Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spring Recap; Baseball Sweeps Vols; Recruiting Update



LSU concluded their spring practice on Saturday with their annual spring game.  It's always tough to discern much from spring games because the team is playing against themselves.  If the running game is wildly successful, is that a testament to the running game?  Or is it a damnation of the defensive line?  It's tough to tell, and having the starters divided among the two teams makes it even more difficult.  But one can look at who stands out individually and assume that those players can make a difference next fall. 

The story of the game was the success of LSU's running backs.  Junior Stevan Ridley looked very impressive in rushing for 104 yards on 13 carries, and that included 70 yards on the opening touchdown drive.  Ridley ran very decisively and broke a number of tackles.  On the other team, fans got to see why the coaches have been singing the praises of redshirt freshman Michael Ford.  In addition to running tough, Ford showed an ability to make defenders miss, and he also showed good speed and the ability to get to the edge.  He finished with 139 yards on 19 carries. 

Multipurpose threat Russell Shepard also stood out.  Shepard lined up at receiver, running back, and quarterback on Saturday.  The final result was 115 total yards...64 rushing and 51 receiving.  While Shepard was underutilized a year ago, it looks like LSU's staff has bigger plans for him in 2010.  He did drop a couple of balls as he continues to learn how to play the receiver position. 

A pair of redshirt freshmen defensive ends really made an impact.  Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo consistently put pressure on the quarterback, and both guys finished with a pair of sacks.  Both players, especially Mingo, still need to gain some weight before they can be every down defensive ends but it looks like they will provide LSU some much needed pass rush in the fall.  Montgomery ended the spring as one of LSU's starters. 

Another pair of redshirt freshmen defenders made a name for themselves on Saturday.  Linebacker Kevin Minter led both teams with 14 tackles.  With starting middle linebacker Kelvin Shephard sitting out, Minter received extended playing time.  Safety Craig Loston also stood out.  Loston is battling with senior Jai Eugene for a starting position, and he showed off his athleticism and play making ability.  Loston made six tackles and returned an interception for a touchdown. 

Place kicker Josh Jasper also showed off his stuff, hitting field goals from 47 and 57 yards. 

Unfortunately for Tiger fans, not everyone shined.  Starting quarerback Jordan Jefferson looked grossly uncomfortable en route to an 8 of 23 passing day.  Heading into his second year as a starter, most expect Jefferson to significantly improve on the promise he showed a year ago.  However, his performance in the spring game raises more questions than answers. 

Heading into spring practice, LSU was hoping to improve in several areas:

The offensive line needs to play more physical.  Check. 
Russell Shepard needs to be more involved in the offense.  Check. 
The defense needs to generate more pressure on the quarterback.  Check. 
Jordan Jefferson needs to take the next step and show considerable improvement.   Ehhhh

All in all, LSU appears to have all the pieces in place to contend for the SEC West with the exception of one glaring question mark at quarterback. 

I thought it would be an interesting exercise to look back over my spring previews, pick out certain statements, and then analyze the result. 

The most important thing to watch this spring is the improvement of Jordan Jefferson. Number two on the list is the development of Chris Garrett. 

Note:  We heard that Jefferson was making strides this spring but when we saw him with our own eyes in the spring game, he disappointed.  He is the biggest question mark on LSU's team heading into the fall.  Chris Garrett apparently didn't make a move this spring, as he's clearly the third quarterback right now. 

Ford is one of the key guys to watch this spring. He has an opportunity to really break out and make a name for himself.

Note:  Mike Ford did indeed make a name for himself this spring, and he followed it up with a very strong spring game.  It looks like he'll be a factor in the fall. 

He (Terrance Toliver) is now the primary receiver, and the biggest thing he can do this spring is to set a good example for the other receivers and to develop as a team leader.

Note:  Toliver failed in this regard.  He started strong but was arrested after getting involved in a fight and had to participate in the remainder of spring with a cast on his hand. 

The question is whether (Deangelo) Peterson can become an effective blocker so that he can stay on the field for every down. His development as an every down player is the key thing to watch this spring at the tight-end position. 

Note:  Peterson had a strong spring and drew very positive reviews from the coaching staff.  However, it remains to be seen whether Peterson can be an every down player. 

