Notebook: Practice day 10

Senior offensive guard Will Blackwell was back at practice on Monday. Go inside the notebook for the latest from camp.

--- On Sunday night, Les Miles announced that the remainder of LSU-s pre-season camp – which runs through Monday, Aug. 29 – would be closed, meaning the 20-minute daily media sessions would be done away with.

Miles did not give a reason for the decision. The media was originally slated to observe practices through Saturday.

--- Senior Will Blackwell missed practices last week before sitting out of Saturday’s scrimmage, but LSU’s starting right guard was back in action on Monday for both the morning and afternoon practices – good news for an offensive line that has been hit with injuries over the past year.

“I was just a little nicked,” Blackwell said. “It was nothing serious. I am good to go now.”

Last season Blackwell suffered a broken ankle on the first offensive play from scrimmage against North Carolina, which sidelined him for nine games. He returned to action against Ole Miss in week 11.

--- While the injury watch added new names during camp, the news on senior safety Brandon Taylor remains positive.

Taylor, who suffered a broken right foot in a win over Alabama last fall, sat out the entirety of spring practice before returning for 7-on-7 workouts over the summer.

“I am 100 percent,” Taylor said. “I don’t even get treatment on it anymore.”

Given the medical staff’s initial timetable for recovery, Taylor – who began workouts three weeks into the summer – is very much ahead of schedule.

“I am probably three months ahead of schedule,” Taylor said. “Usually it takes a whole year to come back.”

--- If you’re looking for a word to describe LSU’s defensive ends, settle on speed.

LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis, a 22-year veteran of the SEC, said he has never coached a quicker pair than Barkevious Mingo and Ken Adams.

“You’d be shocked at (Adams’) speed, I’m not going to advertise it, but you’d be shocked at how well he does run,” Chavis said last week at Media Day. “Barkevious Mingo is another guy with great speed.

“I don’t think you’ll find two faster defensive ends in the country. They may be playing side-by-side or they may be playing across from each other.”

Unlike Chavis, Adams – the lone senior on the line – isn’t afraid to advertise what’s in his arsenal.

“I am a 4.5 guy, sometimes low 4.4,” said Adams, who weighs 255 pounds.

Who is the quickest of the crop?

“We have raced before, and between me and Mingo it goes back and forth,” Adams said. “Mingo is more of a long-distance guy. I could beat him in the 40 (yard dash). I know so.”

--- Without Drake Nevis and Pep Levingston at defensive tackle, one assumed starter is sophomore Mike Brockers.

Junior Josh Downs hopes that he can be the second tackle and fourth name – alongside Adams, Montgomery and Brockers – into the starting front.

After playing in 22 games without a start over the past two seasons, the 6-foot-1, 287-pound Downs said that his time is now.

“I think I have been taking gradual steps to be the best,” Downs said. “I feel like I was always taking steps in the right direction.

“I have been kind of injured and hurt in the past, but I am back. Everything has been feeling pretty good.”


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