Day three of split squad workouts had freshmen and select veterans practicing Saturday afternoon outdoors at the McClendon Practice Facility. Players were in shoulder pads and helmets with a full-pad, full squad workout scheduled for Monday.
QB / RB / WR
-With so much attention focused on the QBs during the veteran practice, it was odd to see players at other positions commanding attention in the afternoon workout.
-Today was my first time seeing freshman WR Jazz Ferguson in person and I understand now why he has gotten rave reviews. First, he’s big—very big. Listed at 6’5, 215, he was a head above the other three receivers, Tyron Johnson, Derek Dillon and Kevin Spears. Aside from his size, what stands out most with Ferguson is his stride. Similar to former Tiger Terrence Toliver, it doesn’t take many steps for Ferguson to get where he is going. The highlight of the pass-catching period was Ferguson hauling in a “Go” route in stride on the final rep of individual period.
-Tyron Johnson comes in with a ton of hype and his quickness and polish that could get him on the field early. The receivers opened the day with a balance/speed drill where Johnson was able to show off. The receivers would stand in a line, sprint five yards then put one hand on the ground and do a 360-degree spin before popping up and sprinting another five yards. Johnson finished at least a yard ahead of the others with each rep. He routinely drew praise from both Cam Cameron and Tony Ball for hitting his “marks” on each of his routes. On one 10 yard turnaround, Johnson hit his spot and was waiting on the ball from McMillan. It was Odell Beckham’s knowledge of the WR position that got him on to the field as a freshman in 2011 and the same may happen for Johnson this year.
-It was also my first time seeing Danny Etling, the Purdue QB transfer. There is no doubt that he has an SEC arm. With a quick release and accuracy on his deep passes, he certainly has the ability as a thrower. The question is footwork and functionality within the offense. The good news for Etling is that he has a year to work on both.
-The freshmen RBs worked in this order: Nick Brosette, Derrius Guice, Lanard Fournette. Brosette and Guice both look to have thickened up but still looked as explosive as I remember during their prep days. Each worked on taking handoffs and catching screens and wheel routes from the quarterbacks. Guice went with a throwback look by shedding the receiver gloves.
-I only watched enough from a distance to notice that George Brown and Adrian Magee are massive human beings. Brown is 6’7, 285 and doesn’t carry much of thataround his waist. He is an impressive young guy.
-Watching this group would make almost any coach in America green with envy at the embarrassment of riches in LSU’s secondary. Seeing regular contributors Dwayne Thomas and Corey Thompson leading this group underscores the depth at the position. These are LSU’s sixth and seventh DBs. That doesn’t include the freshmen CBs that have been working in the morning. What’s more, sophomores John Battle and Russell Gage have obviously improved physically. I’d guess more than half the SEC would welcome those two as Day 1 starters. At LSU, they’ll continue waiting their turn; but, rest assured, the DBU pipeline isn’t going to dry up any time soon.
-This unit spent the media viewing period getting off blocks and working strip drills. There was one heated moment when Thomas and walk-on Micah Dickens locked up and scuffled to the ground on a blocking drill. It may only be Day 3 of Fall Camp, but the intensity is there for a lot of guys.