Tigers resume practice after Spring Break

The message was clear to the LSU football team when it returned to spring practice after a ten-day break – vacation is over. Judging by the dragging, weary bodies heading into the locker room Monday evening, spring break was behind the Tigers and preparations for the 2002 were back in full swing.

Hopefully, the Tigers got all the fun and sun they needed last week since Monday's practice had to be held indoors due to constant rain throughout the day. The team worked out in full pads for over two hours, during which players were apparently expected to show they had retained what they had learn during the first week of practice.


"I think this is the hardest practice since I've been practicing college football," said linebacker Bradie James. "It was kinda rough since we've had ten days off. This was our eleventh day and we had to come out and apply what we had learned in the meeting room as well as all the things we were supposed to know but forgot over spring break."


Players were expected to perform three weight workouts and three prescribed runs during spring break. But James admitted he was only able to run during his trip home to West Monroe. Even though he attempted to maintain his conditioning, James said the pace of Monday's practice left him drained.


Physically, the Tigers made it through the practice just fine. But there were some mental miscues, according to James, due to the long layoff from football.


"It would be too far fetched to say guys would come back crisp," he said. "When you're in the swing of things and got the routine going, it's easier to get everything down."


The retention was a little tougher for players who are being worked out at new positions. Jack Hunt, who has been moved from wide receiver to free safety, admitted that he had a hard time recalling some of the newer information the coaching staff attempted to install. During his spring break, Hunt said he went home to Ruston for some fishing and golf.


"Once you get reps in, it comes back real quick," said Hunt.


There was no slow transition back into the game plan for Hunt and the rest of the defensive backs, who were expected to pick up where they left off before their vacation. Progress has come on a day-by-day basis for Hunt, who says he has benefited greatly from working directly with head coach Nick Saban.


"It's nice to get the attention, it makes you feel important," said Hunt. "Everybody's looking at you to see what you're doing."


Two of the more experienced hands in the secondary, strong safety Norman LeJeune and cornerback Randall Gay, retreated across the Mississippi River to Brusly for the break. They both reported meeting their workout requirements while taking advantage of readily available home cooking.


LeJeune and Gay grew up within a football's throw of one another and relish the fact that they've been able to follow one another from recreational league football, through middle and high school and all the way to LSU.


"It's just a blessing that we could both go to the same high school, the same college and play together," said LeJeune. "We know one another like the back of our hands."


The two jokingly argue over which is the better athlete, with each claiming to be faster than the other. Gay says the issue was settled when the two faced off at a high school track meet and he won.


"We got here and I beat him again," Gay stated. "I don't know why he's trying to tell people he's faster than me. I let him talk since he's older and is gonna be gone before me."


SCHEDULE: The Tigers practice again on Wednesday and Friday in advance of the first major scrimmage of the spring on Saturday. Wednesday's practice will probably be in full pads, and the Tigers will likely go to shells on Friday.

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