During a few drills in Thursday’s practice, the player standing between running back Leonard Fournette and quarterback Brandon Harris wasn’t J.D. Moore.
Moore, the Tigers’ presumed starter, is out for spring practice while recovering from knee surgery.
It wasn’t Bry’Kiethon Mouton, Moore’s presumed backup who replaced him last season.
It was David Ducre, a Slidell native ranked as the nation’s No. 1 fullback in last year’s recruiting class.
“Kid I’m very pleased with is David Ducre,” said Jabbar Juluke, LSU’s running backs coach. “He’s stepping up, embracing the opportunities he has.”
With Moore out, Ducre is seeing plenty of action — not only at fullback. Ducre is getting carries at running back as well, Juluke said.
“I’m excited about him,” the coach said.
Nearly halfway through spring practice, Ducre and mid-year enrollee Devin White, an inside linebacker, have garnered the most attention among the young guys at drills. LSU is six practices through a 14-practice spring and won’t practice again until March 29, taking off 11 straight days for the school’s spring break.
Ducre and White are just two of several players coach Les Miles, players and assistants have mentioned as excelling through the first two weeks of drills. Miles on Thursday mentioned mid-year enrollee Saivion Smith, a defensive back, along with sophomore end Arden Key and senior defensive tackle Christian LaCouture — both who had good scrimmages Thursday.
Sophomore Toby Weathersby seems destined to be LSU’s starting right tackle, and receiver Dee Anderson, another mid-year enrollee, is flashing that 6-foot-5 height of his.
Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda called White one of the most impressive players earlier this week, and Miles followed Thursday, lauding the ex-North Webster star.
“Devin White has looked really, really good,” Miles said.
Juluke said the same of Ducre, a player coaches didn’t plan to play last year. The staff expected to redshirt him. Moore’s injury — he missed the final four games of the season — changed those plans.
“We lost a fullback, needed another fullback,” Miles said. “We needed a guy.”
Ducre played in three games, seeing his first action against Western Kentucky in Game 7 and then playing in the final two games of the season against Texas A&M and Texas Tech in the Texas Bowl.
He’s now shining on the practice field.
“He’s very understanding of what he has to do,” Juluke said. “He knows the plays. He’s going out there going out there and play faster, so that may have helped him with a year of experience, a year of knowledge of the system. It’s helped him out a lot. He’s doing a really good job opening up holes, and he’s also been spending time at the running back position as well, getting a few carries.”
Back with a bang
Fournette began LSU’s scrimmage Thursday with a bang, according to Miles.
That bang: a 50-yard run on the first play.
Fournette participated in 7 to 10 plays of the 50-play scrimmage, the coach said. The scrimmage was closed to the public and media. Fournette returned to practice Thursday after missing Tuesday’s drills with a minor soft tissue injury around his calf, Juluke said.
Miles on spring break: Moderation
Miles’ message to his players ahead of spring break: Moderation, he said Thursday.
“Everything in moderation. Let’s not eat too much, eat yourself out of a position,” the coach said. “Get some sleep. Have some fun — at a moderate rate.”
Garrett Brumfield, working at guard, continues to miss practice with an ankle sprain, Miles said. The coach said he thinks Brumfield “will be fine.” Brumfield has missed the past three practices and was in a walking boot watching Saturday’s drills. … K.J. Malone, once thought as a possibility at left tackle, has been working at guard as well, Miles confirmed Thursday. Malone was seen working at guard during practice recently.
Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter @RossDellenger.