengerAdv to submit a question.

The spring game statistics list Garrett as having a tackle so he played at some point – or the statistician made an error.  Either way, he didn’t play much and that’s surprising.

Starting middle linebacker Kendell Beckwith said Garrett was his immediate backup when we spoke to him earlier this spring. Instead, Ronnie Feist played middle linebacker for the Purple Team.

Garrett, an Illinois native, came in as a freshman overweight and out of shape and struggled with the Louisiana heat, but he seemed to be in better shape and told us that for this story. Coach Les Miles, after the scrimmage, wondered himself why Garrett didn’t play more in the game.

I saw this hashtag running through Twitter on Tuesday and couldn’t wait to join in because, after all, what’s better than a tailgate?

The obvious correct response to what ruins a tailgate has something to do with alcohol and lacking it, but what good is a tailgate without a yard game?

We left the washers home.

I’m not sure that’s “settled.” But I’d be shocked if Newman were to be taken out of the bullpen. He’s been so successful in that position so far. The guy has thrown 21.2 innings and has not allowed an earned run.

As for Reynolds, that’s unclear. I could see him moving to a starting role at some point. Bouman will likely finish out the year as the midweek starter, and Godfrey might be a guy who moves permanently into the bullpen. After all, it’s not bad to have a reliever who can throw 93.

Don’t put too much stock into anything that happens in a spring game, especially with the way LSU divided the two teams – one starters and one backups.

Miles mentioned before the game that his second stringers needed to be better. It seems like depth could be a concern this year so keep that in mind.

However, DL coach Ed Orgeron feels pretty good about his starting defensive tackles. LSU’s D-ends have a ways to go though, it sounds like.

The over-under on snaps this season for any QB not named Jennings and Harris is probably low. Let’s say … 18.

Spring game rosters, injured players, times of interest, Travonte Valentine tweets

LSU QBs will go at it Saturday. (Travis Spradling)

LSU QBs will go at it Saturday. (Travis Spradling)

LSU released its spring game rosters earlier Friday. They are below. Here are some nuggets:

  • Quarterbacks Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris, running back Darrel Williams and receiver John Diarse will play for both teams – White and Purple – in the spring game.
  • The White Team appears to include most, if not all, of the starters. It includes offensive linemen Jerald Hawkins, Will Clapp, Josh Boutte, Ethan Pocic and Vadal Alexander. Clapp will start at center, he says in this story.
  • The team released spring game times of interest:

toi

  • Tight end Jacory Washington was included in the list of out/injured for the spring game. He’s suffering from a knee injury. DT Travonte Valentine, S Corey Thompson and DT Quentin Thomas – a trio that has not practiced in the spring – are out.
  • Valentine, suspended for the spring for not fulfilling academic requirements, met with LSU coach Les Miles Friday, he tweeted. He seems to be on track to return to the team:

Valentine

TEAM ROSTERS

WHITE (starters)

white

PURPLE

purple

Twitter Mailbag: You asked about Andrew Stevenson’s speed, Greg Deichmann’s whereabouts, being stuck on a deserted island

We'd hope to have Kendell Beckwith on a deserted island with us. He seems like good protection. (Travis Spradling)

We’d hope to have Kendell Beckwith on a deserted island with us. He seems like good protection. (Travis Spradling)

Twitter Mailbag is a blog series running each Tuesday answering readers’ questions about the LSU football and teams. Readers submit their questions through Twitter each Tuesday, and the best are posted here with answers. Follow us on Twitter at @DellengerAdv to submit a question.

LSU has 15 receivers listed on its roster. So … sixth? I have no idea, honestly, but I would imagine he’d finish somewhere in the middle of that group. Stevenson is the fastest player on the baseball team. Things could get dicey, though, going against guys like Malachi Dupre, Travin Dural and D.J. Chark. I can’t see him beating some of those guys.

Still, maybe he could. We’ll probably never know, Hunt.

He’s still on the baseball team. But I see your point – he’s been absent since getting a few pinch-hitting spots over a short span of games about two weeks ago. Why? I don’t know other than to say that coach Paul Mainieri gave him chances and he didn’t take advantage of them.

