SPOTLIGHT ON: TIGHT ENDS
Top of the chart: There’s currently no middle ground at the position when it comes to experience. On one hand, junior Dillon Gordon and senior Travis Dickson combined to start every game of the 2013 campaign (Gordon started 12 times, mostly because of his blocking ability. On the other, sophomore DeSean Smith and freshman Jacory Washington bring strong hands to the position, which could prove valuable with two young quarterbacks at the helm. Regardless, expect Gordon and Dickson to share time against Wisconsin because of their veteran status.
On the move: One key Smith said he worked on in the offseason was his blocking ability. Under head coach Les Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, blocking tight ends are essential — especially with talents like Terrence Magee, Leonard Fournette and Kenny Hilliard in the backfield. With Smith’s already solid hands, he could find more time early on the offensive line.
Waiting in the wings: Early on in camp, Washington has impressed in receiving drills, but he’s being held back by the same issue Smith had the previous season. Whenever a young tight end arrives in Baton Rouge, learning to be an effective blocker is among the first priorities, and Washington is still picking up tidbits from his elders.
Camp developments: With Aug. 30 rapidly approaching, Miles will have Gordon and Dickson ready to roll against Wisconsin. That being said, all signs have pointed to Smith having an increased role in 2014, which will prove important for the young duo at quarterback. With a dual-threat like Smith on the field, opposing defenses will have their hands full.
“We were in here when (Zach Mettenberger) threw that squaring touchdown. He rears back and he hits it, and he does whatever that thing is he does. This whole place went loose. We didn’t get to watch but maybe three minutes, and it just timed up perfectly.”
—Les Miles, on watching his former QB Zach Mettenberger play for the Titans on Friday night
After missing last weekend’s scrimmage, freshman running back Leonard Fournette was active on Saturday, picking up his share of carries and even taking part in a big gain on a “broken play,” Miles said. Freshman wide receiver Malachi Dupre remains injured, though, as he sat out of Saturday’s exhibition.
NEXT THREE UP
Sunday’s practice: Break camp — no practice
Monday’s practice: Full squad practice at 8:45 a.m. followed by a walk-through practice at 4:15 p.m.
Tuesday’s practice: Scrimmage at 3:30 p.m.
All LSU practices are closed to the public.