The afternoon practice session for the LSU freshmen, newcomers and selected veterans was a short one Friday.
The media was allowed to observe for three, 5-minute sessions as the freshmen and selected veterans hit the indoor facility for the second time in as many days.
The TigerSportsDigest.com staff was on hand to bring you the latest quick hitters:
· - Jarvis Landry, standing still and sporting shorts and his No. 80 white jersey, caught a few balls from quarterback Zach Mettenberger. Landry is wearing a protective boot on his right foot, and LSU coach Les Miles has said he hopes to have him back as quickly as two weeks. Expect Landry to continue to be with the team in the afternoon and take instructions from wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales.
· - Armand Williams was also sidelined on Friday, though he wasn’t wearing anything that would hint towards an injury. He also didn’t appear to be limping or favoring any body part. I will dig deeper to see if something is there, but as of now he’s no longer running with the group in the afternoon. That left Jakhari Gore as one of the primary pass-catchers for the quarterbacks, a group that included Mettenberger, Stephen Rivers, Jerrard Randall, and preferred walk-on Jared Foster. Gore had some drops, but not everything was thrown on target, either. As Miles mentioned earlier this week, Gore’s focus is going to be primarily out of the backfield. If he can grab a ball out in the flats and get a little room, then watch out. It’s going to be tough to catch him.
· - Speaking of quarterbacks, Randall sat out for the 15 minutes that the media watched. A trainer later looked at Randall, but he wasn’t sent back to the locker room. He could just have a sore arm, but I’ll do some additional digging and see what comes up.
· - The main running backs Frank Wilson worked with on Friday were freshmen Terrance Magee and Kenny Hilliard. Magee blew me away on Thursday, but he struggled catching the ball today. Once he gets into a rhythm I suspect that he will begin his ascent up the depth chart. I was told by Will Blackwell on Friday afternoon that Spencer Ware has separated himself from the pack, followed by Michael Ford and then Alfred Blue – a guy he tabbed as a “nice change of pace.”
· - Ron Cooper broke his defensive backs up into safeties and cornerbacks, and the two groups worked on backpedalling and then jumping for the ball at its highest point. Ronnie Vinson, working with the safeties, stood out the most. He can move those feet and times the ball very well. After he led all tacklers in the spring game with 11 stops, Vinson’s stock is on the rise headed into camp. The other safeties were Ronald Martin, Micah Eugene, Sam Gibson, and Rockey Duplessis. The two cornerbacks were Jalen Collins and David Jenkins. As I mentioned Thursday, both guys have put on a lot of good weight. Collins looks a little slow in the feet, but that isn’t a problem for Jenkins. During his senior year he was one of the most athletic defensive backs in the country, and through two days he has shown off some great speed and hips. Everything looks fluid when he moves. Brandon Taylor told me Friday that the new defensive backs were extremely impressive in summer workouts, and he singled out Jenkins.
· - The defensive line group was the same as Thursday, and the order that special teams coordinator and assistant defensive line coach Thomas McGaughey worked them through the drills was Dennis Johnson, Chancey Aghayere, Ego Ferguson, Jordan Allen, Justin Maclin, Jermauria Rasco, and Quentin Thomas. One note, Ferguson looks in the best shape of his life. I thought that he showed up to LSU a bit overweight, but the new rosters from LSU have him listed at 6-foot-3, 283-pounds – down about 10 pounds from where he was last year. With Brick Haley in search of extra bodies at defensive tackle, the move inside by Ferguson could pay off this season.
· - The linebackers were Trevon Randle, D.J. Welter, Luke Muncie, Josh Johns, Seth Fruge, and Nick Rice. Randle stands out from the pack, but I’ve also liked what I have seen from Welter. He’s a legit 6-foot and he’s carrying about 225 pounds – and very well. He’s a linebacker to keep a close watch on as camp progresses. Chavis has always spoken highly of the Crowley native when asked about the progress from the younger linebackers.
On Saturday morning the team will join together for their first full-squad practice, and the TigerSportsDigest.com staff will be back on campus to bring you the latest news.