Due to heavy rains across Baton Rouge the Tiger football team practiced indoors on Wednesday, wearing just shoulder pads and helmets as they participated in the final session before Thursday’s second scrimmage of the fall.
Lamin Barrow, Karnell Hatcher, Brandon Worle, Daniel Graff and Morris Claiborne were not in attendance. P.J. Lonergan did workout, but he was dressed in a green no-contact jersey. The same went for Russell Shepard, who missed on Tuesday with hip soreness. Freshman Jordan Allen returned to practice after nursing a sore leg.
The wide receiver depth is growing ever thin as Chris Tolliver also missed the practice and Shepard practiced at about 55%. Shepard gingerly ran every route, very obviously nursing the sore hip that kept him out of practice already this week.
For the 20 minutes media was allowed into practice the quarterbacks and receivers worked on deeps balls. Jordan Jefferson had a tendency to underthrow his receivers on the deep corner routes. One of the complaints about Jefferson’s game has been his consistency with the deep ball, and it’s something that has continued to plague him during fall camp. On the contrary, Lee was able to hit his men in stride pretty consistenty.
Jefferson continued to look sharp on the short to intermediate balls, while Lee struggled a bit with the timing routes. Coach Billy Gonzalez had the quarterbacks releasing the ball before the receivers made their breaks, and Lee frequently misfired on those types of routes.
Terrance Toliver made a fantastic one-handed grab toward the end of the media session. Another development of the past week is Jakhari Gore’s progress at wide receiver. Gore was very stiff in his first workout with the group, but he has since showed steady improvement. His route running is crisp and he has really worked on catching the ball with his hands out in front of his body. After watching Gore the past couple of practices, the freshman from Miami has caught everything in sight. Over time he could really be a threat with his lateral quickness in space.
Kevin Minter lined up at middle linebacker between Kelvin Sheppard and Stefoin Francois. Lamin Barrow, who had been working on the weakside with the first group in place of the injured Ryan Baker, was not at practice Wednesday morning. The backup for Barrow on the weakside (when Sheppard has not moved over from middle linebacker) has been freshman Luke Muncie.
The revolving door at the safety spot opposite Brandon Taylor lent itself to Jai Eugene on Wednesday. The pair joined Patrick Peterson and Ron Brooks, who filled in for Claiborne, in the first-team secondary.
The secondary worked on the JUGS gun for the first portion of the practice. The gun was lofting balls high into the air, and the defensive backs had to run under the ball and catch it at their highest point. One thing is evident: the Tiger secondary has some exceptional athletes. In terms of leaping ability, Peterson and Ron Vinson stood out.