Deichmann is 0 for 4 this season, but he’s blasted balls in batting practice, coaches say.

No. He will not participate in games this season. He dropped out of school so he’s a non-qualifier for the 2015 season and – again – he dropped out of school.

He’s not enrolled so he’s not on the team.

Mainieri expects all of them to leave: Bregman, Mark Laird, Andrew Stevenson and Chris Chinea. Is that what will happen? Who knows. But the coach expects to lose them all.

D1Baseball.com recently released its college 150 top prospects. Stevenson (29), Chinea (90) and Laird (141) were all included.

It’s a good bet that Bregman and Stevenson will leave early.

  1. Kendell Beckwith: Because protection on a deserted island is of utmost importance. He’s also a heady guy who carries a conversation well.
  2. Alex Lange: Because you need a smart dude to, you know, have good ideas on how to escape the island. Lange is a 4.0 student. Maybe he could make a raft out of some palm tree or something.
  3. Jared Poche: Because you need a country, hunting-savvy outdoors man. Poche is from Lutcher, and I bet he’d be a natural at gigging frogs, spearing fish and what not.
  4. Jared Foster: Because you need a good party every now and then. We have a suspicion that Jared Foster knows how to party.
  5. Jamie Keehn: Because you need a laugh every now and then, especially when stranded on a deserted island. The Aussie has jokes.

Good question. There really isn’t one. Kyle Bouman has been getting the last few midweek starts (and he’ll start again Wednesday), but Bouman is getting starts against smaller, non-conference foes. What happens when LSU really needs a fourth starter against a good team? Like, at the SEC tournament or an NCAA regional?

There’s a good chance that Jake Godfrey or Russell Reynolds might get the nod in a game like that or – hey – even Johnny Wholestaff (3-plus pitchers who pitch 2-3 innings each).

Twitter Mailbag: You asked about the bullpen, Jake Latz, LSU’s use of tight ends and more

Austin Bain is the talk of the town. (HEATHER MCCLELLAND)

Austin Bain is the talk of the town. (HEATHER MCCLELLAND)

Twitter Mailbag is a blog series running each Tuesday answering readers’ questions about the LSU football team. Readers submit their questions through Twitter each Tuesday, and the best are posted here with answers. Follow us on Twitter at @DellengerAdv to submit a question.

Well, he has the No. 3 starter spot for now. Austin Bain was elevated to that role this week. Here’s more on that.

Now, does he keep that role? That all depends on how he and Jake Godfrey pitch. Bain will be given the ball Sunday, and Godfrey is being given the ball in the midweek on Wednesday. Throw in midweek guy Russell Reynolds and LSU has three pitchers – Reynolds, Godfrey and Bain – potentially capable to be the No. 3 and No. 4 starters.

Bain has the inside track on the No. 3 job, seeing as he’s in it for now. You would think that Godfrey has the best chance to be LSU’s No. 4 starter, but who knows.

Not sure on this. But his switch isn’t rumored. Coach Les Miles has said that Voorhies has moved from defensive back to linebacker. I would imagine he has or will have to gain weight for the switch, but not too much.

LSU’s outside linebackers have similar builds to safeties anyway. It’s a fairly natural switch.

Redshirts are for players who plan to play on a team for five years. When’s the last LSU baseball player who did that? The point is – it doesn’t happen often, especially for highly touted guys like Latz. Mainieri said that at the bottom of this notebook.

Latz turned down nearly $1 million to come to college. He’s likely a guy who will be entering the MLB draft after his junior season or, at the latest, his senior year.

I assume you’re talking about tight end receptions? DeSean Smith had four catches for 66 yards in LSU’s bowl game. That’s a good sign of things to come from the position, but don’t get your hopes up.

LSU’s receiving group is about as deep and talented as it gets. I’m sure the focus is on getting the ball into their hands and into the hands of some pretty skilled running backs who can go out for passes – Leonard Fournette, Derrius Guice.

Still, Anthony Jennings and Smith seemed to develop a good connection in that game against the Irish. OC Cam Cameron clearly saw an area to exploit against Notre Dame and that was it.

