Freshman go under the lights Wed. night

For the first time this fall, the LSU Tiger football team strapped on its pads for practice, and worked out in the final day of split-squad sessions before today's opening full-squad run-through. <br><br> As has been the case since the team opened fall camp on Monday, the varsity squad took the brunt of the August heat with an early afternoon session, while the freshmen worked out under the lights later that night.

"Even though (the Oregon State game) is not going to be played during the day time it's certainly going to be at 5 o'clock, which is still not a cool time. I think the players need this. I know it's difficult for them. I think it helps them to develop the kind of mental toughness they need to have to push themselves through on a day like today, which is challenging – especially when you're not used to the shells or the pads."

The evening session was taken at a much slower pace on Wednesday than the varsity session, with the freshmen largely being walked through the sets and basic plays they will need to have memorized by the season opener on September 4.

When the drills finally got underway, JaMarcus Russell and Jordan Reever fired off passes to Xavier Carter, Early Doucet, and Lavelle Hawkins, as the rookies tried to close the gap between themselves and the upperclassmen before they joined up for the first full-squad practice scheduled for 3 p.m. today.

Russell, Carter, and Doucet looked especially sharp, and all three appeared to have benefited greatly from the extra reps that have come with the squad being split in two over the first three days.

"I've been pleased with what we've been able to get done these three days," Saban said. "We've got a lot of good teaching in and we've had a lot of good carry over with the older players.

"We've got some young players getting a lot of repetition so that I feel a lot better about where we've been able to get them to, so they might even have a chance to be able to compete. I'm really happy with what we've been able to do so far."

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