LSU’s Biggest Winners From Fall Camp

Today, LSU Head Coach Brian Kelly said in practice that the Tigers are starting to make the transition to preparing for Florida State. Since the media got their last look at the Tigers’ practicing for fall camp until the team kicks off their season against the Seminoles, here are a couple of players that I got to see that benefited the most with great fall practice performances in no particular order.

Check out the first “The Chase With Jace” Episode as Jace recaps fall camp!

1. Zy Alexander:

The former Loreauville quarterback and two-time Southeastern FCS All-American Zy Alexander has had a great fall camp and you could make the case that he has been the Tigers’ best cornerback along with Syracuse transfer Duce Chestnut. At 6’3, 185 pounds, Alexander’s athleticism, length, and ability to tackle was showcased with a great performance in the LSU fall scrimmage where he had a PBU on preseason All-SEC selection Malik Nabers and made a big hit on Mason Taylor by not only forcing but recovering the fumble. His performance in the fall scrimmage was just an exclamation point on an overall good fall scrimmage.

“I think the first thing is that he is a guy that’s trustworthy. He does the little things the right way. He is a guy that takes care of his work off the field. He’s on time, reliable. Those traits are transferable and so at that position, that is what you are looking for. He brings length, athleticism, and we’ve seen that he is a guy that is not afraid to put his nose in there even though he played quarterback in high school. He is physically developing and getting stronger. We like his willingness to go in there and want to tackle. We saw on Saturday that he’s got the nose for the football too when the ball is in the air. He is going to find it and he can catch it.”

LSU Head Coach Brian Kelly on Zy Alexander
LSU CB Zy Alexander

2. Chris Hilton Jr.:

Chris Hilton Jr. has been having his best fall since he arrived on campus. The speedster from Zachary, Louisiana has routinely made big plays in practice and has helped form a special connection with his quarterbacks, especially Garrett Nussmeier when running with the second team. The three starting receivers are a given with Malik Nabers, Kyren Lacy, and Brian Thomas Jr. continuing to get first team reps, but Hilton has certainly done his part by reminding everybody that he is still going to be a factor in this deep receiving group. Brian Kelly has liked the consistency Hilton has worked on in practice.

“I think he has had a really good camp. One of the consistencies is on the field. He’s been healthy. He’s made every practice so I think that in itself is great progress, and I think he has been more consistent in catching the football. Staying healthy, catching the football because we all know about the other things in that he can run. I’d say that he’s taking the proper strides forward and we are all happy for him.”

LSU Head Coach Brian Kelly on Chris Hilton Jr.

3. Andre Sam:

Andre Sam is the second defensive back transfer from the Southland Conference to make this list. The McNeese transfer has surprised a lot of people as he is getting starting reps with the first team at safety alongside Major Burns as Greg Brooks is getting first team reps at nickel. Sam has brought a lot of savviness at the position and has made some good plays on the football throughout fall camp. In one practice, he picked off Garrett Nussmeier and in the fall scrimmage, he had an impressive PBU that ultimately saved a touchdown. Having a veteran that has gotten a lot of snaps at the position in Andre Sam has given Matt House the flexibility to move around some of his other pieces on the defensive side of the football.

“We are really pleased to have Andre. I love his energy, veteran presence, his buy in. He is a guy that has embraced everything we do here. It is great to have him here and he is going to be an integral part of what we do.”

LSU DC Matt House on Andre Sam
LSU safety Andre Sam (Photo taken by Jace LeJeune)

4. Ka’Morreun Pimpton:

A guy that consistently made plays everyday in fall practice and impressed doing so was Ka’Morreun Pimpton. Coming into fall camp when I wrote about true freshmen that could have an impact for the Tigers this upcoming season, Pimpton’s name certainly came up and he hasn’t disappointed. The 6’6, 245 pound tight end is going to be a factor in the red zone as every pass thrown his way, he was able to show off his soft hands by catching everything. On a couple of occasions, he was able to make some highlight reel catches including one over the head of defensive back Jordan Allen. Knowing that Mike Denbrock and Brian Kelly will use a lot of two tight end sets, one of them is going to be Mason Taylor while the other will be a true freshman. Newcomers like Pimpton and Mac Markway will be used quite often throughout the season and Pimpton certainly showed off his skillset quite often throughout fall camp.

‘KP’ Pimpton is an unbelievable talent, a raw piece of clay any coach would love to have. He has already gained 15lbs here, getting to 245lbs as a true freshman.”

