Saban presses for intensity in Tuesday's practice

For any LSU football players thinking they were going to coast through the last week of spring practice, head coach Nick Saban had a message. <br><br> Think again.

Players were greeted with heat and high humidity during Tuesday's practice, but those conditions were not nearly as peppery as the demeanor of Saban and his staff. Not satisfied with the lack of intensity during last Saturday's scrimmage, coaches were intent on getting the most out of the Tigers with just a few days to go before the Spring Game.


With the practice session being held on a Tuesday, the team had to contend with the conflicting class schedules of some players. In the three quick sessions of today's practice media members were allowed to watch, various players reported to their position drills with the workout in progress.


Not present was offensive tackle Brad Smalling. It was announced earlier in the day that Smalling was being suspended for the remainder of the spring for an unspecified violation of team rules. In his absence, Kade Comeaux worked with the first unit at right tackle with walk-on Mac McLachlan on the second team.


Another apparent change on the offensive line was the move of Rudy Niswanger back to offensive guard. The redshirt freshman from Monroe-Ouachita Christian had been working at No. 2 center following the knee injury to starter Ben Wilkerson, but he was stationed at right guard at Tuesday's practice. Walk-on junior Jimmy Courtenay, a New Orleans-Jesuit product who transferred as a scholarship player from Ole Miss, backed John Young at center.


Saban said Niswanger was training a guard/tackle player prior to Wilkerson's injury, and Tuesday's move might be a reversion back to that plan.


Also back at their original positions on Tuesday were Adrian Mayes and Ryan Gilbert. Mayes had been given a look at WILL linebacker and returned to the strong safety spot he has manned as a reserve over the past two seasons. Gilbert worked with the running backs after spending a week with the defensive backs.


Saban has said all along that moves made during the spring are purely experimental and done in an effort to put players as a position where they have the best chance of seeing playing time.


The Tigers have one more practice on Thursday before suiting up for Saturday's Spring Game at Tiger Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. and tickets are available for advance purchase by calling 225-578-2184 or by visiting the LSU Ticket Office.   

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