A handful of new faces went through their first official LSU football practice as head coach Les Miles and the Tigers opened spring workouts with a three-hour practice Thursday at the Charles McClendon Practice Facility.
LSU was in helmets and shorts Thursday and will practice Friday and Saturday to close the first of five weeks of spring football that culminates with the annual spring game April 18 at 5 p.m. in Tiger Stadium.
“It was the first one and we had some new guys step onto the field and participate very well,” Miles said. “A lot of new went in today. You look at new defensive terminology and some new quarterbacks who don’t quite understand how to call the formation, yet it was very productive. I liked it a lot.”
“It’s nice to be back. They had great enthusiasm and I really enjoyed what I saw. I thought it was great.”
Miles praised the leadership of two players who turned down a chance for the NFL Draft to return for their senior seasons at LSU.
“I think (OT) Ciron Black, (LB) Kelvin Sheppard and (WR) Brandon LaFell showed a difference in their demeanor. I just liked the way the practice went. There was a real attention to detail and the guys worked hard.”
Four quarterbacks took repetitions Thursday, including returners Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson and incoming true freshmen Chris Garrett and Russell Shepard.
“We’re going to let it play out,” Miles said. “A lot of guys are getting reps. All four quarterbacks are certainly getting their share. There is some development that needs to take place in those young guys for them to step on the field, but they’re getting the opportunity. Jordan and Jarrett are really more comfortable in the offense and made a lot of good throws today and really looked veteran.”
Redshirt freshman wide receiver Tim Molton also stood out on Thursday said Miles.
“He ran great routes, made nice catches and showed great speed. I expect him to play a lot of football. I think his speed, quickness, his ability to run routes and his ball skill will help him (get on the field). If the ball is thrown to him, he’s going to catch it.”
Four new staff members went through their first LSU practice, including defensive coordinator John Chavis, defensive backs coach Ron Cooper, defensive line coach Brick Haley and tight ends coach Don Yanowsky.
“They (defense) enjoyed it,” Miles said. “They’re looking forward to it. There’s a confidence and the defense had a good feel today. The new coaches certainly enjoyed being there and there was a lot of enthusiasm in their coaching. I think the players enjoyed it, as well.”