Loston came to LSU as the top rated safety in the nation out of high school, but a hand injury shortened his freshman season. He should be ready to go, and we'll have to see if he's ready to play a big role.

Note:  Loston apparently struggled with giving a consistent effort at practice, but his talent is evident.  If he can put things together at fall camp, he could very well earn a job as a starter. 


LSU took care of business in Knoxville this weekend, earning the sweep against the Vols.  We saw a few encouraging things from the weekend, other than the obvious fact that the Tigers won all three games. 

Austin Ross pitched Friday and gave the Tigers a very good performance, one of his best of the season.  Ross pitched six innings and allowed just six hits and two earned runs. 

Tyler Hanover (pictured) has really stepped up lately, and he had a huge weekend.  Hanover was 6 of 11 with 6 RBIs against Tennessee.  Over Hanover's last six games, he is 10 for 18 (.555).  He was second in the batting order this weekend, and he'll certainly stay there for the foreessable future.

Austin Nola looked a bit more comfortable batting at the bottom of the order.  He was 5 for 10 with four RBIs this weekend. 

Lastly Matt Gaudet continues to be "feast or famine" at the plate.  In 10 at bats this weekend, Gaudet his two home runs, but he also struck out four times. 

In Game 2 of the series, Anthony Ranaudo made his first start since the season opener.  He pitched two perfect innings and looked sharp.  He also did not feel any discomfort after pitching.  He should start again next weekend against Georgia and gradually work his way back into the full rotation. 

Chris Matulis pitched OK in relief of Ranaudo, and he was good enough to earn the win. 

In Game 3, Joey Bourgeois got knocked around a bit, but he held it together enough to get the win. 

LSU continues to struggle at third base.  Beau Didier was given an opportunity this weekend, starting all three games.  However, he went just 1 for 10.  LSU will need to find some production from the hot corner at some point this year.  I'm wonder whether backup Grant Dozar or true freshman Mason Katz may get a look before too long. 


LSU hosted over 100 prospects at their second Junior Day of the spring.  A number of big names were in attendance. 

Thibodaux offensive lineman Greg Robinson was able to attend, and he had another great visit.  It sounds like it won't be too long before Robinson is an LSU Commitment.  He's a very strong lean to the Tigers right now. 

Klein, Texas tight-end Max Stevenson visited campus, and he received an offer from Les Miles.  Stevenson is 6'5" 225 pounds and has offers from Notre Dame, Arizona, Texas Tech and others. 

Stevenson is teammates with defensive end Nathan Hughes and LSU signee Luke Muncie and all guys were in attendance.  Hughes had a good visit and re-affirmed LSU's position in his Top two along with Oklahoma. 

Benton safety T.K. Fleming made it in and had a good time.  He did not recieve an offer, but LSU wants to evaluate him further this spring and at camp over the summer.  Fleming seems to be very high on LSU and if he is ultimatey offered, I'd expect him to commit to the Tigers.

Georgia safety Avery Walls also had a good visit. 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Southern Pigskin: NFL Draft Preview


I've got another article up on Southern Pigskin.  It's an NFL Draft preview focusing on players from the SEC West. 

Please go to Southern Pigskin and check it out.  You can find the article here

LSU to host Junior Day Saturday; Football & Baseball Tidbits



Defensive end Chancey Aghayere has been out for the last week of spring practice.  He had a nagging shoulder injury that required surgery, and he had that surgery over the weekend.  He should be good to go in the fall, but it's unclear how much the surgery will affect his conditioning over the summer. 

Running back Mike Ford continues to look strong at practice.  I'm very interested to see how he performs on Saturday in the Spring Game. 

Les Miles continues to tout the peformance of quarterback Jarrett Lee (pictured) this spring.  While it's good to hear that Lee is practicing well, I'm awfully tentative to get excited.  Lee has always performed well in practice, but he struggles when the lights come on in an actual game.  In my opinion, the coaches should be sharing the second teams reps at quarterback with Chris Garrett.  Lee is a known commodity in game situations.  Garrett is not. 


In addition to the spring game Saturday, LSU will also be hosting a number of prospects for the Tigers' second Junior Day. 

