LSU Spring Practice Report #3: Sage Ryan, Dashawn McBryde, Kyren Lacy Have Big Days

After having a tough season in the secondary last year, fans certainly wanted improvement on that side of the football heading into the 2024 season. Saturday proved to be a productive day for the program that prides themselves on being DBU.

First, there was the performance of the veteran Sage Ryan. The former five star from Lafayette Christian Academy was a ball magnet during practice as he intercepted Garrett Nussmeier three times including a pick six. Ryan is one of the veterans with experience returning back to the secondary and he showed his anticipation plenty of times during the practice. So far through three practices, the media has seen him get starting reps at both safety and nickel. LSU head coach Brian Kelly wants to showcase the talented defensive back’s versatility on that side of the football.

“Sage has got speed, athleticism, and obviously, that is a position that we needed some depth and he provided us that experience we were lacking at that position.”

LSU HC Brian Kelly on Sage Ryan

Even though Ryan’s three interceptions take the headlines, perhaps the biggest winner today was freshman Dashawn McBryde. McBryde went up against multiple receivers and even pass catching tight end Ka’Morreun Pimpton, but every time, the Denham Springs product’s wingspan and length made it tough for opposing wide receivers and tight ends. The talented freshman could be a name to keep an eye on as a potential freshman that could become an impact guy.

With Zy Alexander not being able to practice, Ashton Stamps and Javien Toviano were getting first team reps at cornerback while Jyaire Brown, PJ Woodland, JK Johnson and Jeremiah Hughes were getting reps behind them.

“We got a lot of good young players there that are playing better and better, but I think the guys that played last year are improving as well. Toviano and Stamps are going to create the level that is necessary for us. There is a lot of good young talent out there. Coach Olsen is doing a good job with the safeties. They are very active and involved with what is going on. Jardin Gilbert gives us a veteran player back there. There is a nice collection of younger players and veteran players. You are going to see a lot of guys that are going to be competing and helping us.”

LSU HC Brian Kelly on DB room

The Tigers’ most veteran defensive backs in Ryan and Major Burns have been rotating in and out at the star nickel position while Texas A&M transfer Jardin Gilbert has been getting first team reps at safety. The second group of safeties include Jordan Allen, Kylin Jackson, and Ryan Yaites.

“The star gives us a lot more versatility within your defensive structure. It is a guy that can cover, a guy that can blitz, a guy that can play zone coverage, a really good tackler that is athletic in space, but also somebody that is rugged enough to handle himself at the line of scrimmage against a tight end. We felt that Major really fit that mold in terms of the star. He is closer to the football and he has those skills that we are looking for.”

LSU HC Brian Kelly on Major Burns

Offensively, the star of the show is a wide receiver that is expected to do big things this fall, and that is Kyren Lacy. The play of the day was when Nussmeier threw a deep ball and it was underthrown, but Lacy found his way back to the ball where he caught it over Jardin Gilbert. It is not only the physical skills that gives Lacy an opportunity to be LSU WR1, but it is his mindset as well according to Brian Kelly.

Lacy paces the wide receiver room, but Kelly also likes what he sees from the other receivers as he believes there are seven receivers that right now can make an impact for LSU including Chris Hilton Jr., who continues to show why he is repping with the first team.

Aaron Anderson and Kyle Parker have been sharing first team reps at wide receiver while Shelton Sampson Jr., Zavion Thomas, and CJ Daniels are getting second team reps.

Although the wide receiver position is something that he feels good about depth wise, he wants to sure up the offensive tackle and quarterback spots behind the solidified starters. On the offensive line, Tyree Adams and Bo Bordelon got first team reps at tackle with Emery Jones being limited today in practice. I asked Coach Kelly with what he has seen from those two specifically since the combination of Will Campbell and Emery Jones are already the no-brainer starting tackles.

“We got to get these guys into the action. These guys have been around and need to play. We think they are talented players. We just need to get them more reps. We know with what we got in Emery and Will. We don’t need them to run every rep in the spring. Brad has done a great job of getting them more and more reps. I think it is a good thing for us to build that key backup if you will where there is a couple of positions that need key backups.”

LSU HC Brian Kelly on giving Tyree Adams and Bo Bordelon more reps

On the defensive line, Jacobian Guillory and Jalen Lee are getting the starting reps on the inside, but on the edge, there are some good players that have the potential of giving LSU an improved pass rush this fall including Bradyn Swinson and Da’Shawn Womack.

It’s early in spring camp as there is a long way to go to decide who will be taking the field on opening weekend against USC, but Brian Kelly loves the progress the team is showing and what areas they can improve on.

Check out our earlier LSU spring practice reports below!