After three days of split-squad work, the full roster practices together for the first time on Sunday.
It was like a family reunion of sorts for the LSU
football team Sunday morning as the entire team was together for the first time in camp, creating a new buzz from the first three days.
The Tigers were still in shells – full pads are scheduled for Monday – but that didn't mean there wasn't any good solid contact.
In fact, LSU coach Les Miles
put his team through the Big Cat drill in the early portion of practice the media was allowed to watch and, as always, there was plenty of entertainment.
Miles seemed to matching veterans up with freshmen as much as possible, creating some interesting matchups.
Among the better matchups were Derek Edinburgh vs. Lavar Edwards, La'el Collins vs. Quentin Thomas, Jarvis Landry vs. Dwayne Thomas and Tyrann Mathieu vs. Travin Dural. While freshmen held their own at times, the vets usually won the head-to-head battles. Defensive coordinator John Chavis was in mid-season form, gnawing on the linebacker group more than once during drills. Most of his venom seemed to be directed at the talented crew of young backers – not a surprise considering Chavis is likely trying to toughen those players up quickly thinking they will contribute sooner rather than later.
Landry and fellow receiver James Wright lost their helmets in their matchups and kept fighting until the whistle blew. If there was any question about whether Mathieu's swagger isn't in full health, he let Dural know it wasn't after their physical exchange.
There was a brief – and humorous – moment when quarterback Zach Mettenberger jumped in the middle ready to tangle after Miles called for Edinburgh.
Other notes and observations:
Chavis wasn't the only coach picking up the pace in the tough love department. Normally laid-back running backs coach scolded his group and several quarterbacks who had trotted over to join them, saying "We just lost 12 seconds of that drill! Are you sh%&*$ing me!?" Wilson also chided Michael Ford when a handoff was botched between him and Rob Bolden.
The second group of defensive backs behind the starters continued to be Jalen Mills, Jalen Collins, Ronald Martin and Micah Eugene. While those four lack the game experience of Eric Reid, Mathieu, Tharold Simon and Craig Loston, the second unit looks every bit the part physically and mechanically. While there might be a subtle dropoff when the Tigers have to turn to the younger members of the secondary, it won't be step and it may not take long for the difference to be barely discernible.
The pecking order of the QBs in the session the media observed was Mettenberger, Stephen Rivers, Bolden, Jerrard Randall and Brad Kragthorpe.
For the second day in a row, Paul Turner was not on the field in uniform and he was also nowhere to be found on the sideline. The redshirt freshman is a second-team receiver and a possible kickoff return candidate.
LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva was wandering around the morning practice and spent time speaking to another observer, former Clemson and Alabama defensive coordinator Kevin Steele.
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