A day of rest on Sunday gave the Tigers time to heal up from Saturday’s opening scrimmage of the fall. Back out on the practice field bright and early Monday morning, it was the Big Cat drill that kicked off the week.
A couple of notes:
The most entertaining one to watch was Russell Shepard, who – knowing the media were lined up just outside the circle – pushed Ronnie Vinson through the line of players and into the view of those gathered. He finished him off with a slam to the ground and pat on the head.
Craig Loston then virtually body-slammed James Wright.
In a battle between the Edwards, Tyler took the win over Lavar.
Redshirt freshman Tahj Jones more than held his own during his match with the much heavier Stevan Ridley.
Chris Faulk and Chancey Aghayere fought to a stalemate.
Luke Muncie, Josh Downs and Bennie Logan wore green jerseys, and Jordan Allen worked by himself on the side. Apparently Allen has a contusion on his leg he suffered in Saturday’s scrimmage. He was dressed out, but only worked on hand drills on the sideline.
Brandon Worle, P.J. Lonergan and Karnell Hatcher were all missing Monday morning, as was Ryan Baker. Baker’s broken jaw will likely keep him sidelined between four and six weeks.
After he tweaked his ankle in a practice late last week, freshman Jakhari Gore looked to be running at full-strength as he worked with the wideouts.
The surprise of the morning was the fellow 2010 signee that joined him: Sam Gibson. Gibson spent the first 11 practices with the defensive backs, but he was with coach Billy Gonzales and the wide receivers on Monday. Gibson, a high school quarterback, showed some nice hands on a shin-high grab early in the session.
Patrick Peterson, Mo Claiborne, Brandon Taylor and Loston ran as the first-team unit in the secondary. Jai Eugene and Eric Reid were the second safeties, and Tyrann Mathieu and Ron Brooks were the corners.
On the defensive line, Pep Livingston and Drake Nevis continued to work as the first group of defensive tackles. Sam Montgomery and Ken Adams, who appear on path to move ahead of Lavar Edwards and Chancey Aghayere for the top spots at defensive end, joined them on the sleds.
Though Les Miles mentioned the idea of moving Kelvin Sheppard outside and keeping a name like Kevin Minter inside, the starting linebacker group saw Sheppard at the Mike and Lamin Barrow in for Baker at the Will.
Zach Lee was suited up and participating fully in the workout. If that’s the case tomorrow morning, you’ll hear the collective sighs of relief from coaches Les Miles and Paul Mainieri. Lee has until 11:00 p.m. CST to ink a deal with the Dodgers.
Practice number two on the day is set for 4:00 p.m. Check back for a full report.