BATON ROUGE, LA (FOX44) - They showed up by the hundreds, about 400 to be more precise, hoping to get a glimpse of their beloved LSU Tiger football team. What they got was much more.
“I was way hesitant. What if 17,000 students show up? Hopefully some of them have test. We went through the scenarios,” LSU head coach Les Miles said when referring to the thought of allowing the entire student body to watch practice.
But a reluctant Miles opened the gates Thursday to one of the most dedicated fan base in the country. But that was only the beginning.
“I didn’t expect this, the student competition. This was a lot of fun,” LSU student Chad Roe said.
“You can't help but get excited. It was an adrenaline rush being out on the field,” soon to be graduate Ryan Murphy said just minutes after entertaining his fellow classmates and the Tiger football team. Murphy was one of ten male students selected to take part in the student based portion of Thursday’s practice. He quickly stole the show by catching a punt and sprinting around the field like it was Saturday night in Death Valley.
“I've got a little extra weight, so I was concerned about if I was flexible enough to catch the ball. The first one I went out lost my balance and fell. But I caught the ball,” Murphy said.
“He did not have athleticism. He had great want and try and was certainly full of humor,” Miles said when asked to grade Murphy’s performance.
The students also raced against one another in an obstacle course.
“The obstacle course was certainly an obstacle,” Miles said with a smile.
“I fell down in the obstacle course, I was winning but I fell down at the end,” Roe said.
The ladies took part too. Carly McCord made a statement for the females being just one of few who passed the ball into the netted target from about ten yards out.
“It was my moment to shine I guess. It was great to get out there and see what the players do at this practice facility. It's a good way to put last year behind. We know our Tigers work hard everyday and this just goes to show that it’s true,” McCord said.
The event went so well, Miles says you could see it again in the future.
"It's something we would consider. We would have to review the calendar, and if the student body liked it, yes we would consider it.”