A number of LSU Commitments will be on campus to take in the festivities and help recruit other prospects.  It looks like the following guys will be in attendance:

DT Anthony Johnson - O.Perry Walker HS
RB Kenny Hilliard - Patterson HS
RB Jeremy Hill - Redemptorist HS
OL Corey White - Capitol HS
OL La'El Collins - Redemptorist HS
WR Jarvis Landry - Lutcher HS
WR Alonzo Lewis - St. James HS

In addition to those commitments, a number of other prospects will be in attendance including the following in-state prospects:

ATH Odell Beckham, Jr. - Newman HS:  Beckham is one of the top uncommitted prospects in the state of Louisiana and looks to be the top cornerback on LSU's board.  He already has an LSU offer. 

QB Zack Oliver - Catholic HS:  Oliver is the state's top quarterback prospect, and he's seeing his stock rise on the national level.  ESPN recently observed Oliver at a combine in New Orleans, and had very good things to say about him.  I suspect that Oliver will ultimately be offered by LSU. 

DT Gerrand Johnson - Rayville HS:  Johnson is a solid prospect but with four other top notch defensive tackle prospects in state, it's unlikely that he'll receive an offer from LSU anytime soon. 

TE  Quenton Griffin - Rayville HS:  Griffin is a very solid prospect who could also play linebacker at the next level.  Alabama has showed some interest in Griffin. 

S  T.K. Fleming - Benton HS:  Fleming is an outstanding athlete who is a top notch track and field prospect as a jumper.  He has good size at 6'3" 200 pounds.  Fleming currently holds an impressive offer list from schools such as UCLA, Tennessee, Oklahoma State, and Nebraska.  It sounds as if Fleming really likes LSU and would come aboard if offered. 

ATH Levander Liggins - Leesville HS:  Liggins could play either defensive back or running back in college, and he's attracting some interest from a few big name schools.

Some out of state prospects will be in attendance as well:

DE Nathan Hughes - Klein, TX:  Hughes is a big defensive end prospect and former teammate of Luke Muncie, who will join LSU's roster in the fall.  Hughes is 6'5" 260 pounds and has offers from Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Arkansas, Nebraska, Michigan, and many others.  Hughes recently stated that his Top two are LSU and Oklahoma so this weekend's visit will be big for LSU's chances.

FB Nick Lifka - IL:  Lifka is a relatively unknown prospect that is being recruited as both a linebacker and a fullback; however, LSU wants him as a fullback.  His only other offer from a BCS school is from Indiana.  Due to LSU's interest, Lifka is making the trip to Baton Rouge for the spring game.  Notre Dame has also showed interest recently. 

I'll have to keep an eye out for other prospects that show up.  Some notable in-state players are missing from the list such as OL Gregory Robinson, WR Bradley Sylve, DT Mickey Johnson and DE Jermauria Rasco. 

Last weekend, Tennessee athlete Jabriel Washington took a visit to LSU.  Washington is 5'11" 165 pounds, has great speed and is being recruited by most schools as a cornerback.  He has offers from a lot of major programs and his top two schools are LSU and Alabama. 

Ocean Springs, MS reciever Joseph Morrow took a visit to LSU on Thursday and left with an offer from Les Miles.  Morrow visited with former teammate Travis Dickson, who will be at LSU this fall.  Morrow is a big reciever at 6'4" 200 pounds.  He has offers from Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State. 

Remember to check out these prospects on The Big Board or on my Louisiana state rankings


One quick baseball note is that the pitching rotation for this weekend against Tennessee has been set.  Austin Ross will pitch Friday night with Chris Matulis going on Saturday and Anthony Ranaudo starting on Sunday.  Ranaudo will start Sunday's game but will only throw around 40 pitches.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Baseball Defeats ULL



LSU defeated ULL 4-3 on Wednesday night at Alex Box stadium.  Micah Gibbs was the star on offense with two hits and two runs batted in on the night.  Tyler Hanover continued his hot hitting by going 2 for 4.  Austin Nola also had two hits. 

