Freshman CB Dwayne Thomas shines and the receivers adjust from rough first day of action as the younger players go through their second practice.
LSU's freshmen and newcomers wrapped up the second day of practice with an afternoon session indoors Friday, with the pace picking up a bit as the Tigers get closer to merging into a large group on Sunday.
In the sessions the media were allowed to observe, the defense spent one period together in a pursuit drill where every one of the 11 players in each unit was required to chase down the ball and break down and run in place – a favorite of defensive coordinator John Chavis.
On the offensive end, the quarterbacks again were transfers Rob Bolden and Brad Kragthorpe and redshirt freshman Jerrard Randall. All three looked good throwing the ball, although Bolden clearly possesses the best mechanics and potential of the three.
Mechanically, Bolden was flawless for the most part and delivered the ball exactly where his receivers needed it, regardless of the distance downfield or route they were running.
Unless Thursday's opening day with the newcomers, the receivers appeared to be more comfortable with the QBs and several made nice leaping catches. The most impressive were Armand Williams, Kavahra Holmes and Jordan Johnson.
During a rapid-fire drill when all three quarterbacks zipped passes to teammates as they ran through a gauntlet, the most impressive performance was by freshman cornerback Dwayne Thomas, who snared every ball thrown his direction.
There was a surprise visitor at the afternoon session, as former Clemson defensive coordinator Kevin Steele watched form the sideline. Steele was a possible addition to the coaching staff last month as an intern and is included in the LSU media guide. But he did not join the staff after all.
The Tigers go through one more day of split practice on Saturday, the veterans in the morning and the freshmen and newcomers in the afternoon. The entire team will convene for a practice on Sunday morning.
A short session for the media to observe on Friday as the veterans were back at work Friday in a little steamier conditions than opening day.
Most of the same group was back out for the veteran practice, although Travis Dickson
was not with the tight ends. Nic Jabobs replaced him.
The same four true freshmen were at the morning workout: Vadal Alexander
, Ronnie Feist
, Lamar Louis
and Deion Jones
When the quarterbacks were working with the receivers on a variety of routes, starter Zach Mettenberger looked razor-sharp, particularly on in-and-up routes. Most passes had good zip on them and were delivered right where the receiver would need them with a defender nearby.
The defensive players went through a circuit of drills, including one where they high-step through several pads and aggressively attack a tackling dummy. Even without pads, the defenders seem to thrive on the semblance of contact.
The same running backs group was on the field, and it's still too early to distinguish a set rotation. Of the main four, Alfred Blue appears to be in the best shape – he looks to have added some muscle to his frame. Spencer Ware has some work to do to shed some offseason weight.
For the second day in a row, sophomore La'el Collins was working at left guard with what appears to be the first-unit offensive line, Josh Dworaczyk was with the second group next to left tackle Chris Davenport. Alexander was working at right guard next to Alex Hurst.
Among the tight ends in the morning session, the hands comparison among Chase Clement, Tyler Edwards and Jacobs wasn't close. Clement is clearly the best receiver of that group. It will be interesting to see if Dickson or freshman Dillon Gordon aren't the next in line in passing situations where the offensive coaches go to two-tight ends sets.
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