Tag Archives: #LSU

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

Freshman Kevin Toliver II posts interception video from LSU scrimmage

LSU coach Les Miles never told reporters Saturday who got LSU’s only interception of the Tigers’ first spring scrimmage.

It was true freshman Kevin Toliver II.

Toliver, a highly touted signee from Florida, posted a video of the interception on Twitter on Sunday.

The scrimmage was closed to the media and public and no statistics were provided. Miles said Brandon Harris threw the interception, but would not disclose the interceptor.

The coach gave Harris the “edge” Saturday in the first on-field battle of 2015 in the hotly competitive starting quarterback duel between Harris and Anthony Jennings.

In the video, it appears the first-string offense was going against the second string defense. The quarterback under threw the intended receiver, Dural, in the end zone.

Many believe Toliver, a five star prospect, has a chance to to play significantly this season. Here’s a shot of him during practice earlier this week.

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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.

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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.

Twitter Mailbag: You asked about baseball schedules, linebackers and the Mustang

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.

He’s already doing that. LSU has a home-and-home series scheduled with Texas and Notre Dame in the coming years. Mainieri said at the Houston College Classic that he’d like to return to the event.

LSU’s pre-conference non-SEC schedule is set for 2016 and 2017. The Tigers host Cincinnati, Sacramento State, Fordham and Ball State in 2016. They host Air Force, Maryland, Hawaii and Wichita State in 2017. Mainieri said he may attempt to move the Wichita State series in 2017 so the Tigers could return to the Houston College Classic.

An Old Fashioned at a spot in downtown called the Honeymooners. It’s a great classic diner that’s been turned into an upscale cocktails bar.

You won’t find a better Old Fashioned or a more entertaining scene at 2 a.m. (3 a.m. with the blasted time change) from the Honeymooners window seat as intoxicated patrons pour from the downtown bars. Here’s both:

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There is zero science involved.

I’m not sure what exactly you want to know, but here’s a rundown of the first and second units:

  • OLB: Deion Jones (Donnie Alexander)
  • MLB: Kendell Beckwith (Clifton Garrett)
  • OLB: Lamar Louis (Duke Riley)

The Tigers are down two linebackers from where they want to be. They moved Devin Voorhies from safety to linebacker to pad the position. The starters, though, should be good.

Beckwith hit his stride midway through last season, and Louis is a solid outside linebacker. Deion Jones’ position could be a competitive spot.

Well, I’m not sure it completely left town. I do realize that former DC John Chavis made the Mustang famous, but don’t forget that Kevin Steele and Chavis are good friends who share some of the same schematic ideas.

We asked defensive back Dwayne Thomas about the Mustang package after Tuesday’s practice. Two spring drills in, he said the team hasn’t gotten to it yet, but he sounded like they will have a six-defensive back set with him rushing off of the edge.

So don’t completely kiss the Mustang goodbye.

Nope. And don’t expect him to just pop up at some point. Coach Les Miles made it pretty clear Saturday that Valentine had failed to complete an academic requirement, and LSU isn’t “counting on him.”

What’s that mean? Sure sounds like he’s suspended.

Most around the program feel as if he’ll qualify, but there’s no guaranteeing that. In fact, on or around signing day some recruiting services reported that Valentine-Okeke was not on pace to qualify and that’s why some schools – namely Auburn – backed off.

He must gain credit hours and improve his test scores, 247sports reported. 

In these situations, there’s no way to know for sure until the summer arrives and the grades are in. Sit tight.

LSU Spring Football Observations: A change at defensive end and left guard; Tony Ball video

Rickey Jefferson, left, and Dwayne Thomas, right, watch as new DC Kevin Steele, between them, instructs.

Rickey Jefferson, left, and Dwayne Thomas, right, watch as new DC Kevin Steele, between them, instructs.

Reporters were allowed in the indoor facility to view about 20 minutes of Day 2 of LSU’s spring practice on Tuesday. Here are some new nuggets. Below that, we’ve got some video an photos.

The two notable first-string changes:

  • Lewis Neal was at defensive end in place of Deondre Clark, who did not appear to be at practice
  • K.J. Malone was at left guard in place of Will Clapp.

