It was for the most part a quiet cloudy day at the Ponderosa as LSU Football continues to put in work for spring practice.
Today, I got to see the LSU quarterbacks Jayden Daniels, Garrett Nussmeier, and Rickie Collins actually throw to the wide receivers, tight ends, and running backs for the first time this spring. For the most part, the quarterbacks were working on throwing quick passes and getting the ball out of their hands at a quick rate.
The LSU running back room continues to be slim as Noah Cain, Trey Holly, and Malachi Lane are the constant main three running backs I’ve seen out there. Trey Holly still looks impressive and with his short, compact frame, he is looking more and more like Clyde Edwards-Helaire to me. The Louisiana’s all-time leading rusher is also showing more what he can do as a receiver coming out of the backfield as well. There is still no Josh Williams today, but I still expect to see him coming back practicing full-time with the team really soon.
Like on Tuesday’s practice, the wide receivers were running similar drills and focusing on running back to the football. They also got some time catching passes from the quarterbacks. Malik Nabers is coming into the season as the number one receiver, but Brian Thomas Jr. and Kyren Lacy are physically looking great right now. Then there is, Chris Hilton Jr. , who is looking healthy and is primed to have a breakout year. The two freshmen Jalen Brown and Kyle Parker also look like that they belong to be there as well.
Similar to running back, there are just not a lot of bodies available as defensive lineman Kells Bush had to move over to offense just to give them some bodies there. Charles Turner is out for the spring and there will be five newcomers arriving this summer. Right now, working with the ones is Will Campbell at left tackle, Garrett Dellinger at left guard, Marlon Martinez at center, Emery Jones at right tackle, and Kimo Makane’ole even getting some starting reps at right guard. Also, Bo Bordelon is putting in a lot of work at center behind Martinez and even Dellinger, who started the season playing center last fall. It is going to be important for this group to get out of the spring with limited injuries while at the same time, getting some good work in throughout that time.
What is deep right now is the defensive line. Seeing the defensive line hitting the sleds, I was very impressed by the edge guys Saivion Jones and Quency Wiggins as both look the part of a physically dominant defensive end at 6’6, 265 pounds each. Maason Smith was dressed today and it looks like that he is progressing back to practicing full-time with the team soon, but for the meantime, the interior depth is looking good with guys like Jacobian Guillory, Fitzgerald West, and Arizona transfer Paris Shand getting a lot of work in.
At linebacker, Harold Perkins is adjusting to not only his new jersey number as he switched from number 40 to number 4, but he is also getting a lot of work on the inside in the Tigers’ 4-2-5 defense after starring as an outside linebacker last season. Omar Speights continues to impress and is already solidifying himself as a starting linebacker on the team. I know that I have rambled on about Perkins and Speights, but don’t forget about Greg Penn, who does return and will play a lot giving some much needed depth there.
For the Jack linebackers, freshman Jaxon Howard continues to wow as he is not only physically imposing at 6’4, 240 pounds, but he showed some great agility as well. Ovie Oghoufo continues to get reps with the ones and has looked impressive as well, but the depth is looking good there too.
Arguably the deepest position group on the team right now in the spring is the cornerback position. On Tuesday, Brian Kelly said that there will be some heavy movement in the backfield because there are just so many options. After starting at cornerback on Tuesday, Javien Toviano has gotten some snaps at nickel behind Sage Ryan, which just shows his versatility. Southeastern transfer Zy Alexander and Ohio State transfer JK Johnson got the first team reps today at cornerback while Texas A&M transfer Denver Harris is getting some first team reps. There is a long way to go to find out who will be the Tigers’ two starting cornerbacks and we probably won’t have a clear answer until the Tigers kick off their season against Florida State.
There is not as much depth at safety with Major Burns and Greg Brooks being the only true players there with experience, but it would not be surprising if one of those new transfers will be changing positions to help the back end of the defense.
I will be back with another practice report including more highlights and analysis on Saturday. Until then, make sure to get all your LSU news right here at Gridiron Football USA.
Watch today’s practice highlights here!
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