Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Inclement weather from Tropical Storm Edouard did not dampen the spirits of the LSU football team as the Tigers opened fall camp with split-squad workouts on Monday under fourth-year head coach Les Miles.
The veteran players benefited from a strong breeze in Monday morning’s practice despite 90 degree temperatures. However, freshmen and selected veterans were forced indoors when a heavy downpour blanketed the practice field 30 minutes into the afternoon session. Both practices lasted just over two hours.
“In the morning practice were the veterans,” Miles said. “They know what’s going on, and the pace of practice was good. In the afternoon practice, I think this freshmen class is going to be a really good class. A number of guys stood out -- receivers, corners, offensive linemen and defensive linemen. I really enjoyed the practice. We went inside (because of rain), but it didn’t seem to stop the enthusiasm.”
LSU’s 105 invitees will go through the same routine the first four days before merging for the first full squad practice on Friday morning. The Tigers were in shorts and helmets on Monday and will do so again on Tuesday before practicing in helmets and shoulder pads on Wednesday and Thursday. LSU holds its first full pads workout on Friday morning.
Sophomore Andrew Hatch and redshirt freshman Jarrett Lee shared snaps at quarterback in the morning session, while true freshman Jordan Jefferson commanded the offense in the afternoon workout. Miles said all three quarterbacks were ahead of the learning curve.
“I liked them,” Miles said. “They had a good command for the offense and understood what was going on. We didn’t miss a beat. We put so much more in for our first practice than we did a year ago. We are really ahead.”
“I liked the way Jordan Jefferson, the freshman quarterback, learns. He picks it up pretty quickly. I was surprised with how well he handled everything.”
Miles was equally impressed with the rookie wide receivers, who took the practice field for the first time.
“Our receiving crew looked really good,” Miles said. “Tim Molton made a nice adjustment on a deep ball. DeAngelo Peterson was big, strong and physical, and he used his hands well. I liked Chris Tolliver. There were a number of quality guys.”
Monday marked the return of senior defensive tackle Charles Alexander to the practice field for the first time since last September. Alexander missed most of the 2007 season due to a right knee injury he sustained during the week of the South Carolina game.
“He practiced well,” Miles said. “His weight is up and his body fat is down. I expect he is in pretty good shape.”
LSU begins defense of its BCS national championship on Aug. 30 when the Tigers play host to Appalachian State in a nationally televised contest on ESPN.