Several first-year players are in line to get starting snaps for LSU, and one continues battling a presumed starter at an oh-so important position.
Freshman defensive backs Grant Delpit and Kary Vincent, edge rushers Ray Thornton and K’Lavon Chaisson and freshman offensive lineman Ed Inrgam are competing for starting position or have already claimed them, coach Ed Orgeron revealed after Saturday’s second scrimmage of preseason camp.
Meanwhile, rookie quarterback Myles Brennan received some first-string snaps in the scrimmage, but Danny Etling remains the Tigers’ starter, the coach said.
Delpit and Vincent are “considered starters for us,” the coach said. Delpit received first-string snaps at safety Saturday, as Ed Paris is limited with an injury, and Vincent is expected to potentially start at the nickel position, the coach said.
Thornton, a redshirt freshman, and the Chaisson are rotating with the starters at Arden Key’s hybrid edge rushing position, as Key remains limited while recovering from shoulder surgery. Ingram, a rookie from Texas, is a potential starter at right guard, as the Tigers continue practicing without starting center Will Clapp.
Ingram practiced with the starters at right guard for the second straight camp scrimmage Saturday, a 100-play affair at Tiger Stadium that was closed to media and the public. Redshirt freshman Lloyd Cushenberry, also a potential candidate at right guard as a first-year player, filled Clapp’s spot at center with the No. 1 group.
Orgeron has raved this camp about LSU’s group of freshmen, members of the seventh-ranked 2017 signing class. He expects several to see significant time. Some of them might be forced into action.
“He may have to,” Orgeron said when asked about Ingram’s chance at starting.
“I think it’s a combination of some of them are very elite,” Orgeron said earlier this week about the freshmen. “Some have been here, mid-year guys. And then the ability to go skill drills and film session in the summer with everyone here.”
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Brennan continues impressing coaches so much that he’s the only quarterback, aside from Etling, to run with the starters. He went 4-for-8 for 107 yards and a touchdown Saturday, Orgeron said. Etling was 8-for-18 with two interceptions.
The quarterbacks were under duress passing, the coach said, allowing at least three sacks.
LSU’s offensive line has been hot topic for discussion over the first two weeks of camp. LSU lost five linemen to transfer this offseason, and Maea Teuhema’s exit earlier this month opened a hole at the starting right guard position.
The Tigers scrimmaged last week without starting tackle K.J. Malone and Toby Weathersby, as they rested with injuries. Both players returned Saturday for Scrimmage No. 2.
“This is the first time Toby has scrimmaged and gone full speed all camp,” Orgeron said. “You could tell the difference in our blocking.”
Sullivan’s impact felt
LSU receivers are participating in drills that Orgeron “has never seen before,” the coach said.
That’s because of the addition of consultant Jerry Sullivan, the former longtime NFL receivers coach who joined the staff this summer. Sullivan is working with WR coach Mickey Joseph.
“He’s worked night and day working through Mickey,” Orgeron said. “I’ve seen a difference in our receivers. Jerry is known as one of the best receivers coaches to ever coach. He’s worked day and night with us, with the coaches and got our coaches better. Mickey is implementing drills I’ve never seen before at the receiver position.”
Orgeron revealed Saturday that three receivers have emerged among the group, saying seniors D.J. Chark and Russell Gage and redshirt sophomore Derrick Dillon as have “separated themselves as far as consistency.”
Following LSU’s first full-team scrimmage last Saturday, coach Ed Orgeron took questions fro…
Several players joined Key and Clapp as not participating in the scrimmage because of injury, but many of them will return to practice Monday, Orgeron said.
Former Catholic running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, receivers Racey McMath and Dee Anderson, edge rusher Andre Anthony and offensive lineman Donavaughn Campbell did not scrimmage, Orgeron said.
He expects Edwards-Helaire, Campbell and McMath to practice Monday. Anderson has missed “most of camp,” with an undisclosed injury, the coach said.
Canada to be in press box
Offensive coordinator Matt Canada will call plays from the press box, and defensive coordinator Dave Aranda will be on the sideline, Orgeron said Saturday.
However, a headset “malfunction” during the scrimmage forced tight ends/H-back coach Steve Ensminger, down on the field, to call a few plays, sliding back into his role last season as interim offensive coordinator.
“It’s good to have preseason games. We did have a malfunction in our headsets, a real one,” Orgeron said. “The guys could not hear from the press box. Let Steve call the plays. Matt came down and we did fine. Didn’t blink an eye.”
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