All other first string lineups were the same. Here’s the defense:

Defense (second teamer)

  • DE: Lewis Neal (Maquedius Bain)
  • DT: Davon Godchaux (Greg Gilmore)
  • DT: Christian LaCouture (Trey Lealaimatafao)
  • DE: Tashawn Bower (Sione Teuhema)
  • OLB: Deion Jones (Donnie Alexander)
  • MLB: Kendell Beckwith (Clifton Garrett)
  • OLB: Lamar Louis (Duke Riley)
  • CB: Ed Paris (Kevin Toliver II)
  • S: Jamal Adams (John Battle)
  • S: Jalen Mills (Rickey Jefferson)
  • CB: Tre White (Russell Gage)

Malachi Dupre was the first receiver up in all of the Tigers’ wideout drills. Here he is during a cone drill:

LSU certainly doesn’t have an issue with quarterback numbers. The Tigers had eight QB working with OC Cam Cameron today.

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Brandon Harris and a few other quarterbacks (including Anthony Jennings on the far end) throw passes.

New receivers coach Tony Ball working with some receivers.

Hey, that Leonard Fournette … he’s still big. Here’s a shot of No. 7 with the other running backs, and, below that, is RB Darrel Williams with new receivers coach Tony Ball.

photo (13)

photo (14)

 

Five Spring Position Battles To Watch: No. 1, Quarterback

Brandon Harris, left, and Anthony Jennings are gunning for the starting QB job - again. (Travis Spradling)

Brandon Harris, left, and Anthony Jennings are gunning for the starting QB job – again. (Travis Spradling)

We are counting down the five spring position battles to watch starting Monday and ending on Friday, a day before LSU starts spring drills.

The Contenders

  • Anthony Jennings, junior: Jennings last season had the worst completion percentage (48.9) for an LSU starting quarterback since Marcus Randall completed just 48.1 passes in 2002. He was a lightning rod for criticism throughout the season, a guy who struggled to consistently string together solid performance. His main problem: Accuracy.
  • Brandon Harris, sophomore: Harris enters his second spring practice having failed to hold on to the starting job last season, flopping in his one start against Auburn and never seeing significant playing time again. He’s shown spurts of greatness mixed with rookie struggles.

The Scoop

  • Many want to see Harris take the reigns of the job – even, maybe, the coaches. But it takes more than just a strong and, sometimes, accurate arm or quick feet to win the starting gig at a major college program. OC Cam Cameron has preached leadership and decision-making as being keys to securing the job. Coach Les Miles has admitted in the past that Harris is the more talented of the two, but Jennings seems to have more of the intangibles.

Five Spring Position Battles To Watch

Five Spring Position Battles To Watch: No. 2, Left Tackle

We are counting down the five spring position battles to watch starting Monday and ending on Friday, a day before LSU starts spring drills.

The Departures

  • La’el Collins: Collins, the Tigers’ starter at left tackle the last two seasons, may be a first-round draft pick in May. The 6-foot-4, 305-pounder started 38 of a possible 39 games the last three years. Collins played left guard as a sophomore.

    Jerald Hawkins is likely to start next season as LSU's left tackle. (Travis Spradling)

    Jerald Hawkins is likely to start next season as LSU’s left tackle. (Travis Spradling)

The Contenders

  • Jerald Hawkis, junior: A starter at right tackle for every game of the last two seasons, Hawkins is primed to slide from his spot to the opposite position. The 6-foot-6, 310-pounder bypassed entering the NFL draft as a redshirt sophomore mostly because he wants to play left tackle at LSU.
  • Vadal Alexander, senior: Alexander has a whopping 34 starts over the last three years, serving as the Tigers’ left guard the last two seasons and their right tackle as a sophomore. He’s likely to see most of his time at right tackle and left guard – at least during spring practice. But he’s there if LSU needs him at left tackle.
  • Ethan Pocic, junior: Pocic’s future this season seems to lie at center or right tackle, but he’s a candidate for the left tackle spot if all else fails. He primarily played right guard last season, but most around the program see him as a future left tackle.

The Scoop

  • This one isn’t hard, and it may not be much of a competition. Hawkins is the guy at left tackle. He decided against going pro, in part, because LSU coaches are moving him to the position. That’s not to say that he’s secure there for the entire season. Alexander also wants to play the position, and Pocic is a guy who many believe is eventually destined for the spot at LT.

Five Spring Position Battles To Watch