The NCAA’s new policy this season banning two-a-day practices came at just the right time for Danny Etling.
It means less throwing, which means more resting, which means more healing — which means, he said, he’ll be at full strength for the season opener.
“I know I’ll definitely be 100 percent by BYU,” LSU’s senior quarterback said Tuesday before the Tigers conducted their second camp practice.
“The changes in camps have been huge. You’re not throwing as much, not nearly as many balls. It’s a lot different,” he added. “Two-a-days is really when the arm took a lot of wear and tear."
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Etling spoke to reporters on the first day of player media availability Tuesday afternoon, updating one of the biggest storylines of the offseason: his health. He’s still recovering from April back surgery.
He’s not 100 percent, but he’s “higher than 90 percent,” he said. The hardest part of his rehabilitation has arrived, he said.
“The last percents are the hardest ones to get over. It’s going to happen pretty quickly, I feel,” he said.
So what are "the last percents," exactly? He declined to reveal that.
“I have certain things lingering,” he said.
Earlier this summer, Etling mentioned that restrengthening his left leg was ongoing. His leg experienced tingling and numbness while playing with the injury last season.
His leg is key to his recovery. His recovery is key to LSU’s season.
Everyone is treating Etling as the starter, despite an open competition. Will Clapp, moving from guard to center this season, even admitted Tuesday to spending time this summer with Etling to grow accustomed to snapping him the ball.
Etling is the guy — the old guy, he says.
The fifth-year player pokes fun at himself. Behind him are two true freshmen, a third-year sophomore and a redshirt freshman. Three of the four other quarterbacks have never played in a college game. The other has thrown one pass.
Etling has started 22 games on this level, and that mended back of his is making him feel much younger.
“Just got to make sure I warm up properly and really get warm, because I’m an old man now,” he joked. “Nah, I feel great. I can kind of get out of bed and do stuff, as opposed to really sulking around and waiting 45 minutes into practice before getting going.”
Will Clapp is used to changing faces.
He's 'Big Donnie' now
Donnie Alexander, LSU’s projected starting inside linebacker, often hangs out in the head coach’s office.
In fact, the senior is there “all of the time,” Ed Orgeron said last week.
“I was calling him ‘Little Donnie,’ ” Orgeron said at a function in New Orleans. “He said, ‘Coach, you’ve got to call me Big Donnie.’ I said, ‘Yes, sir.’ ”
Alexander is up to 230 pounds, about 15 heavier than his playing weight last season. And he has fully recovered from a shoulder procedure he had in early April, Orgeron said.
“He looks good to me. He’s been lifting weights, been going strong,” fellow linebacker Devin White said Tuesday. “When he came back, he started lifting with me. I go to the extreme in the weight room.”
The weight gain hasn’t affected everything, White said.
“He’s 230 and still got a six-pack,” he said. “That’s crazy. Usually when you gain weight, people get fat.”
After a somewhat secretive search, LSU identified a young tiger that could become Mike VII, …
Washington to JC
Isaiah Washington, the defensive lineman who announced last week that he was transferring from LSU, has landed at a junior college.
He’ll attend Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Perkinston, Mississippi, he tweeted Tuesday. Washington, who has three years of eligibility remaining, became academically ineligible during spring practice. He missed last season after suffering a knee injury during preseason camp.