Like the veterans at the morning workout, the freshmen worked out for the first time in shoulder pads and shorts today, something coach Les Miles and the players equally liked.
"Honestly it was a lot more fun today because we had shoulder pads on," Miles said. "You could bump into somebody and it wouldn't feel like you were getting hurt. Anytime you show up in shorts and t-shirts it is just not football. Today is the first day we had some fun. I liked with what I saw today."
Miles said there was a different feeling on the field with the pads on.
"The morning practice had a lot more intensity, a lot more attention to detail, much more competitive," he said. "The young guys are working hard and doing the right things. They don't quite know what we are totally asking of them, but they are trying hard."
Again a sample of veteran players joined the freshmen group in the afternoon practice. Players of note working with the younger groups were Xavier Carter, Amp Hill, Justin Vincent, Keron Gordon, Paris Hodges, Doug Planchard, Dominic Cooper and Carnell Stewart. Miles said the way the veterans picked for the afternoon practice can vary in reason from leadership to more quality reps to injury.
"It was done in a number of ways," Miles said. "First you're looking for quality reps for everyone. Sometimes we choose guys that may not get enough reps in one practice that can get them in another, players that could get some playing time. Plus, put them in a position to give leadership to the younger group. Justin Vincent is a little dinged right now, so it is obvious we won't ask that much of him. There are lots of reasons why we choose who we did.
Not as typically humid as usual, LSU's freshmen and select veterans endured more of a searing-type heat.
The effects of Tuesday heat showed as between several snaps freshmen Ryan Perrilloux squatted down on the practice field with head bowed. Freshman fullback Steve Korte was escorted from the practice field by trainers Andy Barker and Jack Marucci.
"I am certain that it got to them a little bit. That 3-5 (p.m.) slot was pretty hot, but I don't think it was anything we can't play through.
Korte was helped to a nearby shaded area and ice-soaked towels were applied to the back of the Mandeville native's neck and underarms. Korte returned to drills some 10 minutes later. Giving Korte (6-2, 230) a once over, the son of former New Orleans Saint Steve Korte is listed as a running back, but with some added weight could be a star at middle linebacker or defensive end.
"When you mix heat and young in a huddle and throw things at them in a hurry, you can sometimes get unusual results," Miles said.
As for the afternoon drills, all eyes continued to be affixed on Perrilloux, who wasn't quite as sharp as he has been. The freshman possessed lots of zip on his passes, but were either led too much, thrown behind or over the heads of LSU receivers, most notably veteran wideouts Amp Hill and Xavier Carter.
The passes Perrilloux did connect on were mostly 10-yard out routes, which he delivered with plenty of velocity. However, on five different shots downfield – 30 ore more yards Perrilloux lacked touch under throwing several passes. His spiral also featured plenty of wobble.
Speaking of receivers and the passing, Brandon LaFell is quite a specimen. Getting an up close and personal look at the Houston native, LaFell looks a bit bulkier than his 180-pound listing on the roster. From this initial look, he looks very similar to Tiger junior Dwayne Bowe in his freshman season.
Justin Vincent joined the freshmen on Tuesday afternoon leading the rookies in afternoon drills. Vincent looks heavier than he has in the past – in a good way, though. Vincent is listed at 213, but looks closer to 220.
LSU features a pair of freshmen running backs that came to LSU as heralded recruits. However, it is pretty obvious Antonio Robinson and R.J. Jackson has a great deal of work to do before they will see the field.
Both are listed near 200 pounds (Robinson 199, Jackson 197), but neither looked as if they weighed more than 180. Robinson looked leaner than he did as a prep star at Winnfield with smaller legs than you would expect on a 200-pound running back. He actually is built more resembling a defensive back. Jackson, on the other and, has the look of a running back, but bears a striking resemblance to Skyler Green or Josh Reed.
Speaking of freshmen that will see the field, upon first glance there is little doubt both Al Jones and Rickey Jean-Francois will play as true freshmen. While both were projected to play as rookies, these guys look like polished players. Jones wears Marcus Spears' vacated No. 84 and at first glance looks a bit like the former all-American, granted he is a bit lighter.
Jean-Francois is everything people have heard. The wide body, long arms and athleticism of a running back, this guy has definitely gotten "FREAK" written all over him.
PRACTICE REPORT: Aug. 9 - Evening
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