3/21/18 5:30 am CST
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
Another absolutely gorgeous day greeted the LSU football team for Tuesday's Day 5 spring practice. It was a little windy, the Tigers changed up a few things, and Coach Ed Orgeron got a little feisty with his defensive line in the brief portion of drills open to media. Jim Kleinpeter was there to take notes and shoot some video, which you’ll find below.
DandyDon.com’s 3:00 video of LSU Spring Practice Day 5 - Miscellaneous Drills
LSUSports’ 0:30 Spring Practice Mini-Hype Video: Danger
LSU held a short scrimmage on Saturday and apparently it took a bit of a toll with some players missing yesterday’s practice and others in gold jerseys. WR Jonathan Giles was absent, as was OL Damien Lewis, who has been drawing rave reviews through the first week. CBs Kary Vincent and Kristian Fulton, S Grant Delpit and DE Justin Thomas were back at full speed. RB Lanard Fournette was wearing a gold jersey, although he was getting second turn reps in drills. DE Glen Logan and S Todd Harris were also in gold for the first time.
The first offensive drill of the day involved running backs catching a pass from a quarterback and cutting upfield with a linebacker in pursuit to try and strip the ball. After a false start on Nick Brossette's turn, the drill went nicely with several good grabs. K'Lavon Chaisson got some kudos for coming up with the drill’s only strip on fullback Tory Carter. WR Drake Davis got numerous kudos and applause for his technique while working on curl patterns.
Coach O's voice was ever-present while he was watching the defensive linemen. He peppered them with “come off the damn ball” and “look down” before closing out with “we’ll see that tech on the damn tape,” directed at one of them. It probably doesn't mean a lot but in a four-man line, Rashard Lawrence and Breiden Fehoko were running first reps inside with Ray Thornton and Michael Divinity at the ends. Divinity was wearing gold for the second straight practice.
Tight ends worked against linebackers in another drill. TE Thaddeus Moss apparently has changed his number from 82 to 81, the same number worn by his father, NFL great Randy Moss. No other player on the roster was using 81 prior to that.
Nothing new at quarterback. Myles Brennan still was first in line for snaps, most of the time followed by Justin McMillan and then Lowell Narcisse. A couple of times Narcisse got the second rep.
Tight end Foster Moreau dished on the three quarterbacks in media interviews prior to practice. Here's what he said:
"Myles has a sharp, bullet pass that is extremely accurate. Justin is a really confident guy, a lot of confidence in the pocket, in himself and his teammates. A really bright guy. Lowell’s got great presence and some of Justin's confidence. It’s funny to see how they joke with each other.”
“Justin has a cannon but he can scramble a little bit. Myles has a really sharp eye. Lowell’s got a beautiful touch on the ball. On an outside shoulder 9-route I saw in the scrimmage. They all have a great work ethic. It's a great competition. If one was easily better than the other we'd probably just say, ‘You’re the starting quarterback.’”
Here are a few more interview tidbits:
• Transfer DT Breiden Fehoko said the defense held the offense scoreless in Saturday's scrimmage.
• Defensive end Rashard Lawrence said that Damien Lewis is the “most physical” offensive lineman on the team and that if he learns the playbook he’ll be out there as a starter.
• Outside linebacker André Anthony said LSU’s offensive features more passing and more four-receiver sets.
Turning to baseball, the Tigers (14-7) return to action tonight when they host Tulane (9-12) at the Box. The game is set to get underway at 6:30 p.m. and will be streamed online via SECN+, accessible at WatchESPN.com and via the Watch ESPN app. As I’m sure many of you haven’t forgotten, Tulane has won four straight games over the Tigers over the past two seasons, making this a bit of a redemption match for the Tigers.
About the Green Wave:
• Tulane is hitting .261 as a team this season with 45 doubles, four triples, 10 homers and 22 steals in 26 attempts. Their pitching staff has a 5.36 ERA with 140 strikeouts in 186.1 innings and a .271 opponent batting average.
• Tulane starting pitcher Josh Bates is a true freshman making his fourth career collegiate start. Bates is a product of Bishop Moore Catholic High School in Orlando, Fla.
• The Green Wave is led at the plate by sophomore infielder Jonathon Artigues, who is hitting .346 with five doubles, one triple, one homer, 11 RBI, 16 runs and three stolen bases.
• Junior outfielder Grant Witherspoon is hitting .289, and he’s the Green Wave’s leader in homers (3), RBI (17) and slugging percentage (.494).
One thing to watch for tonight is highly regarded right-handed freshman Nick Storz making his LSU debut. Storz was a high school All American at Poly Prep Country Day High School in Brooklyn, New York, where he posted a 0.65 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 20 innings as a senior. If you’re wondering why we haven’t seen this young man yet, it’s because he’s been recovering from a surgery he had in the offseason to remove bone spurs and a subsequent muscle pull he suffered in practice. Judging by comments made by Coach Paul Mainieri during LSU’s Media Day, Storz could be an extremely valuable addition to LSU’s pitching staff. “I can’t tell you how excited I am about getting this guy on the mound,” Mainieri said. “Wait until you see this guy. That’s what they look like, if you know what I mean. He’s 6-foot-6, 6-foot-7, 260 pounds. When you look at him, you probably think he weighs 210 pounds because he’s so athletic. This guy is special. The sooner you get to see what makes him special once that ball leaves his hand, the happier I’ll be.” Finally, nearly two months after Mainieri said those words, Tigers fans will get to see a ball leave his hand when he makes his collegiate start on the mound tonight. Storz is expected to pitch only one or two innings as Mainieri eases him back into action, and then will be followed by fellow freshman right-hander AJ Labas.
Other injury updates: Nick Coomes is also set to return to action today. The senior catcher/first-baseman has been recovering from a concussion after taking a pitch off his catcher’s face-mask against Southern a couple of weeks ago. As for sophomore shortstop Josh Smith, he has begun “playing catch” and the target date for his return is the weekend of the Texas A&M series (April 5-7).
In closing, please note that I’ve added several announcements about LSU Alumni Association Crawfish Boils taking place across the country to our growing list. With this beautiful spring weather we’re having here in south Louisiana, I’ve got “the envie” to boil some up myself. Have a great day, Tigers.