LSU’s preseason practices shifted into a higher gear Monday, but the No. 1 question of camp remained the same.
The Tigers practiced as a full team for the first time, and in full pads. Before Monday, LSU players were divided in morning (veterans and a few freshmen) and afternoon (freshmen and a few veterans) workouts, practicing in shorts and helmets.
Coach Les Miles lauded his players efforts, but questions quickly turned to a familiar topic: the quarterback battle between junior Anthony Jennings and sophomore Brandon Harris.
Practice was closed to the media for the first time Monday, but as was observed over the previous four days, Miles said Harris again took the first snaps with the No. 1 offense.
He was quick to point out that Jennings “took a good portion” of snaps with the No. 1 offense as well.
Three weeks from Monday, the No. 13-ranked Tigers will be in game week mode for their Sept. 5 season opener against McNeese State (6:30 pm., SEC Network). But on this Monday, Miles was in no hurry to name a starter at quarterback, or even a leader at the position.
“It’s an ongoing process,” Miles said. “Both guys are playing better.
“I’m not a guy who will make an early decision. Both guys made progress this day.”
Miles was asked how LSU’s freshmen reacted to their first day in pads and what for most of them was their first day working with the veterans.
“Freshmen have peaks and valleys,” he said. “They come in and realize there’s a whole curriculum to master and it’s an issue for them.
“A lot of guys are handling what we’re throwing at them and are looking forward to competing.”
In addition to tailback Leonard Fournette, who handled kickoff return duties last season, Miles mentioned freshmen Derrius Guice from Catholic and Donte Jackson from Riverdale as working on punt and kick returns Monday.
Miles lauded Guice’s standout plays in practice Monday, as he did fellow freshman tailback Nick Brossette from University High.
“Both are talented guys,” he said. “Both made some individual plays that were noteworthy.”
Key turns for Bower
Junior Tashawn Bower, a projected starter at defensive end, again missed practice Monday, Miles said. Miles didn’t specify Bower’s problem, believed to be heat related, but said it wasn’t a “long term” issue.
Bower tweeted the message “Feeling good” Monday evening.
In his place, true freshman Arden Key ran with the No. 1 defense, Miles said. Though he didn’t take part in summer workouts, Key has been making a big impression since arriving earlier this month.
On (right) guard
Miles was asked about the competition at right guard, likely the most intense on the offensive line.
Not surprisingly, he indicated junior Josh Boutte remained the leader at that spot.
“Boutte is a little more capable,” he said.
Season tickets sold out
LSU announced Monday that it has sold out of its allotment of season football tickets for the 12th straight season, 74,350 in all. The number matches the total LSU sold last year after expanding Tiger Stadium to 102,321.
LSU caps season ticket sales because it must reserve tickets for students and visiting teams. There are still single-game tickets available for all seven LSU home games, as well as games at Mississippi State, Syracuse and South Carolina.
By the numbers
Fullback John David Moore has taken over the No. 44 from fellow fullback Tony Upchurch, who will now wear No. 32. Walk-on defensive back Abraham Wallace from The Dunham School has gone from No. 40 to No. 41.
Follow Scott Rabalais on Twitter: @RabalaisAdv.