Wednesday marks the last day of practice for the new freshmen and junior college transfers. They will take Thursday off from workouts to undergo new student orientation before returning to the Ponderosa on Saturday for their first two practices with the upperclassmen. Varsity players report to campus on Thursday.
During the 40-minute media window, Saban gave a few of the frosh an idea of what to expect from the veterans. Working with three defensive backs, the head coach stressed that he wanted real hitting instead of the tentative contact they were making in one particular drill. To demonstrate, Saban employed the technique himself and took a freshman DB off his feet. The players got the point and gave the coach what he was looking for.
The mix of scholarship players and invited walk-ons allows the Tigers to work in a set offense, while they are just a player short to do the same on defense. The receivers are able to get familiar with routes and techniques thanks to the presence of quarterback Perrin Rittner, a walk-on from New Orleans-Jesuit.
With only 2 or 3 exceptions, the LSU newcomers have the look of athletes who are ready for college football. How quickly they are able to acclimate to the physical and mental demands of fall practice should determine whether they will contribute in their first season with the Tigers.