Paul Maineri tinkered with the batting order a bit on Wednesday.  LSU has struggled to get adequate production out of their two hole spot thus far this season.  Leon Landry batted second against ULL but unfortunately went hitless in three at bats.  He drew a walk and score a run however.  Austin Nola had been batting second for most of the year, but was dropped to seventh in the order.  Matt Gaudet hit fifth with Mikie Mahtook batting sixth.  It will be interesting to see if Maineri keeps this order this weekend against Tennessee.  Wet Delatte again started at third base, but Beau Didier came in and played most of the game.  Neither of the guys got a hit on Wednesday, but Coach Maineri seems willing to try someone else at third base.  Delatte's batting average is down to .216. 

Personally, I'd like to see Didier at third base and either Landry or Mahtook batting second in the order. 

Freshman Michael Reed got the start on the mound for LSU and did OK.  He gave up four hits and two runs in three innings of work.  A number of other pitchers got involved.  Mitch Moormann got the win for the Tigers and Matty Ott earned his eigth save of the season despite giving up a run in the ninth. 

LSU is now 17-3 and faces Tennessee this weekend.  The Vols were swept by South Carolina in their conference operner.  This weekend presents a very good opportunity for LSU to win a road series and perhaps even get a sweep.  They need to take advantage of it. 

I plan on having a nice recruiting update on Friday in preparating for LSU's spring game and Junior Day on Saturday. 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Football Holds Scrimmage; Baseball Takes Series from Hogs



The football team held their third scrimmage on Saturday, and a few interesting bits of news have surfaced. 

Unfortunately, backup center T-Bob Hebert suffered a broken leg during the scrimmage and will be out of action until the fall.  Although Hebert was running second string thus far this spring, this is still a significant injury.  Let's face it, the offensve line needs improvement in all areas...including depth.  It's unclear at this point who will be the backup center heading into the fall.  This will be the second offseason that Hebert will be out with a leg injury.  While the injury is substantial, the real issue is that he's not able to work out his legs in the weight room during the summer.  And for a center who is already undersized, it's easy to see how that presents a problem when the season rolls around. 

Running back Mike Ford had another good day rushing the football, going for 86 yards on 16 carries. 

Reuben Randle and Deangelo Peterson had nice days receiving.  Peterson had over 100 yards on just three receptions, including a touchdown from around 80 yards. 

Some of the young defensive linemen once again drew praise from Les Miles.  Defensive tackle Mike Brockers and ends Sam Montgomery and Ken Adams were singled out by the head man.  After a good scrimmage last week, Montgomery and Adams have been working with the starters and it sounds like they didn't nothing to change their status with the first team. 

Senior Drake Nevis had a good day too.  He logged two sacks and forced a fumble. 

Patrick Peterson had an interception. 


The LSU Baseball team bounced back from a Friday loss to win the next two against Arkansas.  Going against the nation's 13th ranked team without their ace pitcher, LSU did well to win this series.  Losing 5-1 in the seventh inning on Saturday, LSU was looking at a rough start to the SEC season.  But the team dug deep and scrapped out seven runs on their way to an 8-7 come from behind victory.  That momentum carried over to Sunday, where LSU won 5-1 on the back of a great pitching performance by Chris Matulis. 

Matulis continues to be one of the surprises of the season.  After a good start last year, Matulis really struggled to get people out over the second half of the season.  During the team's stretch run, Matulis was not even contributing.  But so far this season, he is now 3-0 with a 1.47 ERA.  He has allowed 15 hits in 18.1 innings with 15 strikeouts.  He is making a push to be in the weekend rotation, even after Anthony Ranaudo returns. 

Freshman Jordan Rittiner also performed well in his first ever SEC series.  He pitched in relief on both Friday and Sunday, logging 4.1 innings and giving up just three hits and one earned run.  He earned the save on Sunday by pitching the final three innings. 

This was a big series for LSU.  The Tigers play ULL on Wednesday before traveling to Tennessee next weekend. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Southern Pigskin: Youth Movement in SEC West


I've got another article up on Southern Pigskin regarding the abundance of underclassmen running backs in the SEC West.  You can check it out here.

I also wanted to let everyone know about a great series of articles on the site written by senior editor B.J. Bennett.  The series is titled "Down Here".  B.J. does a fantastic job of relaying what college football means to fans in the south.  I really encourage you to check it out and to read the entire series.  After the first one, you'll be hooked.  Here is the link

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring Practice Rolls Along; Baseball Begins SEC Play



LSU continues to roll through spring practice.  With the media only allowed to observe about 20 minutes of practice each day, very little noteworthy information is coming from the Ponderosa.  But there are a few tidbits to pass along. 

