Tigers prepare for final scrimmage

In at least one fashion, the LSU football team's Tuesday afternoon practice was the same as most of the others thus far — very, very hot.

The Tigers kicked things off at 2:45 p.m. in 94-degree heat, with the heat index climbing to 103. Still, most of the players and coaches were in a jovial mood as drills began. After all, the majority of them have gotten used to both the heat and the training — including junior running back Elice Parker, who spent time in the Marine Corps before he walked on at LSU in 1999.

"Military training was intense. I saw a lot of guys have problems with the heat. I saw a lot of that. It was not easy," Parker said as fall camp began. "I think it's good to train hard. That's what you need in football too because you never know, it could be that hot on a Saturday night when you're playing. You have to be ready for that."

Until then, the Tigers continue to work through the daily grind of fall practice, conducting the 18th full-team practice of the 2001 pre-season. Parker said his Marine pedigree helps him deal with August practice.

"Physically boot camp and fall camp at LSU are about the same. The difference was mental," said Parker, who twisted his ankle last week but was back in practice Tuesday.

"In the Marines, they were trying to wear you down to make you quit. It was a long-term endurance test. The Marines was also more mentally tougher. They wanted to weed you out. Here at LSU it is more of a learning environment because everyone is simply trying to get better."

It seemed that nobody wanted redshirt freshman tailback Derron Parquet to quit the LSU football team, and Parquet is back in camp after a brief absence to be with his family and ponder his future with the team. Parquet, who led all rushers in Friday's scrimmage with 61 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries, did not practice Sunday afternoon or Monday morning, but was reportedly back with the team in its Monday night session, which was closed to the media.

Tuesday afternoon, he took reps with the rest of the running backs.

Devery Henderson was also in the backfield with Parker and Parquet, though Henderson wore a red no-contact jersey after missing some time with an injury. Other red-clad players included tight end Robert Royal, linebacker Treverance Faulk, strong safety Travis Moses, offensive guard Kade Comeaux and defensive end Marquise Hill — although Hill later switched to the full-contact purple jersey.

Defensive players typically wear purple jerseys, and jack-of-all-trades Domanick Davis wore one of them Tuesday. He split time with the defensive backs and running backs. Demetri Robinson, who came to LSU from Lake City, Fla., as a tight end but later switched to defensive end, wore a white jersey Tuesday and practiced with the tight ends.

Redshirt freshman receiver Donriel Louis showed up on the Ponderosa with his right arm in a sling. Freshman tailback Ryan Gilbert and freshman cornerback Ronnie Prude both stayed out of practice as well.

In a spirited first few periods with assistant coach George Yarno, the first team lined up as follows: Rodney Reed at left tackle, Stephen Peterman at left guard, Rob Sale at center, Dwayne Pierce at right guard and Jason Baggett at right tackle. The second team followed with Terry Phillips at left tackle, Comeaux at left guard, Ben Wilkerson at center, John Young at right guard and Brad Smalling at right tackle.

The Tigers will practice once more at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday before their second scrimmage of the fall at 7:30 p.m. They are scheduled to sandwich a Saturday practice between two days off on Thursday and Friday before their game preparation begins next week for LSU's season opener Sept. 1 against Tulane.

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