On Monday the LSU football team went to full pads for the first time this fall, and the TigerSportsDigest.com staff was on hand to bring you all the details.
· - It was the final leg in the five-day acclimatization period, an NCAA-mandated rule that prevents universities from practicing a player more than once a day. The practice session is also not allowed to exceed three hours. The Tigers began practice last Thursday, and their first rest day comes on Tuesday.
· - LSU coach Les Miles started the individual workout session with the Big Cat Drill. One big winner was wide receiver James Wright, who pushed back freshman safety Ronald Martin in a hurry. Wright has added some solid weight to his arms and legs, and he’s shown off some good hands in practice. Last week Rueben Randle told me that Wright was one of the most aggressive young receivers during summer workouts. With Terrance Toliver graduated and Chris Tolliver gone from the program, the field is open behind Rueben Randle and Russell Shepard – and Wright is making his mark.
· - Offensive lineman Will Blackwell also landed a big win, his coming over freshman defensive tackle Anthony Johnson. Through five days of fall camp, the news on Blackwell – who suffered a broken ankle in the opener and missed all but two plays last season – has been positive, and the senior is slated to step back into the starting right guard slot for the opener against Oregon.
· - Freshman running back Terrance Magee was missing from practice on Monday. He also missed Saturday’s session before returning to action on Sunday. Fullback J.C. Copeland, who also missed practice over the weekend, was absent again on Monday.
· - The media was only allowed to observe for three sessions, but we got our first glimpse of which guys are being relegated to scout team duties. Ego Ferguson, Jordan Allen, and Justin Maclin were three scholarship names of note that worked as scout linemen. Given the lack of experience at the tackle position, the most surprising name to the list might be Ferguson – a four-star defensive tackle coming out of high school two seasons ago. On the offensive side freshmen Stephen Rivers and Jerrard Randall were the quarterbacks for the scout team, and fellow 2011 signee Kenny Hilliard worked as the scout team running back.
· - DeAngelo Peterson appears to be in great shape through the opening stretch of camp, and when I spoke with him on Monday afternoon he said he has put on 15 pounds since the end of the season. Despite the fact that he will be Jordan Jefferson’s No. 1 pass-catching tight end and will also split out as a receiver during four-wide sets, Peterson said he wants to improve his blocking skills. “I want to become a complete player, not just a big receiver,” he said. Peterson also said that despite the added weight he is moving just as fast as before, and the word he kept using to describe his role was “mismatch.”
· - Converted safety Karnell Hatcher was originally working as the backup to Stefoin Francois at strongside linebacker, but Hatcher has now moved exclusively to middle linebacker – where he is in competition with Kevin Minter for a starting job. Hatcher said he feels much more comfortable playing in the box as opposed to roaming the defensive secondary. While a starter has not been named, Hatcher said he feels he is inching closer to getting the nod. When defensive coordinator John Chavis brings in an extra defensive back, Hatcher said he expects him and Ryan Baker to be the two linebackers left on the field.
The Tigers will take the afternoon off before participating in Media Days on Tuesday. The team will return to action on Wednesday for the first two-a-days of the fall.