The 2017 LSU football team reported to the West Campus Apartments today for the opening of training camp. The first practice will open tomorrow, with camp running until the start of classes on Monday, August 21.
As usual, media was on hand for the various player arrivals:
LSU running back Derrius Guice checks in at West Campus Apartments before the start of fall training camp Sunday. pic.twitter.com/HTAeoCE30i— Patrick Dennis (@PatrickPdennis) July 30, 2017
Per Ed Orgeron in a short press conference following the first team meeting, Tyler Shelvin is still awaiting clearance from the NCAA to enroll. He needed some additional coursework this summer to qualify. Pass-rusher Arden Key will als miss practice time rehabbing his shoulder surgery from earlier this summer. Both are expected to rejoin the team at a later date.
Something that made some news on Twitter Friday evening was the announcement that all of LSU’s camp will be completely closed off to the media, with daily photo and video reports to be provided by LSU sports information.
This does stand in stark contrast to Orgeron’s media policies as LSU’s interim coach last season — although it’s worth noting that practice access did wax and wane a bit as Orgeron felt necessary during the season. It’s not the best way to garner sympathetic coverage, and LSU will be the only SEC team not to have some open portion.
But from a common-sense perspective, this is much ado about nothing. Media members (ATVS staff included) that attended practice would show up for all of 15 to 20 minutes, get some B-roll footage, usually of a passing drill, and take attendance of who was out there/in a non-contact jersey. There’s no real substance to it, and most reporters (television ones in particular) complain about doing it and standing out in the heat. Removing it was always going to garner some gripes out of obligation, but there’s no real substantive change going on here, especially if LSU holds to the “content provided every day” schedule.
Per Orgeron’s press conference, media will be able to re-enter practice once BYU prep begins on Aug. 21. He will also have a more regular schedule of pressers, along with some increased media availability.
Additional notes from Orgeron’s presser, per our friends at Tiger Rag:
Here’s the news and noteworthy quotes from Orgeron’s presser.
– Offensive tackle Seth Stewart, a 2017 signee, is no longer part of the football program, Orgeron announced. He didn’t report for camp Sunday with the rest of the team and won’t be enrolling at LSU. Stewart is a three-star prospect out of West Virginia. “He spent a couple days here, and he decided he wanted to move on,” Orgeron said. “We tried to get him to come back, but it’s something he decided he wanted to do. We wish him the best.”
– While training camp practices are closed to the media, as the school announced Friday, Orgeron said reporters will be allowed back in starting on Monday, August 21. The viewing schedule will mirror the viewing periods Orgeron allowed when he took over as interim coach (Monday and Tuesday). The main reason for closing practices, per Orgeron, is that LSU needs the time to complete installation of Matt Canada’s offense. Practice could open sooner if said installation finishes ahead of schedule.
– Edge rusher Arden Key won’t practice Monday, as expected. Orgeron said the All-American linebacker reported at 260 pounds, if not a bit more, and estimated he’ll cut down to 255 pounds for his playing weight. “He’s an extra-ordinary human being,” the coach said.
– Nose tackle Tyler Shelvin was the other 2017 signee who didn’t report Sunday as he continues to complete online course work that must be certified by the NCAA. Orgeron said he won’t report this week but may join the team during the second week of camp.
– Offensive tackle Adrian Magee will take part in fall camp, but his status for the season has yet to be determined, Orgeron said. He was arrested in the spring.
– With the loss of Stewart and uncertainty regarding Magee, Orgeron pointed to offensive tackle depth as one of his biggest concerns going into camp. He named freshmen Austin Deculus and Edward Ingram as tackles who needed to step up and provide depth.
– LSU coaches were given the entire month of July to take off for vacation, an idea Orgeron said he borrowed from Pete Carroll. The first full-staff meeting is set for Sunday night. “I wanted our guys fresh and ready to go for camp,” Orgeron said.
– The Tigers will treat weekend scrimmages like NFL preseason games, Orgeron said. LSU won’t start preparing for BYU until August 21.
It’s not gameweek yet, but we’re one more big step closer to football being back, y’all.