Donte Jackson and Arden Key are my favorites.

Jackson, who will primarily play cornerback, has the potential to make an immediate impact in the return game for LSU – and in a lot of other areas. LSU coach Les Miles said at signing day that Jackson can do it all – catch the ball, run the ball, return the ball and be a lock down corner.

Key, a highly touted defensive end product from Georgia, could see time immediately at LSU’s defensive end competition. The Tigers lost both starting ends from last season, and it’s unclear how comfortable coaches are with their current guys: Tashawn Bower, Deondre Clark, Sione Teuehema, Lewis Neal.

That’s a start. LSU’s pen has been exhausted recently. The Tigers have played six extra inning games in the last 15. That’s a good recipe to wear down your bullpen.

Also, former No. 3 starter Jake Godfrey has lasted just 0.1 and 1.2 innings in his last two weekend starts. That doesn’t help the bullpen either. LSU has had to patch together those games with a host of relievers, leaving them in a bind come the midweek.

Nope. It sounds as if Valentine is under academic suspension from the team, though that term hasn’t been used. Les Miles said here that Valentine has “failed to do” some things academically.

Twitter Mailbag: You asked about Alex Lange, the QB battle, Leonard Fournette and more

Alex Lange will remain the Tigers' No. 2 pitcher - for now. (HILARY SCHEINUK)

Alex Lange will remain the Tigers’ No. 2 pitcher – for now. (HILARY SCHEINUK)

Twitter Mailbag is a blog series running each Tuesday answering readers’ questions about the LSU football team. Readers submit their questions through Twitter each Tuesday, and the best are posted here with answers. Follow us on Twitter at @DellengerAdv to submit a question.

It’s tough to answer the first question, given the fact that reporters are allowed to view just 10-20 minutes of practice . I’m not sure anyone has the edge, honestly.

Les Miles, it appears, is spreading around the love – one week praising Brandon Harris and the next praising Anthony Jennings. Given that Jennings started 12 of the 13 games last season, the junior might have “the edge,” but I do believe coaches hope Harris can make enough leaps mentally to win the job.

It’s hard to say how fewer wins LSU would have without SS Alex Bregman, but it would, indeed, be fewer. And that’s just considering his defense. Bregman is a hit stealer. I’m guessing that he’s stolen 15-20 hits this season. The guy has made one error in 29 games. He’s played the last 26 without committing an error.

Take his two plays in the win over UL-Lafayette: caught a hard lineout, flipped it to second for an inning-ending DP with the bases loaded; turned a DP in the ninth inning by himself.

No. At least not yet. It appears that this will happen at some point this season – that Lange will move into the No. 1 role. The guy leads the SEC in ERA. He’s got a fastball that touches 95 and a curveball that hits 86-87 mph – one that Mainieri calls “big league.”

However, the coach is hesitant to move him into such a crucial role so early in his freshman season. The timing isn’t right, Mainieri said again earlier this week.

So when will it be right? By guess is in two to four weeks.

Malachi Dupre, Travin Dural, Trey Quinn. D.J. Chark appears to be making movement and don’t forget about John Diarse.

No matter who starts, LSU is deep and talented at receiver.

See two answers above.

Over. I think 1,200 yards is a fair over/under. That’s about what I would have put it at – maybe 1,300. Another year of experience means more maturity, knowledge, etc. If he had 1,034 yards as a freshman, he can hit the 1,300-mark this season, if not much more.

Remember last year that coaches didn’t begin feeding him the ball regularly until halfway through the season. More on that here.

I think Mainieri and the staff hope Latz – out until at least May recovering from an elbow injury – will develop into a Chad Jones-type player.

Jones left the 2009 LSU baseball team for spring football practice and returned late in the season. The lefty, like Latz, had a 2.70 ERA in 6.2 innings down the stretch, helping the Tigers to the 2009 national title.

Hate to the be bearer of bad news but …

Foster is a senior. So, he’s gone. And, at the rate he’s hitting (.330, 7 homers), will be a mid-to-high draft pick.

Mainieri expects to lose the three others – Laird, Bregman and Stevenson – along with Chris Chinea. He’s expecting all four to leave early for pro ball. Will they? Probably not. There’s a good possibility that three of four of them will, though.

