Big Names Return to Practice

Following an off-day on Friday, the LSU football team practiced just once on Saturday.

Temperatures in the mid-90s sent the Tigers indoors on Saturday as they continue preparation for their opener in Atlanta, now just two short weeks away. The media session was cut a bit short, but here are a few things of note.

Some of the top names missing from practice were Chris Tolliver, Josh Downs, Karnell Hatcher and Joe Barksdale. Downs jogged on the sidelines in plain clothes. For the first time in weeks freshman fullback Brandon Worle was in attendance, but he was not dressed out. The word is that Worle’s hamstring is in pretty bad shape. He served as a dummy defender as the healthy players walked through blocking schemes.

Sophomores Russell Shepard and Morris Claiborne returned to full speed Saturday.

Shepard looked close to, if not, 100% running his routes and catching the ball - a great sign given that he looked to be nursing his hip (hip pointer) pretty badly last week. The injury shouldn’t be a problem for the North Carolina game.

Claiborne, who was suffering from an illness this past week, looked to be participating fully, as well.

At wide receiver Kadron Boone worked behind Terrance Toliver, Shepard and Rueben Randle. Wide receivers coach Billy Gonzalez called Boone’s footwork “perfect” early in the practice. (In order) James Wright, Armand Williams, Jarrett Fobbs, Jakhari Gore and Sam Gibson all followed. With Tolliver out, the need for new names to step up at wide receiver becomes even more pressing. Given that Boone both came out on day one of camp and worked with the veterans and also continued to look the part of polished and ready, he likely will be the first name onto the field from the 2010 signing class. While Williams was chosen as the other newcomer to work with the veterans early on in camp, it has been Wright that has performed best in the first two scrimmages of the fall.

Head coach Les Miles mentioned Thursday that Ego Ferguson may get a look at defensive tackle due to the injury to Downs. That is not the case at this point, as Ferguson remained with the ends throughout Saturday's media session. That means the focus is on two redshirt freshmen names to step up: Chris Davenport and Bennie Logan.

The quarterbacks worked with the tight ends during the early portion of practice. Deangelo Peterson led the group, and he looked as smooth both running and catching the football as he always does. 2010 signee Travis Dickson showed some soft hands as well, and he should be a name that jumps onto the field in some fashion this fall. In terms of how the passers shook down, Jarrett Lee looked very good throwing the deep corner routes and Jordan Jefferson was the sharpest on bubble screens and short crossing routes. It seems that almost without exception Lee throws the better deep balls, and Jefferson continues to be the more accurate man on the shorter, timing routes.

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