After a strong scrimmage by both guys, defensive ends Sam Montgomery and Ken Adams have worked with the first team at both practices this week.  Lavar Edwards has been working with the second team while Chancey Aghayere has been out with an injury. 

Defensive tackle Josh Downs is back at practice after missing the first couple of weeks with a thigh injury.  He's participating in all drills and looks fine.  While Pep Levingston and Drake Nevis are working with the first unit, Downs was working with Mike Brockers on the second team. Chris Davenport and Bennie Logan are in the third group. 

The top three linebackers appear set, but there is good competition for the fourth spot.  If last year was any indication, John Chavis likes to rotate four linebackers in and out of the game pretty frequently.  The top contenders for the fourth spot are redshirt freshmen Kevin Minter and Lamin Barrow. 

Terrance Toliver continues to try and work with one hand in a cast, but it's obviously difficult for him to catch the football in that condition.  In the meantime, nothing but very high praise is given to sophomore Reuben Randle.  When Toliver gets healthy, those two have the potential to be the best receiving duo in the conference.  With Russell Shepard joining them in the slot, it's easy to see why LSU fans could get excited about the possibilities. 


LSU begins SEC play this weekend against Arkansas.  The Hogs have a very good pitching staff, and LSU's batters will face their toughest challenge of the young season.  Hopefully, LSU can get their speedy outfielders on base so they can put some pressure on the Hog pitchers.  With Trey Watkins, Mikie Mahtook, and Leon Landry on base, the hitter is more likely to see some fastballs that they can drive. 

Once again, ace Anthony Ranaudo will be out of action this weekend; however, we've started to hear that Ranaudo is making very good progress and is close to returning to action. 

In his absence, Austin Ross (pictured) will pitch on Friday night and Joey Bourgeois will pitch Saturday.  On Sunday, we could once again see Jordan Rittiner or we may see Chris Matulis, who started on Wednesday against Nichols State but only pitched three innings.  He should be available to work Sunday, and he's been pitching very well so far this year. 


Recruiting has been slow over the last couple of weeks, but LSU will host their second Juinor Day next weekend and we should see some activity at that time.  I should be able to preview who is visiting for that event some time next week. 

Monday, March 15, 2010

Saturday Night Slant Teams With Southern Pigskin


I'm very glad to announce that Southern Pigskin has asked me to contribute to their website as a columnist covering LSU and the SEC West. 

Southern Pigskin is a well established site that provides coverage on college football and recruiting in the South, focusing on the SEC, the ACC, and the Southern Conference.  Their coverage includes news, opinions, rankings, and message boards.  I should be providing content for them on a weekly basis, at a minimum.   I encourage you to go to their site and check it out.  They do a very good job there, and I'm excited to be a part of their team.

I'll be sure to post anything I write for Southern Pigskin here at the Slant.  My first article at Southern Pigskin can be found here

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Football Has Another Scrimmage; Baseball Loses Series to Kansas



LSU went through another scrimmage on Saturday, and the running game excelled while the passing game struggled.  Neither quarterback had much success throwing the ball, but head coach Les Miles attributed that to the extremely windy conditions.  Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee received almost all of the repetitions which tells me that freshman Chris Garrett isn't yet competing for the backup spot like many thought he would. 

Richard Murphy did not participate in the scrimmage, but Stevan Ridley and Mike Ford both had nice days running the football.  Ridley gained 84 yards on 16 carries while Ford managed 79 yards on 16 carries.  Russell Shepard logged the longest run of the day at 19 yards.

While Miles did not go into specifics, he stated that several offensive linemen worked with the first unit during the scrimmage in efforts to give some of the top backups a chance with the starters. 

Tight-end Deanglo Peterson had a nice day catching the ball, leading the team with six receptions. 

Miles also singled out linebacker Kelvin Shephard along with defensive linemen Drake Nevis, Mike Brockers, and Sam Montgomery as having nice days.  Montgomery had two sacks on the day and continues to impress this spring.

Lastly, Miles mentioned Russell Shepard, Patrick Peterson, Reuben Randle, and Ron Brooks as guys who are working as punt returners.  He singled out Brooks and Peterson as guys who had nice returns on Saturday.  Shepard seems like a natural to return punts in my opinion. 


