LSU head football coach Ed Orgeron met with reporters on Thursday to recap LSU’s first day of padded practice and looked ahead toward the team’s first scrimmage later on Saturday.
The biggest piece of news coming out of Orgeron’s presser is his squad is a little banged up. Glen Logan in particular will miss significant time with a broken bone in his foot.
“Glen Logan re-injured his foot,” Orgeron said. “Just a little break in his foot. It’s going to take a little more while to heal and we’ll get him sometime in the season.”
Juniors Tyrion Davis-Price and Derek Stingley both missed some time as well with smaller camp injuries but both “should” be back for Monday’s practice.
Derek Stingley: Wide Receiver?
Speaking of Derek Stingley, here’s what Orgeron had to say when asked about Stingley playing offense this season.
“We were gonna do it this week. In fact, we were gonna do it the day he got a minor injury,” Orgeron said. “And I talked to Jake (Peetz) and I talked to Derek about the type of plays we were gonna run. We’re gonna see where we are next week. I don’t know if he’s gonna be full-speed next week. Obviously I’m not gonna play him both ways if he’s not full-speed. We have to play that by ear.”
Clearly Ed Orgeron does not read this website because I broke down—in great detail I might add!—whether or not Stingley should play offense on Friday.
New Faces Impressing
LSU famously signed five wide receivers in its 2021 recruiting class and the newcomers are already turning heads on the outside.
“They’re very capable of playing against the best guys on our team already,” Orgeron said. “They’ve shown that. They’ve won some 1-on-1s against some pretty good players.”
“Brian obviously is the tallest one, the biggest one and the strongest one. Malik has great body control. Chris is just a great athlete. He caught a slant and he dunked it over the goal post, I thought he was going to hurt his head hitting the goal post. 7-1 jumper. Deion is smooth, he’s very smooth. He’s long. Makes some big plays. Gotta throw in Jack Bech. That’s a great group of guys. They’re all going to play for us, they’re all going to have great years.”
The Tigers also signed a pair of running backs, Corey Kiner and Armoni Goodwin, and both are getting chances to show their stuff with Ty Davis-Price sidelined in the here and now.
“That’s why we’ve got those two young backs. Now we got everybody back except Tyrion so Kevin had a long line today. We looked good. Those two young backs are going to have to play. Obviously, I like Tyrion, I like John, but they gonna have to stay healthy and if they don’t stay healthy we gotta play the other guys.”
“Armoni’s been making some big plays. He’s smooth, he’s fast, he can get to the edge. Runs over the middle, but he avoids tackles. Can go side by side fast. He’s good with the ball in his hands. Corey’s a physical back. Corey didn’t show out as much as Armoni did when we didn’t get the pads on, but last two days of pads, Corey’s showed out. It’s hard to tackle him because he has such a lower body. Very good between the belly and the thighs. He has a good trunk, lower center of gravity is what I wanted to say. He’s hard. He’s got big shoulders. He showed out today now, he’s hard to tackle.”
O-Line and Linebacker Update
The biggest variable for LSU’s success this season will be the offensive line. LSU brought back essentially its entire starting unit from last season and made a big time hire by bringing in Brad Davis to coach the unit. It already appears to be paying dividends.
“I see more of a physical attitude. I think our guys are working on physicality with Brad. I can start to see it in practice. I felt it today. Austin Deculus is leading them, Big Ed, Liam, them guys being back it helps. Cam is solid at left tackle, doing a great job. I think the first group is going to be solid.”
The good news for LSU is there’s reason to assume the first unit will take a step forward and bounce back in 2021. But if and when one of those starters goes down with injury is the staff confident in the backups? So far it sounds like there’s still a ways to go.
“The second group has got to come along. Charles Turner missing a couple days of practice, came back and really has done a good job for us. Really impressed with him. He’s been with us for a while. So we’re building some depth, but we’re still not there yet.”
Defensively, the linebacker position has the same kind of boom-or-bust potential as the offensive line but it sounds like that unit from the top down is rising to the occasion and we’ll see a rotating cast this season.
“Jared (Small)’s quick to the football. Can key and diagnose. Obviously, an experienced player. Plays with great leverage, he’s 5’11”, plays with great leverage. He’s strong. Has good speed. Can cover. Micah Baskerville is coming too. He had a good practice again today now. Micah is in some of the best shape he’s been. Micah’s been a good player for us. Damone’s playing well. Bugg Strong is a junior college linebacker who’s a thumper. He can hit. Those guys have really showed out. I think we have a good group of linebackers. Obviously, we have to play all four of them.”
“If we can rotate our linebackers, two at each spot, I think we’ll be better off then against some situational stuff on 3rd down, we may put in some different guys at linebacker than we have on 1st and 2nd down depending on the type of offense we’re playing. Somebody’s during the season is going to get hurt. Got to develop depth there so I think rotating linebackers will be healthy for us.”