Apparently, the experiment to make Lewis Neal a defensive tackle is over.
Neal played in all 13 games for LSU in 2014, but his time at tackle produced limited success. He made only three tackles all season.
This spring, Neal is at end working opposite fellow junior Tashawn Bower as the Tigers search for replacements to the departed Danielle Hunter and Jermauria Rasco.
Neal said after practice Tuesday he’s back at end to stay, sounding quite happy about that turn of events.
“I’m an end,” he said. “I’ve been at the same weight since I’ve been here (258 pounds). I would have to add a lot of weight (to play tackle).
“At end, I’m doing what I’ve done my whole life. The coaches are putting me in a position to excel.”
“I’d say he’s comfortable,” said Bower, who had 16 tackles in 13 games last season.
“I think it’s going well. We’re both getting in some quality reps, and a lot of guys behind us are, too. It’s spring, not fall, but we’re all enjoying the competition.”
Fournette: Slower is better
When most players arrive in college, they talk about how fast the game seems compared to high school, and how it slows down as they gain experience.
Sophomore running back Leonard Fournette is no different.
“The game is slowing down for me,” he said. “I’m learning everyone’s part.”
But Fournette said he has to slow himself down as well in order to use his blocks better.
“I have to be more patient,” he said. “I used to just hit the hole quick, quick, quick, but all great backs are patient.
“Everyone is fast in the SEC. It’s something I’ve got to learn.”
Spring practice: Day 11
Tuesday marked Day 11 of LSU spring practice, the Tigers’ second-to-last workout before spring break.
The Tigers worked out in shoulder pads, helmets and short pants under warm, sunny skies at the Charles McClendon Football Practice Facility.
Bower practiced but afterward was again in a walking boot on his left foot, which he said was precautionary.
As has been the case all spring, cornerback Dwayne Thomas wore a green (noncontact) jersey as he continues to recover from offseason knee surgery.
Big Cat standoff
After a brief warm up in position groups, the Tigers gathered for their regular Big Cat drill. A matchup between improving sophomore wide receiver D.J. Chark and sophomore cornerback Ed Paris drew an, “Oooooh!” from LSU coach Les Miles.
At first, middle linebacker Kendell Beckwith playfully stepped in to square off with Chark. After Miles waved him off, Paris took his stance. He and Chark battled to a standoff, after which Paris leaped up and kicked the air with delight.
QB, WR work
During the portion of practice open to the media, quarterbacks didn’t throw passes but instead worked on ball security drills, as players tried to tug the ball out of each other’s grasp.
Across the field, wide receivers worked on agility drills as they navigated an obstacle course of pads under the watch of new position coach Tony Ball.
Spring break plans
Quarterback Anthony Jennings isn’t heading to the beach for spring break next week. He plans to go home to Atlanta, then spend some time in Seattle, his mother’s hometown.
Wherever he is, Jennings knows he needs to stay in shape.
“It’s a lot of time to do nothing, so I’d better be getting in some practice so I can come back and pick up where I’ve left off,” he said.
Like most college students, Bower said he plans to head to Florida, but it will include a visit to see a former coach in Fort Myers. Then he’s off to California.
“Every college kid wants their spring break,” Bower said. “But I might see if I can get a last-minute fare and head home (to New Jersey).”
The Tigers will practice again Thursday before taking off 12 days for spring break. LSU will have two more practice sessions when they return before the annual Spring Game, 1 p.m. April 18 in Tiger Stadium.
Follow Scott Rabalais on Twitter: @RabalaisAdv.