Kansas took two of three from LSU this weekend.  It is apparent that LSU is missing ace pitcher Anthony Ranaudo, and I certainly don't think this is the end of the world. 

Joey Bourgeois has been very solid for LSU thus far this season, but he got roughed up a bit on Friday night, giving up six earned runs in one and two-third innings. 

Austin Ross pitched very well on Saturday, giving up only two runs in over six innings of work. 

On Sunday, freshman Jodan Rittiner struggled giving up five funs and in five innings. 

Blake Dean had another very good weekend with two home runs and five runs batted in. 


In case you missed the Twitter update on Friday, Texas receiver Trey Metoyer committed to Oklahoma over LSU and Ole Miss.

Salmen High School athlete Daniel Sams committed to Kansas State last week.  Sams plays quarterback in high school but most projected him to play safety in college.  However, Kansas State offered him as a quarterback and Sams jumped at the chance.  LSU has recruited Sams but has not offered him.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spring Practice #7; Baseball Notes; Basketball Season Ends



LSU went through another practice on Thursday without any major news to report.  Senior receiver Terrance Toliver was out there with a cast on his hand, running through drills with everyone else.  It's interesting to watch him try to catch the ball with one hand during every drill. 

Toliver was wearing a green no-contact jersey along with tight-end Deangelo Peterson, running back Richard Murphy, and safeties Craig Loston and Brandon Taylor.   Safety Karnell Hatcher and defensive tackle Josh Downs are still not at practice due to injuries. 

Good reports continue to surface regarding second year players Mike Ford and Reuben Randle. 

Numerous sites had good things to say about quarterback Jordan Jefferson's performance at practice Thursday. 


With ace pitcher Anthony Ranaudo already out with an elbow injury, LSU is now looking at an injury to another key player.  Starting centerfielder Leon Landry has a slight injury to his hamstring and may not start on Friday night.  Johnny Dishon would likely take his place in the outfield if Landry can't go.  Landry's injury isn't considered serious. 

Speaking of Ranaudo, he originally planned to return to the rotation this weekend against Kansas, but his return has been pushed back again.  The weekend rotation will consist of Joey Bourgeois, Jordan Rittiner, and Austin Ross.  Lefty Chris Matulis will be ready to go in relief.  While it's frustrating for Ranaudo's return to keep getting pushed back, it's important to remember that the focus is on having him healthy for the bulk of SEC play and the post-season. 


I haven't written much about basketball this year, and for good reason. The Tigers' season ended with a first round loss to Tennessee in the SEC Tournament on Thursday.  Head coach Trent Johnson is facing some challenges with the roster and is trying to build LSU's program with four year players rather than institute a "quick fix" with junior college players.  It's no surprise that LSU was not competitive this year; however, it was surprising that LSU was bad as they were.  Somewhere along the way, I think Johnson lost this team. 

Most discouraging was the regression of guard Bo Spencer.  Johnson received a great deal of credit a year ago for turning Spencer, a little used reserve as a freshman, into a very good point guard.  Heading into this season, most expected him to continue his progression.  However despite averaging 14.5 points per game this year, Spencer was often a loose cannon and a turnover machine.  Spencer went from shooting 40% from the three point line last year to an abysmal 28% this year.  He also turned the ball over 100 times this year compared to just 63 last year.  He'll need to turn that around in his senior season in order for LSU to have success next year. 

We did see some good things this year.  First was the progress of sophomore Storm Warren who went from a little used reserve a year ago to a very good SEC basketball player.  Warren averaged 11 points and seven rebounds per game this year. 

Tiger fans were also treated to another season of Tasmin Mitchell.  Mitchell played good basketball this season and gave the fans something to be proud of.  He was recently named to the All-SEC first team by the coaches, and he'll go down as one of the best ever at LSU. 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spring Practice Update; Latest On Toliver



LSU returned to the practice fields on Tuesday for their sixth practice this spring.  The Tigers have been opening practice with what they call the "Big Cat Drill" where two players line up from one another and engage in a one on one battle, trying to push the other back.  The highlight yesterday was when undersized linebacker Tahj Jones got the best of 235 pound running back Stevan Ridley. 