Bregman is a lock to leave early. Stevenson and Laird are both having great seasons, too.

Spring Practice Observations, Day 5: Clark returns to practice; Big Cat Drill

Defensive end Deondre Clark returned to practice after missing the last three days of drills with an eye injury, and safety Corey Thompson was not participating in drills.

LSU had its fifth of 15 spring practices on Tuesday, and, yes, it included the famous Big Cat Drill. Videos of the drills are below, but, first, the news:

  • Clark was poked in the eye last week and missed practices last Tuesday and Thursday and Saturday’s scrimmage. He was dressed out and participating with players during Tuesday’s drills.
  • Thompson attended practice in his jersey but without pads. He did not participate as he continues to recover from lingering knee problems. He had ACL surgery more than a year ago and had another small procedure recently.
  • Cornerback Tre’Davious White and receivers Trey Quinn and D.J. Chark were at least three of a host of players returning punts.

Big Cat Drill

  • OL Jerald Hawkins (WIN) vs. DE Deondre Clark
  • C Ethan Pcoci vs. DE Tashawn Bower

  • OL K.J. Malone vs. DT Greg Gilmore (WIN)

  • TE Hanner Shipley vs. DE Sione Teuhema (WIN)
  • TE DeSean Smith vs. LB Kendell Beckwith (WIN)

  • FB Tony Upchurch vs. LB Devin Voorhies (TIE)
  • WR Travin Dural (WIN) vs. S Jalen Mills

  • WR Malachi Dupre vs. S Jamal Adams (TIE)
  • WR John Diarse (WIN) vs. CB Kevin Toliver II
  • WR Trey Quinn vs. DB Russell Gage (WIN)

Brandon Harris tosses pass to WR D.J. Chark in LSU scrimmage, video shows

Harris

Another video has emerged from LSU’s scrimmage on Saturday at Tiger Stadium. And this one’s even better than Kevin Toliver II’s interception.

Video posted on 247Sports – but not filmed by the website – shows rising sophomore quarterback Brandon Harris completing a scrambling pass to receiver D.J. Chark for a touchdown.

The Tigers had a 100-play scrimmage on Saturday, and coach Les Miles said Harris had an interception (seen in Toliver’s video) and two touchdowns (one, Miles said, was to Chark). The scrimmage was closed to media and the public. It’s unclear who took the latest video.

Harris is seen in the video (a link to it is below this post) scrambling left and then turning back right and lofting a perfect pass – of about 50 yards – to Chark, who escaped coverage from Toliver and safety Austin Suits. Anthony Jennings is behind the play and so is Miles.

The play looks as if it came while the second string offense went against second string defense.

The offensive line appears to be: LT Jevonte Domon, LG Josh Boutte and C Andy Dodd, It’s unclear who is on the left side of the line. Also for the offense, TE Jacory Washington and RB Darrel Williams are on the field.

The defensive line includes Trey Lealaimatafao, Frank Herron and Sione Teuhema. Also for the defense, LB Duke Riley was on the field.

CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO

Les Miles: Brandon Harris had edge in first spring scrimmage; Leonard Fournette ran for TD

photo (25)Sophomore quarterback Brandon Harris “might” have had the edge in LSU’s first scrimmage of spring practice, and running back Leonard Fournette scored on a long run to open the scrimmage, coach Les Miles said.

The Tigers, in their fourth practice of the spring and first in full pads, conducted a 100-play scrimmage at Tigers Stadium.

Miles said quarterbacks Harris and Anthony Jennings split first team reps “50-50.” While Miles wouldn’t say if one QB played better than the other, Harris appears to have played better. He threw two touchdown passes to Jennings’ one but also threw the one interception.

“I’d have to see the statistics a little bit more,” Miles said. “Might give (Harris) the edge today.”

Fournette scored a touchdown on a “long run to start the scrimmage,” Miles said.

