As LSU football begins another full week of fall camp, the Tigers got the news today about where they will be ranked when they kick off the season against Florida State in Week One. It will be a top 10 showdown in Orlando, Florida as the Tigers are ranked number five in the country and the Florida State Seminoles are ranked number eight in the country. Ahead of the Tigers is Alabama at #4, Ohio State at #3, Michigan at #2, and Georgia at #1.
While the Tigers know where their preseason ranking is, it is still up to the team on where they will end up at the end of the season. As the Tigers approach closer to kickoff against Florida State, this just makes an even more important week to see which guys will emerge from some tight position battles.
The biggest position group that everybody is watching right now is the secondary, but there are some players that are starting to emerge. The coaching staff really likes Duce Chestnut at cornerback and it helps that he has a lot of playing experience in the ACC with the Syracuse Orange. Coach House has stated that Chestnut is a savvy player and he made a great play today in practice during the 7v7 session in which he blanketed one of the Tigers’ top receivers in fall camp, and that is Chris Hilton Jr.
Opposite of Chestnut is another veteran player that is new to LSU via the transfer portal and that is Zy Alexander. The FCS All-American from Southeastern Louisiana University also made a great play in getting a PBU deep down the field on five star freshman receiver Shelton Sampson Jr. While it may not be surprising that Chestnut and Alexander are getting starting reps at corner, what is surprising is that freshman Ashton Stamps is getting some reps with the first team. The coaches have been very pleased with the former Rummel Raider, and he also made a great break on the football as he was covering fellow freshman Khai Prean during 11v11.
The defense had a pretty good day in general during the 7v7 and 11v11 session as defensive linemen Jalen Lee and Jordan Jefferson pushed the pocket and sacked Garrett Nussmeier. Although there were no turnovers forced, it was a good steppingstone for the defensive side of the football.
It turns out that the biggest offensive play that the media saw during the two sessions actually came from not Daniels or Nussmeier, but from freshman quarterback Rickie Collins, who threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to John Emery Jr. coming out of the backfield.
Speaking of the running backs, there were a couple of running backs that were working out on the side and were limited today including Josh Williams, Logan Diggs, and Armoni Goodwin. Because of that, it allowed for Noah Cain and even Tre Bradford to get 1st team reps in 11v11. The two freshmen Trey Holly and Kaleb Jackson were used as receivers coming out of the backfield today.
Also limited today were Greg Brooks and Maason Smith. Brooks is dealing with vertigo as that has been the reason he has been limited in practice but is expected to return back to practice full time soon. As far as Smith is concerned, he suffered an injury scare over the weekend, but he was out there in practice today in full pads. Smith spent most of his time either on the sidelines or on the exercise bike. In his place getting first team reps was Jacobian Guillory.
LSU is easing those two players back as they will be integral parts of the Tigers’ defense. Getting 1st team reps for them at safety with Brooks being out are Major Burns and once again, Andre Sam, who is proving to be a pivotal pickup for the Tigers, has been a good surprise this fall. With Sage Ryan also having a good fall and playing a role at nickel and Laterrance Welch also getting second team reps at cornerback, it looks like the defensive backs are starting to take shape. It is also worthy to note that Denver Harris was not in practice today.
There are still some questions, but we will get a good idea of where both sides of the football are at as the Tigers will have their first scrimmage in Tiger Stadium on Saturday.
The next LSU practice report will be tomorrow as there will be video highlights and more player interviews!