The two quarterbacks on hand – freshmen Russell Shepard and Chris Garrett – have been with the team since January.
The freshman receivers on hand were Rueben Randle, Morris Claiborne and Karl Acker. Randle and Claiborne were the two big lands at wide out from the 2009 class, while Acker – a Portland, Ore. native – is a walk on.
Jhyryn Taylor, John Williams, R.J. Gillen and Ian Harding were the other four Tigers running on the afternoon. Out of the group, Williams drew the most praise from wide receivers coach DJ McCarthy.
Tyler Edwards and DeAngelo Peterson worked out at tight end and Peterson looks as if he can be a real threat in LSU’s passing game.
The running back committee saw a pair of fresh faces thanks to the signing of running backs Drayton Calhoun and Michael Ford and fullback Dominique Allen to go with veteran Stevan Ridley, who showed no signs of the torn ACL he suffered in the spring.
Offensive line coach Greg Studrawa worked out Matt Branch, Thomas Parsons, T-Bob Hebert, Cordian Hagans and Greg Shaw (right to left) for much of the session, with Stavion Lowe, Carneal Ainsworth and Ben Domingue filling in throughout the drills. Josh Williford wasn’t at practice and I will see what Miles has to say on that and pass that information along in his report later tonight.
On the defensive line, the newcomers were the story of the day. Chris Davenport, Josh Downs, Mike Brockers, Bennie Logan and Sam Montgomery all had their moments, and Miles kept his focus on the group for most of the 20-minute session.
At linebacker, defensive coordinator John Chavis worked out Kevin Minter, Rocky Duplessis, Lamin Barrow, Barkevious Mingo, Ace Foyil, Jonathon Nixon and Seth Fruge.
I got a good look at Minter in the spring, and the freshman was certainly the best back in the group today. It is evident that the Georgia-native hopes to avoid a redshirt, looking to break into the top group of linebackers on Saturdays this fall. And from what we saw in the spring he has the chance to do so.
Mingo is tall and skinny and we didn’t get a chance to really see him run which is going to be his biggest asset until he puts some weight on.
Barrow (6’2”, 212) will need to add weight as well before making a strong move, but the potential is evident. The Marrero-native has drawn early praise from the staff after a positive summer with strength and conditioning coach Tommy Moffitt, so certainly it is only a matter of time before the Tigers get their taste of what Barrow can do.
At defensive back, Ron Cooper worked out Daniel Graff, Joe Maltempi, Zach Elkins, Derrick Bryant, Karnell Hatcher, Tyler Glynn, Josh Johns and Stefoin Francois.
Hatcher (6’2”, 207) was quick and ran each drill with fluidity, staking his claim as one of the better safeties on the squad. Bryant (5’11”, 195), who worked as the gunner on the punt team in 2009, has also made strides since spring, showing good hips and an ability to stay with the play even after a mistake.
Francois, whose surgery last spring led many to believe his time as a Tiger was over, has recovered (Note: Francois was not wearing a green non-contact jersey) and rejoined the team. While he appeared to be headed for a starring role when recruited by LSU, the East St. John standout has yet to crack the squad team. Will this be the season?
That’s all for now but we’ll have tons of video, photos and opinions and observations later tonight so stay tuned.