Other highlights:

  • Safety Corey Thompson “should be back soon,” Miles said. Thompson has not practiced this spring as he still has lingering issues from his ACL surgery more than a year ago. The coach suggested that he had a second procedure on the knee recently that wasn’t “significant.”
  • DE Deondre Clark, poked in the eye earlier this week, could have played in the scrimmage Saturday but was held out for precautionary reasons, Miles said.
  • LSU has been rotating its offensive linemen. Ethan Pocic, at center mainly, has been playing some right tackle, and Vadal Alexander, at right tackle, has been then moved to left guard, his position last season. When this happens, Andy Dodd has played center. Basically, sounds like LSU’s offensive line will be one of these two:
  1. LT Hawkins, LG Clapp/Malone, C Pocic, RG Brumfield, RT Alexander
  2. LT Hawkins, LG Alexander, C Dodd, RG Brumfield, RT Pocic
  • Travin Dural, Trey Quinn and D.J. Chark caught the three touchdown passes Saturday, Miles said.
  • Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele has not only been working with linebackers, his position group. He’s working with safeties as well, Miles said. “In a teaching progression, that free safety and Mike (linebacker) have to be on the same page,” Miles said.
  • Miles called the scrimmage “sloppy.” First team got 40 snaps, second got 40 and third team got 20 snaps.  “Penalties slowed drives, alignment mistakes, basic first scrimmage … a lot like our first scrimmages we’ve had in the past.”
  • Miles said the offense’s tempo was faster. Maybe it’s something the Tigers are trying with their offense? “I think our tempo is a little faster. I think our guys enjoy a little faster tempo,” he said. “Quarterbacks are coming and I think the offense is helping them come.”
  • Has LSU changed its offense with regard to audibles? Sounds like it. Miles said an assistant coach “many times” can call a run/pass audible for the quarterback. “It will be interesting to see if it helps him more or hinders him,” Miles said.
  • St. Paddy’s Day is Tuesday. Les Miles won’t be celebrating (LSU has practice), but he will enjoy driving home he said:

I enjoy driving home on St. Paddy’s Day. It appears to be there’s a lot of fun being had on College (Drive). Just driving down the road, it appears there’s a lot of people who wear green accidentally and happen to be very festive, if not belligerent.

Spring Practice Observations, Day 3: Deondre Clark, Corey Thompson out with injuries; Big Cat drill

The Big Cat drill.

The Big Cat drill.

LSU DE Deondre Clark, a potential starter on the line, is out with an eye injury, and safety Corey Thompson is out indefinitely with lingering pain in his knee.

That was the news after the 25-minute viewing window for reporters of LSU’s third spring practice on Thursday – one that included the debut of the famous “Big Cat” drill.

Clark, a sophomore from Oklahoma, has missed the last two spring practices. He watched practice Thursday with a patch over his right eye. He was poked in the eye, a school spokesman said. Thompson was absent for the third straight practice.

Redshirt freshman Will Clapp return to the No. 1 group at left guard during the media’s viewing window. K.J. Malone practices with the 1s on Tuesday. Here’s how the starting offensive line looked:  LT Jerald Hawkins, LG Will Clapp, C Ethan Pocic, RG Garrett Brumfield, RT Vadal Alexander.

Big Cat drill.

Big Cat drill.

The defensive line first group remained the same as Tuesday: DE Lewis Neal, DT Christian LaCouture, DT Davon Godchaux, DE Tashawn Bower

The popular “Big Cat” drill unfolded for about 10 minutes. Photos from practice, video and video of the Big Cat drill – where players go one-on-one- are below:

Receivers Video

LSU receivers work on catching over-the-shoulder passes. Brandon Harris throws to John Diarse in the first video. Anthony Jennings throws to Trey Quinn in the second clip.

Big Cat Videos

  • Travin Dural (WIN) vs. Jamal Adams

  • John Battle (WIN) vs. Malachi Dupre
  • Rickey Jefferson vs. John Diarse (TIE)

  • Jalen Mills vs. Trey Quinn (WIN)

  • Kevin Toliver vs. Kevin Spears (WIN)
  • Tre White vs. Avery Peterson (TIE)

Recruiting

Malachi Dupre talks with receiver signee Derrick Dillon.

photo (23)

What We Learned: Fournette, Dupre weight shifts; Brumfield is ‘Bruiser'; Vadal all tackle

Brandon Harris says he's grown up.

