LSU's spring practice headlines continue to center around the offense. The quarterback battle featuring Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris has heated up as Les Miles and Cam Cameron look to form next year's aerial attack.
The first time fans will get to see the 2014 Tigers in action will be the spring game on April 5th. LSU will scrimmage once more tomorrow and participate in a few more workouts and practices before then.
This past week of practice has been intense for LSU. The Tigers have had a multitude of injuries, but it has not slowed down the work they are trying to accomplish as spring winds down.
News From This Week
LSU participated in its first full scrimmage of the spring last Saturday. Miles said the offense looked improved, though the defense is still ahead. He said both Jennings and Harris were "sharp," according to David Ching of ESPN.com.
Despite the rough performance from the receivers thus far this spring, Miles was impressed with Travin Dural in the scrimmage.
Running back Terrence Magee sprained his ankle in the scrimmage, via Shea Dixon of Geaux247. Kenny Hilliard is now the only scholarship running back on the roster.
After Tuesday's practice, Jennings said the offense is looking to pick up the tempo from last season, according to Tyler Nunez of The Times-Picayune.
Thursday's practice was eventually moved indoors but not before the Tigers took part in their individual drills in front of the media. Dixon has some of the footage.
Updates on Current Position Battles
Dixon's footage showed Jennings, running back Kenny Hilliard, fullback Melvin Jones and receivers Quantavius Leslie and Travin Dural as the first-team offensive skill players. Magee and receiver John Diarse have practiced with the first team this offseason, but both are recovering from injuries.
The offensive line consisted of La'el Collins, Vadal Alexander, Elliott Porter, Evan Washington and Jerald Hawkins. Washington is the only non-returning starter.
Kendell Beckwith told Scott Rabalais of The Advocate that he hopes his position switch to middle linebacker is permanent. Beckwith is currently behind D.J. Welter on the depth chart, but he has the talent to eventually surpass him. Welter was inconsistent last season as the starter.
Christian LaCouture and Quentin Thomas have been running as the first-unit defensive tackles. But with talented redshirt freshmen Greg Gilmore and Maquedius Bain backing them up, do not be surprised if the snaps are distributed more evenly than in years past, according to Ching.
Sonny Shipp of Geaux247 has the latest on who has been running with the first and second group on defense.
What to Look Forward To Next Week
LSU will scrimmage tomorrow and practice Tuesday and Thursday of next week, via Matt Boudreaux of NBC 33.
LSU releases little information from scrimmages, but expect to hear more good news coming from the offense despite a growing number of injuries. Offense requires more cohesiveness and timing than defense, which only grows with practice and repetitions.
The LSU defensive and offensive lines have remained relatively healthy this spring outside of starting defensive end Jermauria Rasco. Both units are loaded with talent. The only way to truly evaluate linemen are in pads, which means defensive line coach Brick Haley and new offensive line coach Jeff Grimes have to make some difficult evaluations in LSU's final two scrimmages before fall.
Miles has not shied away from his love of this year's recruiting class. He went a little bit further this week, referencing the Tigers' need for playmakers, via Dixon.
"I just think some of those guys are going to get first snaps. They are going to be advantages for us, and we have to use them well. … I think the skill players on offense are going to be a must,” Miles said. “And I think the skill players on defense, with safeties stepping in there and being ready to play, I think this recruiting class will hit us just where we need to be hit."
Returning skill players like Hilliard, Leslie and others should use this as motivation to make their mark the final weeks of practice.
LSU's spring game next Saturday will be loaded with fan-friendly activities, headlined by a pregame concert from New Orleans band Bag of Donuts. Other LSU sports will be competing throughout the day as well. Jim Kleinpeter of The Times-Picayune has the full schedule.
Miles spoke with Michael Carvell of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution about recruiting middle-schoolers. He said he has not "shied away" from middle school prospects.
High school coaches were able to watch practice yesterday as part of the annual LSU Coaching Clinic. The coaches then took in a speech from New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis and quarterback guru George Whitfield will speak later today.
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