For the first time in the fall, the LSU Tigers practiced today in Tiger Stadium as head coach Brian Kelly wanted to give his guys a game like atmosphere. The media was only able to cover the first 30 minutes of practice, but Coach Kelly updated the media at the conclusion of practice on how the entire practice went today. Here are my observations from being in Tiger Stadium today and from what Coach Kelly told the media today as well.
At quarterback, Coach Kelly did confirm for the first time that there is a two man quarterback battle for the starting job between Jayden Daniels and Garrett Nussmeier. Coach loves what he sees from freshman Walker Howard, but he feels that Daniels and Nussmeier bring so much more experience to the table. The plan for Walker this season is for him to redshirt or become an emergency quarterback if something were to happen to one of the two other scholarship quarterbacks. Coach also said that a starting quarterback will be named quickly and that it would not be surprising if both quarterbacks played a lot over the course of the year.
The biggest news of the day came at the running back position. Over the last couple of practices, it has been Noah Cain and Armoni Goodwin getting most of the first team reps with John Emery Jr. getting reps behind them. It turns out that John Emery Jr. is doing just fine on the football field, but there are some other extenuating circumstances that could prevent him from seeing the field.
“Everything that he’s done for us has been outstanding in football. Anything else that arises would not be anything I can comment on because of privacy rights. I think you guys can put the rest together.”Coach Brian Kelly
It was another great day for the wide receivers with Kayshon Boutte showing everybody why he is regarded as the best wide receiver in the country hitting a screen and making three defenders miss after the catch. Also, Coach Kelly noted that Malik Nabers made a couple of nice plays thus forming a potential 1-2 wide receiver duo for the Tigers this season.
In speaking of 1-2 punches, it is the Taylor duo that has been showing out in the tight end room with freshman Mason Taylor and junior Kole Taylor. Coach Kelly likes the depth of that room as Jack Mashburn has also made a lot of plays as of late.
As expected, there were changes to the first team offensive line. The first team center and left tackle spots remained the same with Garrett Dellinger and Will Campbell still playing those spots. Today, there was a lot of shuffling on the right side of the offensive line with Cam Wire at right tackle and Anthony Bradford moving inside from right tackle to right guard. Usually, Tre’Mond Shorts would be the starting left guard, but today, Miles Frazier, who was getting starting reps at right guard, moved over to the left side today.
Coach Kelly also elaborated on the defensive line by saying how tough it is to block this group and that there are three elite guys up front on this team including Jaquelin Roy, Maason Smith, and Ali Gaye. Also, add in BJ Ojulari, who can do multiple things for this defense, makes this one of the best starting defensive lines in the entire country. Coach Kelly likes the depth as well mentioning Mekhi Wingo, Desmond Little, and Jacobian Guillory today as contributors up front.
At linebacker, it looks like this will be a group that rotates quite often. Mike Jones Jr., Greg Penn, West Weeks, Harold Perkins, Micah Baskerville, and South Carolina transfer Kolbe Fields should see the field quite often in the fall.
In the secondary, Coach Kelly likes six guys at cornerback, which includes Colby Richardson, who continues his emergence coming from McNeese State, Jarrick Bernard-Converse, Mekhi Garner, Sevyn Banks, and freshmen Jaelyn Davis-Robinson and Laterrance Welch.
Overall, the Tigers got some good work in today at Tiger Stadium running close to 50 plays and best of all, there were no serious injuries to report. The team will get a little bit of a break before getting back to work on Tuesday.
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