Brandon Harris says he’s grown up.

What We Learned is a new feature coming to a blog near you. It short, What We Learned offers you snippets of  – get this – what we learned from player interviews.

A host of LSU football players met with reporters for the first time this spring.

WE LEARNED THAT …

  • Brandon Harris is “more comfortable” and has realized that he was keeping himself from being LSU’s starting quarterback last year, he said. We dive much deeper into that and the quarterback battle in this story.
  • DT Christian LaCouture has dropped to 20 percent body fat from 28 since the end of the season. That’s a hefty loss of 8 percent body fat. how’d he do it? “Eat good food. Do a little extra every time you work out,” he said.

    Malachi Dupre gained 10 pounds since the season ended.

    Malachi Dupre gained 10 pounds since the season ended.

  • WR Malachi Dupre gained 10 pounds over the off-season. How’s that feel? “Just stronger and more stable. I don’t feel slower. I feel better when I’m running. Getting stronger helps everything.”
  • New receivers coach Tony Ball is just as colorful and loud on the field as defensive line coach Ed Orgeron. That’s a difference from the more quiet Adam Henry. “Coach Henry was more reserved and laid back but was a great teacher, just in a different way,” Dupre said. “Coach Ball was more up-tempo. I don’t want to say up in your face, but just more on the field … just has a lot of energy.”
  • OL Garrett Brumfield was told at about Week 2 last season that he’d redshirt. It sounds like he wasn’t completely thrilled about that decision, but he says it turned out just fine. He said he learned and grew so much last year that it would be “too much to measure.”
  • Brumfield has developed a nickname on the team: Bruiser, says fellow OL Jerald Hawkins. Why? “He likes to bruise people.” Brumfield is playing both guard spots. Reporters have seen him running with the No. 1 group at right guard.
  • WR Trey Quinn highest moment of his freshman season was, of course, being carried off of the field after the win over Ole Miss (he said, by the way, that a few of his former school principals  have the photo hanging in their offices). And the low? It was the next week after having two drops in a loss to Alabama. “Back-to-back weekends you go from being carried off of the field and getting pulled out against Bama and not seeing the field again,” he said. That’s life. ”

    Jerald Hawkins is fitting into his new position of left tackle during spring. (Angela Major)

    Jerald Hawkins is fitting into his new position of left tackle during spring. (Angela Major)

  • Hawkins says things are going “great” at his new position of left tackle (he was moved from right tackle). The biggest difference between left and right tackle is blocking the speed off of the edge while at left as opposed to the power of the right. Tashawn Bower and Sione Teuhema have been giving Hawkins a test in that speed during the first two days of spring, he said.
  • OL Vadal Alexander will play one of the two tackle positions this year. He’s working at left and right tackle, he said. He said there’s a “very low chance” that he plays a guard positions this season. He’s been seen in most individual drills that reporters have viewed as the No. 1 right tackle.
  • RB Leonard Fournette is down about 3 pounds from his playing weight last season. That’s by design. He weighs 227, he said Tuesday. “Getting faster and more leans,” he said.

    Leonard Fournette is trimmer these days.

    Leonard Fournette is trimmer these days.

  • Fournette said he could feel himself progressing through the season. The game started fast but slowed with each passing week. His game against Florida was when things started to begin to really slow down for him, he said. “That’s when I started noticing everything. Practicing, the defenses, picking up stuff,” Fournette said.
  • Fournette says he hasn’t been asked much about his hit and subsequent knockdown of Texas A&M safety Howard Matthews in the win over the Aggies, but … “They’ll say, ‘Why you did him that?’” Fournette said.
  • OL Will Clapp is playing left guard and center. Reporters, during the viewing windows of practice, have seen Clapp as the No. 1 left guard.
  • DB Dwayne Thomas says LSU hasn’t yet gotten to the Mustang package – the six-DB set made famous under former DC John Chavis – but he expects to get into that soon. Thomas, recovering from ACL surgery, has worn a green no-contact jersey during the first two days of spring, but expects to get that removed for the next practice on Thursday.