Spring practice: Tuesday report

LSU was back at it on Tuesday afternoon for the fourth practice of spring drills. Go inside for notes from the media session of practice.

The LSU football team put on full pads Tuesday for the first time this spring, and just as he did on Monday, Coach Les Miles ran his team through the Big Cat drill.

Here are some notes from the 25 minutes the media was allowed to observe practice:

  • If Ronnie Feist felt like a newcomer to the group, he likely got a boost of confidence from his performance in the Big Cat drill.

    Matched up against Kenny Hilliard (5-foot-11, 240), Feist (6-2, 225) – who should technically be in his final semester of high school – came off the whistle and blew Hilliard back before slamming the sophomore running back onto the ground, which sent a handful of players from the defense into a frenzy.

    While fellow freshman linebacker Lamar Louis lost his battle for the second day in a row, this time to running back Jeremy Hill, Feist has been quick to make an impression on defensive coordinator John Chavis.

  • The defense won the majority of Tuesday's battles, with the defensive line scoring four big wins in a row over backup offensive linemen and tight ends.

    Outside of Feist's win over Hilliard, one of the most impressive wins belonged to redshirt freshman cornerback Jalen Collins, who slammed fellow redshirt freshman Paul Turner to the ground.

    The win drew cheers from the defensive backs, who know that Collins is pushing to get to the field for the first time as a Tiger.

    Collins, fellow redshirt freshman David Jenkins and sophomore Ron Vinson are all battling for the third cornerback spot behind Tyrann Mathieu and Tharold Simon, and presumably the second cornerback spot when Mathieu shifts to his role in the nickel and dime packages.

  • After talking with a former player at practice, I expect LSU running backs coach Frank Wilson to press for his stable of backs to trim down this offseason.

    The lightest of the group is Alfred Blue at 6-2 and 215 pounds. The heaviest: Jeremy Hill at 6-2 and 240 pounds.

    The official roster at www.LSUsports.net lists Spencer Ware at 5-11 and 223 pounds, though it appears he may be closer to 230 pounds.

    Michael Ford is listed at 5-10 and 215 pounds and Terrance Magee at 5 -9, 212 pounds, though it appears Magee has moved above that mark.

  • The quarterbacks worked on throwing routes with both the wide receivers and tight ends before they moved into handoff drills with the running backs.

    Zach Mettenberger looked the part on Tuesday, and it's evident he has been working on his timing with receivers outside of practice.

    Collins said Monday that Mettenberger and the wide receivers began workouts together over a month ago.

    Quarterbacks coach Steve Kragthorpe had both praise and consternation for Stephen Rivers, who is making big progress since he arrived in Baton Rouge last May.

    Kragthorpe repeatedly told Rivers his hips were getting better when he dropped back and turned to throw, then Kragthorpe jumped on his backup QB when Rivers threw a ball too high on a deep route and it got caught in the wind, forcing the receiver to come to a standstill to catch the football.

    When throwing 5-yard slants, Kragthorpe praised all three quarterbacks – including redshirt freshman Jerrard Randall – for driving the ball into the hands of the receiver.

    While he has bouts with accuracy, Randall has no trouble with ball velocity. Out of the trio, Randall throws arguably the hardest ball.

  • In a race to the field, sophomores Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham made things look routine on Tuesday.

    Beckham flashed a couple of one-handed snags on overthrown deep balls, while Landry tucked away some tough throws when running slant routes.

    If Beckham and Landry are battling juniors James Wright and Kadron Boone, it could be argued that the younger pair are having a quicker start to spring practice.

    And remember, with Adam Henry in his first year as wide receivers coach, everyone is getting a chance to make a first impression.

  • That could be big news for sophomore Armand Williams.

    At 6-3 and 200 pounds, Williams looks like a slightly smaller version of Rueben Randle, though it's evident that Williams has a way to go before earning the reps Randle earned.

    While there hasn't been much mention of Williams by the staff during the past two seasons, he could develop into the vertical deep-threat that is missing from the unit.

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