LSU Football 2012: Latest News, Updates and Position Battle from Spring Practice
Ladies and gentlemen, it's about that time of year again. College football is officially underway.
Well, not the good stuff, but spring practice should hold you over for a month or two as we inch closer to the regular season.
For the LSU Tigers, spring practice began on March 1 as the team prepares for their spring game, which takes place on March 31. Despite losing last year's national championship and losing several starters to the next level, the Tigers remain an extremely talented team. They return a total of 11 starters and have a loaded recruiting class coming in, as usual.
LSU still has to answer a few questions on both sides of the ball, but this is a team that should remain a national championship favorite heading into the season.
As players fight to earn a starting position, we've got you covered. Stay tuned for everything that happens throughout spring practice involving your LSU Tigers.
LSU Will Use Their Tight Ends a Lot More
With a more traditional quarterback under center in Zach Mettenberger, the Tigers are looking to pass the ball a lot more this season. That's music to the ears of the tight ends as they couldn't be more excited for the season to start.
"That made all of our eyes light up," sophomore tight end Travis Dickson said. "We don't just want to be run blockers; we want to get the ball in our hands. It really motivated us this spring."
Last season as a freshman, Dickson only caught one pass for 10 yards. As a group, the tight ends on this team caught a total of 28 passes out of 279 total pass attempts.
"Definitely," senior tight end Chase Clement said when asked if he's noticed an emphasis on tight ends. "So far, we've been running routes, and everybody's getting better with the routes and catching the ball a lot. We're looking forward to this weekend."
Under head coach Les Miles the Tigers have been a run first team, things may start to change now that he has a true quarterback on the field.
March 23 Update: Spencer Ware Trimming Down
Spencer Ware led the Tigers last season with 177 carries, but finished second on the team with 707 rushing yards behind Michael Ford. With a crowded backfield, Ware has decided to get himself in much better shape to help contribute to the Tigers success.
“I let my weight get up on me, which hurt my footwork, my acceleration and my ability to make moves,” Ware said.
Ware is focused a lot on his conditioning and eating properly. He has lost 10 pounds since spring practice has started and is less than 225 pounds.
“I wasn’t eating right,” Ware said. “I’ve just got to pay more attention to the little things during the season to keep my body healthy throughout the entire season.”
We all know that the Tigers have the deepest backfield in the country, if they get an even healthier and more productive Ware, it could be even scarier for opposing defenses.
Team Really Likes Zach Mettenberger
With two senior quarterbacks no longer on the roster, the Tigers will likely go with Zach Mettenberger, who has the potential to be great, but lacks experience. Although there are questions at the position, LSU players and coaches are very comfortable from what they've seen so far.
"We've accomplished a lot. We're throwing the football a little bit better," coach Les Miles said as the Tigers have reached the midpoint of spring football. "We're working pass protections better. I think that there's chemistry between Zach and a lot of guys. I think they enjoy him."
I think that's really all you can ask for in limited action in the spring. Mettenberger has made such an impact on the team already that Miles is comfortable saying that he is the starter as of right now.
"I think Zach's our first team guy," Miles said. "Rivers is really getting a lot of quality reps with the second team. And I think that Randall will get a lot of second team snaps and third team snaps. I think those two guys can go in a game and really give you enough to win. I think Jerrard is coming. He has a very strong arm. He's a very bright guy. There are reasons to believe he'll improve."
Hopefully for Tiger fans, the progress can continue and maybe LSU can shy away from the one-dimensional offense they're so used to running.
March 12 Spring Practice Updates
As LSU continues to knock out their spring practices, we've got you covered. Remember the female soccer player Mo Isom, who was trying out to become an LSU kicker? She has completed her tryout and is expected to meet with head coach Les Miles soon to talk about her status on the team.
"I feel like I did well," Isom said. "I think there are some consistency things I can work on just when it comes down to mechanics and kicking motions and getting height on the ball … but overall it was a good tryout."
Running back Michael Ford hasn't been practicing, and instead is wearing a no-contact jersey. Kenny Hilliard has said that he had surgery on his knee, but should be back on the field soon, because it was likely just scoped.
"He hasn't been getting a lot of reps," Hilliard said. "Hopefully, he should be back in two weeks, he'll be ready to go."
Hopefully for Tiger fans he's correct. Ford was a huge part of the offensive success last season, rushing for 756 yards and scoring seven times.
Then, of course, the quarterback update. The Tigers are likely going with Zach Mettenberger and so far he's really impressing the head coaches with his skills.
“He has command of the huddle and it appears that he has anticipation as to where the ball is going,” Miles said. “He’s throwing it pretty well.”
LSU is hoping Mettenberger can play well enough this season that he will balance out the running game and make this offense a lot less one-dimensional.
Will the Tigers Have a Female Player?
LSU has one of the most bizarre updates to report so far this spring and it involves a female kicker. LSU soccer star and homecoming queen, Morlan "Mo" Isom is trying out for the LSU football team as a walk-on kicker.
This is no joke, and if she ends up making the team, she'll become the first female ever to play for the Tigers football team and the first female kicker in college since 2003.
"People's first presumption about this is that it's a media stunt or some attempt for attention and glory," Isom said in an interview with Gannett Tuesday night. "That couldn't be any farther from the truth. I feel it was a goal God placed in my heart. It's just something I want to do."
While she's known for kicking around soccer balls, the weather conditions during the first practice didn't really allow her to show off her football skills.
"This was really a bad day for anybody to kick because the wind was just so strong," LSU coach Les Miles said. "But obviously she's got ball skills. She's been around it."
While this is a very interesting story, you shouldn't expect a decision to be made anytime soon on whether or not LSU will have a new secret weapon. But seriously, how you could you really say no to somebody who can kick the ball like this?
Do that on the football field and I guarantee the LSU Tigers will have a new kickoff specialist to open the regular season.
This slideshow will continue to be updated with the latest news, quotes, position battles and more throughout spring practice. Stay tuned for everything involving your LSU Tigers.