Call it a sign of the times that football is near.
LSU’s annual football fan day activities will be held from 4-6 p.m. Saturday at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center and the adjacent Carl Maddox Field House.
The Tigers’ volleyball and soccer teams will also be participating in their own Fan Day activities starting at 3 p.m.
LSU coach Les Miles, offensive players and coaches will be available in the Maddox Field House. Defensive and special teams players and coaches will be in the PMAC.
The Tigers cheerleaders and Mike the Tiger will also be available for autographs and pictures from 3-4 p.m. in the field house.
The LSU Sports Shop gift store will have temporary locations set up at both the PMAC and field house. The first 3,000 fans will receive an LSU fan day gift bag that includes a schedule poster and placard poster.
The Tigers were shorthanded on the offensive line for the afternoon practice Friday as five linemen — guards Will Blackwell and Josh Dworaczyk and tackles Chris Faulk, La’el Collins and Evan Washington — were absent. Blackwell, who missed much of last season because of an injury, has missed the last three practices.
“We wish they were there,” Miles said, “but (their absence) isn’t stopping us from practicing or moving the ball or doing the things we need to do.”
Miles said he expects most of the injured players back by Monday, though Blackwell might miss another day or two.
Also missing from both practices were cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, wide receiver Armand Williams (who has been battling hamstring problems), tight end Chase Clement and fullback J.C. Copeland.
Miles said he doesn’t expected anyone to spend an extended period of time on the sideline.
Running back Spencer Ware did return to practice after sitting out Thursday, and was actively involved in running and some physical-looking blocking drills.
LSU spent most of the day Friday indoors. After working for one period then holding a brief Big Cat drill to start the morning practice, the Tigers went inside. The entire afternoon practice was indoors.
The Tigers practiced in full gear as they wrapped up preparations for a Saturday morning scrimmage in Tiger Stadium, their first of fall practice.
“I like the progress the team has made,” Miles said. “All three phases of the game are rounding into shape nicely. It’s been a very good start of camp.
“Improvement needs to be made; we’re not ready to play yet but we’re taking the strides we need to take. It’s about three weeks and a day until our first game. We’ll look at our team in a game situation during tomorrow’s scrimmage. I like the position we’re in.”
Miles said Saturday’s workout, which is closed to the public and the media, will begin with “a partial practice.” Then the Tigers will have a 75- to 85-play scrimmage, including 40 live snaps.
Freshman wide receiver Jarvis Landry, who broke a bone in his right foot on the last day of summer 7-on-7 workouts, worked fully in both practices, though he wore a green (non-contact) jersey.
The former Lutcher star’s mobility and confidence appeared to be improving. He was able to make several sharp cuts in the afternoon workout.
“That was a quick heal,” Miles said.