Wide receiver Jhyrn Taylor was absent from practice with a hamstring injury.  He also apparently has some academic issues to take care of, and it's not likely he'll return this spring.  That obviously gives Chris Tolliver a huge advantage in the battle for the fourth receiver spot. 

After one week of practice and a scrimmage on Saturday, the starters on both sides of the ball appear to be unchanged.  P.J. Lonergan is still ahead of T-Bob Hebert at center and Jai Eugene is still ahead of Craig Loston at safety. 

Lastly, wide receiver Terrance Toliver did not practice today, but he and Les Miles held a press conference after practice.  We learned a little more about Toliver's incident from Saturday night.  Not only did Toliver get in a fight and manage to get tased twice by cops, but he broke his hand in the process.  Toliver apologized to the team and to LSU fans.  Rather than suspend Toliver, Miles maintains that Toliver will participate in all drills and spring practices and that discipline will be handled internally.  Miles said, "I didn't break it, he did."  He will be expected to catch, block, etc even with a cast. 

Miles went on to sing the praises of Toliver's character, saying "Terrance Toliver is a good person, and I suspect we will get by this." 

Sunday, March 7, 2010

LSU Goes Through Scrimmage; Baseball Stays Perfect



On Saturday, LSU went through a scrimmage.  The scrimmage was closed to the media, and LSU did not release any statistics.  Therefore, there's not much to report but Les Miles did give us a few tidbits in his press conference after.   

Miles said that running backs Michael Ford and Stevan Ridley both had good days running the ball.  Also singled out by the head man were receiver Russell Shepard, offensive linemen Chris Faulk and Alex Hurst, and defensive ends Sam Montgomery, and Ken Adams.  

In some not so good news, senior receiver Terrance Toliver was apparently involved in some kind of scuffle in Tigerland Saturday night.  While this isn't great to see from one of the team leaders, the fact that he wasn't arrested and was only issued a citation means that whatever happened probably wasn't that big a deal. 


LSU won four games over the weekend, two against Brown and two against Pepperdine, to remain unbeaten.  LSU is now 11-0 for the first time since 1997.  While LSU hasn't played any big-time opponents, these wins are important and will help LSU's cause if they're in consideration for a national Top eight seed in a couple of months. 

LSU once again got a good start from Chris Matulis on Thursday with some great relief work from Daniel Bradshaw.  It's great to see those two guys pitch well.  LSU will need them this year.  On Friday, LSU mostly got things done with their bats.  LSU then got some more good pitching on both Saturday and Sunday.  Joey Bourgeois pitched seven shutout innings on Saturday, only giving up one hit before giving way to Matty Ott who notched his fifth save of the young season.  On Sunday, LSU got a great performance from freshman Jordan Rittiner, who pitched six innings while only allowing one earned run.  He gave up nine hits, but was able to avoid the big inning. 

Mikie Mahtook had a big weekend with two home runs and Leon Landry had a huge game on Sunday with two triples.  Designated hitter Matt Gaudet homered again, brining his team leading total to five. 

LSU was once again without ace Anthony Ranaudo who is taking it easy due to some discomfort in his throwint elbow.  Ranaudo is expected to return against Kansas on Friday night. 

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Spring Practice Update; Recruiting Update



With four spring practices in the books, LSU is taking Friday off before going through a scrimmage on Saturday.  A few things to note from reading updates and watching video clips from practice:

Running back Michael Ford has drawn some very positive reviews from some media members who have been able to attend practice. 

Terrance Toliver and Reuben Randle have clearly seperated themselves as the top two receivers.  Russell Shepard is showing tons of ability but is still learning the position and needs to be more consistent catching the football.  Chris Tolliver and Jhyrn Taylor also look good. 

Chase Clement is reportedly faring pretty well as a tight-end. 

The first unit of the offensive line has not changed.  I thought we may see T-Bob Hebert get some time with the starters but thus far, P.J. Lonergan has been the starting center each day. 

Ryan Baker has missed some practice time this week due to a slight ankle injury but was back out there on Thursday.  Lamin Barrow has filled in for Baker on the weak side.  I can't say enough about how good Stefoin Francois looks at linebacker.  His body is totally transformed and he could be a breakout player for the Tigers this year.

