Tigers sneak in mini-scrimmage at end of practice
LSU isn’t scheduled to hold its second scrimmage of preseason camp until Thursday, but the Tigers squeezed in a mini-scrimmage at the end of practice Tuesday.
“We had a nice little go,” coach Les Miles said. “We have some camp weariness. It’s something that has been on our schedule since we’ve gotten here. It’s kind of like the last 26 plays of the game. It’s the kind of practice where you have to have attention to detail.”
Miles said the Tigers tried to simulate situations when the outcome of a game could be on the line and tired players have to find a way to defeat their counterparts. They did so by working “on a hot day in the middle of camp at the back end of practice,” Miles said.
“There’s always a piece of every game where you decide to win,” he said. “It’s generally in the second half and it’s a point in time where your opponent is not necessarily focused on that.”
Miles singled out running backs Kenny Hilliard and Alfred Blue, safety Eric Reid and defensive end Sam Montgomery for making big plays.
The first and second teams had 26 snaps each and the ones were generally paired against the ones and the twos against the twos, Miles said.
The cornerbacks have been a hot topic of conversation ever since All-American Tyrann Mathieu was dismissed from the team last Friday. Redshirt freshman Jalen Collins and true freshman Jalen Mills are at the forefront of the competition to replace Mathieu, and true freshmen Dwayne Thomas and Derrick Raymond, as well as Kavahra Holmes, a receiver who’s being given a look at corner, are also competing, as is redshirt freshman safety Micah Eugene.
“I think there’s a number of guys there that are pretty talented and there are some guys new to the position like Holmes, who really has ability and is feeling his way now and is not necessarily intuitive because he hasn’t gotten the technique a lot,” Miles said. “I think Collins and Mills obviously are very, very good. corners and competing in my opinion for a lot of playing time. I think Dwayne Thomas is a talented guy. He‘s a young guy who might need a little more time. Of course Tharold Simon (the starter on the other side) is still a tremendous corner in his own right.”
Magee catches on fast
Miles indicated that sophomore running back Terrence Magee could become a contributor at wide receiver, even though he started practicing there less than a week ago.
“He’s got really good ball skills. He’s fast. He has the ability to make a catch, so we thought we might get some snaps from him at receiver,” Miles said. “He’s one of the brighter football players I’ve been around. He showed up and I said, ‘Look, why don’t you try this?’ He says ‘OK,’ and two days later, he’s in it and going and he understands what he’s doing, and understands formations and formation adjustments and where he’s playing.”
Magee was a standout quarterback at Franklinton High School, which has helped his transition, Miles said.
“His overview because of his quarterback training is extremely good,” Miles said. “I think anybody who runs a route in front of him, he’s the kind of guy who picks up the technique and understands where he needs to be and again I think it’s that quarterback training. He has an instinct that’s pretty strong. I think he plays on Saturdays.”
‘No serious injuries’
Miles is always reluctant to talk about any injuries to players, so when he abruptly ended reporters’ access to practice last week, it was widely assumed that some players were missing practice due to injury and he didn’t want reporters to see who was sidelined.
He confirmed Tuesday that injuries were the reason for closing practice, though he said the Tigers have “no serious injuries.” Players revealed that offensive tackles Chris Faulk and Alex Hurst and cornerback Jalen Collins missed last Saturday’s scrimmage due to injuries.
Miles said two of those three players returned to practice Tuesday, though he wouldn’t identify who returned and who didn’t. He was also asked about safety Craig Loston, who was seen walking with a crutch last week. “He’ll be fine,” Miles said.