Back from the Break

LSU hit the practice field on Monday for the first time after the Christmas break.

While students are fighting weather-related delays at airports across the country, LSU remained unaffected.

As Les Miles worked out the Tigers on Monday afternoon for the first time since last Wednesday, attendance was perfect. Previously injured names like right tackle Alex Hurst were also on hand and without green no-contact jerseys.

“Everyone is back and playing,” said Miles, who called the team the healthiest they have been since the beginning of the season. “I like where we are. It appears we picked up where we left off. Fresh legs appeared to be had by all.”

Two names that will miss the bowl are safety Brandon Taylor and defensive end Sam Montgomery, though Miles now expects to have both back by the spring, which will once again come early.

“They are rehabilitating,” Miles said. “We though we might not bring them to the bowl early because of injury.

“I think (Sam) will be very close to being ready for the spring. I think there may be a green jersey and not necessarily a live spring for him.”

In typical fashion, Miles will close the final week of Baton Rouge-based practices with a string of practices more aggressive in nature than most.

“These next practices will be those,” he said. “We will get after it pretty good. They understand that; it’s part of what we do.

“I think our preparation going into the break was very good, and the retention is good coming out. These next three practices will be significant ones in figuring out where we’re at.”

The other news to come out of Monday’s practice was the status of running back Stevan Ridley, who on Dec. 22 was ruled ineligible for the Cotton Bowl as the result of an academic issue interpreted by the NCAA as a violation of its bylaws.

With the ruling coming at the beginning of a holiday break, Miles doesn’t expect to hear anything final until after the New Year.

“I have no new word,” he said. “I think everyone is kind of hampered by the holidays. We took Christmas off. I suspect they did too.

“There will be information coming on (Jan. 4) that will give us great direction. I know that our administrators are preparing to make a quality appeal.”

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