While it was rumored that Rocky Duplessis would be moving down to linebacker, he has been working with the safeties this week. 

Jai Eugene (pictured) continues to work as the starter at free safety ahead of Craig Loston.  That will be an interesting battle to follow throughout the spring and fall camp. 


St. Pauls HS defensive tackle Mickey Johnson was offered by LSU recently.  Johnson goes about 6'1" 305 pounds, and he has some VERY impressive numbers in the weight room.  His style of play is reminiscent of former Tiger Kyle Williams.  Johnson says he plans to visit LSU for a spring practice soon, and he's also planning on visiting for the Spring Game.   He also holds offers from Nebraska, Tennessee, Arkansas, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State. 

LSU has thrown their name into the mix for Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel.  Driskel looks to be one of the top quarterbacks in the nation for the Class of 2011.  He has great size at 6'4" 225 pounds with a good arm and very good mobility.  He recently attended an Elite 11 Quarterback camp and was the star of the camp.  He seems to have struck a good relationship with Gary Crowton, and he's a guy to keep an eye out throughout the summer.

Benton High School safety T.K. Fleming is receiving a lot of interest from some BCS schools.  The 6'3" 200 pound safety is also a big-time prospect as a jumper in track and field.  His overall athleticism at his size has sparked the interest from many programs.  He now holds offers from Tennessee, Oklahoma State, Mississippi State, Nebraska, UCLA, and others.  It's unclear whether LSU is interested in Fleming at this point but with the attention he's receiving elsewhere, he's certainly a guy to watch.

Little known athlete Devante Scott of Ferriday High School recently committed to play at Mississippi State.  Scott is 5'10" 185 pounds and has good, but not great speed.  He plays a number of positions for Ferriday including running back, receiver, kick returner, and defensive back. 

LSU has offered a pair of fullbacks, Nick Lifka of Illinois and Artaves Gibson of Tennessee.  I didn't expect LSU to go after a fullback in this class.  I'm not sure if they aren't pleased with Dominique Allen or whether they aren't confident about Brandon Worle's ability to qualify academically, but it seems odds to sign another fullback this year.

All changes have been updated on the Big Board

Monday, March 1, 2010

Spring Practice Begins



Spring practice kicked off on Monday to officially get things going for the 2010 LSU football team.  Here are a few tidbits to pass along that I've picked up from various places. 

Richard Murphy is working in a green no-contact jersey but was working with the first group at running back.  He was apparently showing no lingering signs of his knee injury. 

The first unit at offensive line on Monday was Joe Barksdale at left tackle, Josh Dworacyzk at left guard, PJ Lonergan at center, Will Blackwell at right guard, and Alex Hurst at right tackle.  I had assumed that Dworacyzk would move to tackle, but Hurst moved outside instead.  It's also interesting that Lonergan worked with the starters at center rather than T-Bob Hebert.  We'll have to see how that shakes out. 

Terrance Toliver, Reuben Randle, and Russell Shepard were working as the first three receivers.  No surprises there. 

On the defensive line, Lavar Edwards and Chancey Aghayere worked as the starters at defensive ends while Drake Nevis and Pep Levingston worked with the starters at defensive tackle.  Josh Downs sat out today with a thigh injury. 

Several sites reported that new defensive end Ken Adams looked very impressive. 

Mike Brockers worked with the second group at defensive tackle.  Judging from the pictures, Brockers looks more like a defensive end to me. 

At linebacker, the starters consisted of Kelvin Sheppard, Stefan Francois, and Ryan Baker.  Francois seems to have put on some good weight.  He looks more like a linebacker than a safety.  I'd even say that he looks like more of a linebacker than Harry Coleman did.  I suspect that he'll be a good fit at linebacker. 

In the secondary, Patrick Peterson and Morris Claiborne were the starters at cornerback as expected.  At safety, Brandon Taylor and Jai Eugene ran with the starters at safety.  Craig Loston was running with the second team at safety.  He'll be pushing the starters all spring.  Karnell Hatcher is out with an injury right now. 

That's it for Day 1.  We'll continue to keep an eye on the various position battles that are taking place throughout the spring.   


Saturday Night Slant - LSU Sports & Recruiting