Les Miles and his coaching staff are doing the spring shuffle.
During the first day of spring practice Saturday, several players were in new positions as the Tigers kicked off the first of 15 days of drills, all of it ending with the April 5 spring game.
Senior Rob Bolden, a reserve quarterback, has moved to receiver, sophomore Kendell Beckwith, mostly a defensive end last year, is currently playing middle linebacker and tackle Evan Washington is now running with the No. 1 group at right guard.
True freshman and early enrollee Ed Paris, who signed as a safety, is playing cornerback, and linebacker Melvin Jones might get time at running back because of the team’s lack of depth there.
Kwon Alexander, the Tigers’ starting strong-side linebacker in 2013, has replaced out-going senior Lamin Barrow at weak-side linebacker, and Lamar Louis, a middle linebacker last year, is at the strong-side spot.
Bolden, who started some at QB for Penn State before transferring to LSU, has been buried on the QB depth chart since arriving in Baton Rouge.
He’s practicing with the reserve receivers.
“Appears to be a pretty good move,” Miles said. “Made a couple of nice catches today.”
The void right guard Trai Turner left upon leaving early for the NFL draft is, at least for now, being filled by Washington, a 6-foot-340-pounder from Texas. Miles said two others are being considered, including sophomore Ethan Pocic and senior Fehoko Fanaika.
“Right now, Evan is playing there,” Miles said.
Beckwith, meanwhile, is running with the second group at middle linebacker. Paris is at cornerback, one of several young players who could see time in the secondary.
Miles said Rashard Robinson should get time across from Tre’Davious White with the No. 1 group at cornerback.
Jalen Mills and Ronald Martin were running with the No. 1 group at safety.
“We’ll have guys back, but we’ll be looking at some of these young guys coming in,” Miles said.
RASCO LIKELY OUT
Defensive end Jermauria Rasco will likely miss spring practice after he had a procedure to “clean up” his shoulder, Miles said Saturday.
Defensive back Corey Thompson, who missed the last few games in 2013 with a knee injury, did not practice Saturday but could join the team late during spring, the coach said. He has a “better chance” than Rasco of participating this spring.
For now, Tashawn Bower is playing in Rasco’s spot.
LSU lost more than 70 percent of its production at receiver from last season with the departure of Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry.
Through one spring practice, already a duo is emerging.
Sophomore Travin Dural and redshirt freshman John Diarse are running with the first group. They’ve separate themselves somewhat, Miles said.
“Really looked good,” Miles said of the pair. “We look forward to them playing a lot.”
Avery Peterson, a redshirt freshman who sat out last year with a broken ankle, has returned and is fully healthy, Miles said. He’s in a group with Kevin Spears and senior Quantavius Leslie as players who have an opportunity to work into the Dural-Diarse group.
Meanwhile, five-star John Curtis receiver Malachi Dupre, an LSU signee, watched practice from the sideline. Asked about him watching afterward, Miles said, “Wish I could have got Malachi on the field, would have thrown him a ball or two.”
MILES AGAINST PROPOSAL
Miles is against the proposal to mandate a 10-second window to allow defensive substitution before offenses can snap the ball, he said Saturday.
The proposal has been tabled, according to ESPN.com.
A group of football coaches, led by Alabama coach Nick Saban and Arkansas coach Bret Bielema, have suggested that the rule will minimize injuries. The rule would slow hurry-up offenses and thus limit the amount of plays in a game.
“I find there’s no reason to make the change unless you want to limit plays, slow the ball being snapped, reduce scoring and make college football less marketable,” Miles said.
MILES FOR EIGHT
LSU athletic director Joe Alleva told AL.com for a story earlier this week that he’s against the SEC moving from an eight to a nine-game conference schedule.
“I’m for the 6-2 format,” Miles said, referring to six in-division and two out-of-division games. “In the two-game schedule, you get to play everybody in four years, which is normal time and it allows those teams that need to schedule victories to get victories and be bowl eligible.”
The league is expected to decide by June on whether to switch to a nine-game schedule starting in 2016. The 2015 schedule, while not yet released, will be eight games.