Spring practice is heating up at LSU.
The Tigers practiced on Tuesday and Thursday this past week and will scrimmage for the second time this spring on Saturday. Miles says it will be more intense.
Practices have begun to get more physical, which gives Les Miles and his coaching staff a better look at the battle in the trenches. The live snaps on Saturday should be a good indicator of the Tigers' progress.
Line play will probably be the focus. LSU needs to fill holes at right guard and both defensive tackle spots as Trai Turner, Anthony Johnson and Ego Ferguson all declared for the NFL draft with eligibility remaining this offseason.
News from This Week
Redshirt freshman receiver John Diarse participated in practice sparingly Thursday, according to Jim Kleinpeter of The Times Picayune. Kevin Spears and Avery Peterson have been battling hamstring issues for the Tigers, according to The Advocate. The depth of the receiving corps is beginning to hollow, and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron was reportedly visibly frustrated. Miles said he is not panicking at their struggles.
Miles says struggling with the new WRs isn't anything to worry about. Says it happens to any position. #LSU— Mike Gegenheimer (@Gegs_TDR) March 20, 2014
The Advocate's Sheldon Mickles reports that the quarterback play of Anthony Jennings, Hayden Rettig and Brandon Harris have been shaky. But guard Vadal Alexander said he is not worried at all about their progress.
Jennings told Shea Dixon of Geaux247.com that Cameron understands that his quarterbacks are young and they are improving. LSU struggled with ball security in its first scrimmage last Saturday. The sophomore quarterback said that if the Tigers hold on to the ball, "nobody can beat us."
LSU running backs coach Frank Wilson has been giving Terrence Magee and Kenny Hilliard a high volume of carries due to the lack of depth at running back, according to David Ching of ESPN.com
DandyDon.com has the latest video from LSU's "Big Cat" drill from Thursday.
Updates on Current Position Battles
LSU is still shuffling bodies around at linebacker, looking to find the right mix in John Chavis' 4-3 base defense. Kwon Alexander is starting at weak side, D.J. Welter in the middle and Lamar Louis at strong side, according to Kleinpeter. Sophomore Kendell Beckwith and junior Deion Jones are getting snaps as backups. Welter is the only linebacker of the group not learning a new position.
Hunt Palmer of Tiger Rag reports that Jordan Allen, Danielle Hunter, Quentin Thomas and Christian LaCouture have been the starters at defensive line. Palmer says defensive tackle Maquedius Bain has been receiving plenty of praise.
What to Look Forward to Next Week
Saturday's scrimmage will be longer than last week's and feature special teams, according to The Daily Reveille. It is closed to the public and media, so stats and details will come from LSU Sports Information. How the injury-depleted, inexperienced LSU passing game performs against a seasoned secondary will be the main story. Last week, the LSU defense outperformed the offense, according to Miles.
LSU will probably give some walk-ons snaps at skill positions. Help is on the way at running back in Leonard Fournette and Darrel Williams, but not until the fall. Miles will want to lighten the carries on Magee and Hilliard. Expect to hear more from former linebacker Melvin Jones.
After tomorrow's scrimmage, LSU will practice Tuesday and Thursday of next week, via Matt Boudreaux of NBC 33.
LSU kickoff specialist James Hairston officially transferred earlier this month. Hairston had a superb leg which greatly aided the solid coverage unit. The Tigers will have to adjust its unit as it works on special teams.
LSU will have a high school coaching seminar beginning next Thursday night. Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis and New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan will be speaking. Quarterback guru George Whitfield and Oakland Raiders special teams coach Bobby April will also instruct seminars.
Joe Alleva told The Advocate that LSU will play a home-and-home with Syracuse in 2015 and 2017, and that Tiger Stadium's stadium expansion is currently on schedule, despite some bad weather slowing down the process.
LSU will be renovating its locker room this offseason. It will sell old lockers for just under $4,000.
Follow me on Twitter @CarterthePower.