In 15 seasons as a head coach, Les Miles will have a first this season: all of his coordinators will be on the sideline during games.
LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and defensive coordinator Dave Aranda will coach and call plays from the sideline this season, Miles said Monday, though that decision could change, the coach indicated.
“I think Dave will be an asset on the sideline as well as Cam,” Miles said. “First time we’ve had all three of my coordinators on the sideline.”
Bradley Dale Peveto, LSU’s special teams coordinator, will remain on the sideline as he has in previous seasons.
Cameron, entering his fourth season, was expected to be on the sideline this season after coaching there during the bowl win over Texas Tech. Cameron called plays from the press box his first three seasons before that move – a way to assist quarterback Brandon Harris, coaches said.
Aranda, in his first season with the Tigers, coached on the sideline in all three seasons as Wisconsin’s defensive coordinator.
“I think it helps the player understand most of what is expected of him from the call,” Miles said. “That’s the advantage of having the coordinator on the sideline.”
The Tigers scored their most points last season and finished with their most yards in the 56-27 win over the Red Raiders in the Texas Bowl. Harris threw for more than 250 yards, and he later attributed the success, in part, to Cameron’s presence on the sideline.
“I think you’ll see this upcoming season with him being on the sideline that our offense will soar and be what we want it to be,” Harris said in the spring.
Clapp returns to practice
LSU offensive guard Will Clapp returned to practice Monday, the first day the team practiced in full pads, and left tackle Maea Teuhema could return “late this week,” Miles said.
Clapp missed Saturday’s drills as coaches ease him into camp. He underwent hip surgery in April and missed summer workouts. A sophomore who’s expected to start at one of the guard spots, Clapp practiced with the team during the first two days of camp before missing Saturday’s drills.
“We’re trying to temper his exposure,” the coach said.
Miles said LSU is “growing some depth on the offensive line,” and pointed out freshman Lloyd Cushenberry as someone who “can come in and play snaps and play a significant role.”
K.J. Malone is playing left tackle in Teuhema’s absence. The coach suggested Malone could remain at left tackle and Teuhema, nursing a sprained left ankle, could move to left guard. In that scenario, Clapp could slide to right guard, where he started last season.
Sophomore Garrett Brumfield, Miles indicated, replaced Clapp during practice earlier this week.
Christian LaCouture has a new appreciation for boxers.
Washington suffers knee injury
Isaiah Washington missed practice Monday, Miles said, and a source confirmed to The Advocate that he suffered a knee injury that will keep him out for a prolonged period of time.
Washington, a sophomore, is the backup to Arden Key at the Buck, the new outside linebacker/defensive end hybrid spot in the Tigers' 3-4 defense. It’s unclear when Washington will return. He played in six games as a freshman last season.
Freshmen Sci Martin and Rahssan Thornton are also playing the Buck behind Key, a preseason All-SEC third team member.
Tashawn Bower, playing at the other outside linebacker spot, participated in individual drills Monday and should return to practice Tuesday, Miles said. The coach has not revealed specifics of Bowers’ injury. He and senior Corey Thompson are battling for the starting job at the F-linebacker spot.
Catholic's Jack Gonsoulin joins Tigers
Kicker Jack Gonsoulin, a former Catholic High product from Baton Rouge, reported for LSU camp on Monday and practiced with the Tigers, the school confirmed.
Gonsoulin replaced the injured Washington, removed from the camp roster after suffering a serious knee injury, a source said. Teams can practice no more than 105 players during camp.
It's official. Well, almost.
Neal on watch list
LSU senior defensive end Lewis Neal was named to the 2016 Ted Hendricks Award Watch List the organization announced.
The Ted Hendricks Award is now in its 15th year of honoring the nation’s top defensive end. Neal is one of 28 players named to the watch list.