Advocate file photo by BILL FEIG -- LSU running back Leonard Fournette runs after a catch during preseason drills earlier this month.

The dark shroud over LSU’s quarterback battle has now also been draped over its star freshman running back.

Leonard Fournette, the No. 1-ranked recruit in the nation, had a “long” run during the first full scrimmage of preseason camp Saturday, but it’s unclear the distance. Even the situation is shaky.

“Leonard went a long way,” coach Les Miles said, “and certainly looked good.”

Reporters must rely on Miles for scrimmage details.

LSU’s scrimmages, like each practice, are closed to the public and media.

Players were not available for interviews after the 120-play event Saturday at Tiger Stadium.

Miles was vague when speaking about Fournette’s long run and did not reveal his total rushing yards during the scrimmage.

Fournette broke loose on what Miles called a broken play.

“We were in a scout period, and the ball scooted out and there wasn’t anybody there, and it appears as if it’s a big play and reality it’s not quite that,” Miles said.

How many yards did Fournette run for?

“Several,” Miles said. “It just depends if you count that (long) one or not. Don’t know that you count that one. That’s my problem.”

Miles said all four scholarship running backs got about 14 carries each. The highest neared 60, the coach said.

“I thought the young backs ran hard and ran with ball security, very physical,” Miles said.

Hunter shines

Defensive end Danielle Hunter led what Miles called a “dominant” defensive performance, and the coaches lauded his linebackers.

Hunter had nine tackles, for four loss, according to Miles. Starting middle linebacker D.J. Welter and Kendell Beckwith both played “step-up-in-there-and-take-you-on football,” the coach said.

Miles, as well, mentioned sophomore cornerback Rashard Robinson as playing like a veteran.

“I think the defense there was a lot of contact and speed to the ball so that’s just what we needed to have happen,” Miles said.

Injury watch

Freshman receiver Malachi Dupre and defensive tackle Quentin Thomas did not participate in the scrimmage, Miles said.

Dupre is suffering from a lingering injury that’s kept him out of much of practice over the past week. Miles is not releasing details on the injury.

Thomas tore his biceps during the first week of camp. He was expected to miss this season but plans on playing with the injury. He could return for LSU’s next scrimmage Tuesday, one Miles called “the Wisconsin scrimmage.”


Miles said Christian LaCouture and Frank Herron played “a lot” at defensive tackle, Miles said. … LSU’s quarterbacks wore green no-contact jerseys and will continue to wear them throughout preseason practice, the coach said. The quarterbacks, however, have been involved in goal-line tackling drills. … Following Saturday’s scrimmage, Miles did “the ice bucket challenge,” a social-media-driven awareness campaign for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Left tackle La’el Collins poured a cooler of ice water on the coach after Hunter poured freshly cut grass over the coach. Miles challenged his four coordinators: recruiting coordinator Frank Wilson, defensive coordinator John Chavis, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and special teams coordinator Bradley Dale Peveto.

Ross Dellenger