LSU OC Mike Denbrock on Ka’Morreun Pimpton
LSU TE Ka’Morreun Pimpton

5. Zalance Heard:

Zalance Heard came to LSU and told Brian Kelly that he was going to be a starting tackle this year. It turns out that the five star prospect from Neville High School has impressed the coaches and teammates so much that he was getting first team reps in the team’s fall scrimmage at right tackle. The 6’6, 340 pound prospect physically has stood out in fall camp and he has held his own against some of the Tigers’ top edge rushers in practice.

“He certainly has developed an understanding of the offense from terminology to technique. Now, he’s going up against Saivion Jones and some impressive football players so that’s a whole new thing. The rigors of that each and every day, he’s going through a lot of that. He’s a guy we’re giving reps to. We’ve gotta find the best five guys then the next is the sixth so he’s in the mix and out there competing hard.”

LSU HC Brian Kelly on Zalance Heard
LSU OT Zalance Heard

6. Kyren Lacy:

Kyren Lacy has been on a mission this offseason to have a breakout season for the Tigers as he has been having a great fall camp. The former Ragin’ Cajuns wide receiver has carried over his strong spring game performance and has improved on that in the fall. He, Malik Nabers, and Chris Hilton Jr. have been the most consistent receivers in fall practice, and Lacy has proven that he can be a great possession receiver and big red zone target for his quarterback Jayden Daniels.

7. Ashton Stamps:

Ashton Stamps has been the most surprising name on this list, but the freshman from Archbishop Rummel High School in Metairie, Louisiana has been impressing coaches by going up the depth chart. Stamps has won the respect of his counterparts as his high football IQ and commitment to the weight room has helped him get some reps with the second team alongside Laterrance Welch. Stamps has taken advantage of a thin cornerback room and has made the most of his opportunities to get in the thick of the two deep.

“Ashton’s a true freshman who put on a lot of weight. I think many of you remember us recruiting him, maybe he was a bit, I would say, underweight at the position for us. We’re excited about his competitiveness and his athleticism, but we challenged him to get after it in the weight room and he certainly did in the offseason and then this summer and he looks the part. He’s doing a really good job as a freshman.”

LSU Head Coach Brian Kelly
LSU CB Ashton Stamps

8. Kaleb Jackson:

Of course, we have to mention the freshman phenom that was the talk of the town on Saturday afternoon in Kaleb Jackson. The local product from Liberty High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana wowed everyone with his performance in the fall camp as he had an 18-yard touchdown run and a 75-yard touchdown reception. The 6’0, 225 pound running back is arguably the most physically gifted running back in the room and took advantage of some running backs being limited during the fall scrimmage, but according to Brian Kelly, there are other things for him to learn in order for him to take the next step.

“We tend to overreact to these kinds of situations. Was that a product of good running or bad tackling? Maybe, that was a little bit of both. Now, let’s not take anything away from the kid. He has done a good job, but there are other facets that he has to continue to work on. We are really excited about his future here, but there’s clearly more work to be done.”

LSU Head Coach Brian Kelly on Kaleb Jackson

9. Sage Ryan:

Sage Ryan has had a lot of praise from LSU head coach Brian Kelly about his play and versatility during fall camp. Over the years, the former five star from Lafayette Christian Academy has played safety and nickel. In the fall scrimmage, he was getting starting reps at cornerback. Kelly has been singing his praises all offseason not only about his versatility, but the speed he brings to the table as he was clocked by running over 21 miles per hour during fall camp. Ryan did suffer a scare in the fall scrimmage, but Kelly was happy to report that the injury was not serious and that he returned to the team for practice.

“Well, he has elite speed. He’s a guy that can run in the high 21 range so he’s got the skill to have the kind of speed to play out there. The second thing is experience and at that cornerback position, that’s the one position that we’re calling for experience. The third is that he’s a pretty smart football player so he puts himself in a pretty good position. One thing that we really are concerned about is making sure that we tackle the football and having a great tackler out there. Sage has been a really steady tackler for us.”

LSU Head Coach Brian Kelly on Sage Ryan
LSU DB Sage Ryan gets a PBU against Purdue. (Photo taken by Billy Metcalf Photography)

10. Bradyn Swinson:

Coming into the fall, Ovie Oghoufo has sealed up a starting position at one of the jack linebacker spots, but the question was who was going to establish depth behind him, and Oregon transfer Bradyn Swinson has stepped up to be that guy. The coaching staff has liked Swinson as an additional piece on the edge alongside Saivion Jones at defensive end. Swinson really came on at the end of fall camp and had a great scrimmage in which had a couple of quarterback hurries in a 11v11 drill against the second team offensive line. Swinson’s fall performance will put him in position to play a whole lot among the two deep this season.

DE Bradyn Swinson (Photo taken by Jace LeJeune)

Check out all of our LSU fall practice reports HERE!