Miles pleased with Alexander’s speed, Jones’ smarts
LSU coach Les Miles said after Tuesday’s scrimmage he continues to be impressed with the wave of true freshman linebackers who are pushing some of the veterans for playing time. He talked specifically about Kwon Alexander’s speed and Deion Jones’ maturity and smarts.
“A new guy makes a play just about every day,” Miles said.
Kevin Minter returns to start at middle linebacker and is expected to have Lamin Barrow and Tahj Jones join him on the outside.
Miles was asked if veteran backups Luke Muncie and D.J. Welter were having good camps.
“Muncie certainly has,” Miles said. “D.J.’s a little ways away.”
Isom gets her shot
Former LSU soccer player Mo Isom began a two-day tryout Tuesday with the hope of earning a spot on the football team as a walk-on place-kicker. Isom previously tried out for the Tigers in the spring.
“Good 1st day of tryouts,” Isom tweeted Tuesday evening. “Great initial height & accuracy, just need a little more power from distance. Time to rest up & prep for tomorrow.”
Miles indicated after Tuesday’s preseason scrimmage at Tiger Stadium that assistant athletic director for football operations Sam Nader was keeping an eye on Isom and the other walk-on hopefuls. He was asked if he’d seen Isom’s Twitter post on the beginning of tryouts.
“I have not got that post just yet,” Miles said. “But Sam’s going to fill me in.”
Kicking it new school
Despite having lost last year’s deep snapper, Joey Crappell, to graduation, place-kicker Drew Alleman said he and punter/holder Brad Wing have already reached an acceptable comfort level with true freshman snapper Reid Ferguson.
Ferguson came to LSU from Buford, Ga., with up-and-coming offensive lineman Vadal Alexander as an early enrollee in January. That allowed Ferguson to lay claim to the deep snapper’s job before spring practice ended and gave him valuable extra time to build chemistry with Alleman and Wing.
“Reid worked through high school for this,” Alleman said. “Snapping is what he’s supposed to be doing.”
“I didn’t think he’d be anywhere close to where he’s at now,” Wing said of Ferguson. “He’s really doing well.”
Why the punter?
The question has been asked before: Why has LSU switched to a punter, in this case Wing, as its holder instead of a quarterback as it has used in the past? “People like using quarterbacks because they can throw it if you have a fake and they have good ball-handling skills,” Alleman said. “But when you think about it, punters are with us 24-7.
They have good ball-handling skills, too. They do all the drills with us, and we get to have more of a comfort level faster.”
Bring the noise
It’s often said the best quarterbacks have a clock running in their head that lets them know how long they’ve got to get a pass away before the rush reaches them.
Zach Mettenberger doesn’t need a clock in practice to let him know how close All-American defensive end Sam Montgomery is getting — he said he can hear him yelling.
“I just say (to him), ‘You’ve got 3 seconds to throw the ball,’ ” Montgomery said.
Though he’s not allowed to actually hit Mettenberger in practice, Montgomery has made it his stated goal to average a sack per game after piling up nine of them last season.
If Montgomery can average a sack per game, he would equal the LSU record of 12 set in an 11-game season in 1989 by Oliver Lawrence.
Radio show returns
Game week at LSU may still be a week away, but an in-season tradition makes its return Wednesday night when Miles’ radio show debuts at TJ Ribs on Acadian Thruway. The one-weekly hour show devoted to LSU football airs at 7 p.m.
“The Les Miles Show” will be hosted by Jim Hawthorne, who begins his 31st season as the play-by-play voice for LSU football, men’s basketball and baseball. The show will run for 14 straight weeks, concluding Nov. 21 before the Arkansas game.
Fans can catch the show locally on 98.1-FM.
contributed to this report.