BATON ROUGE, La — Head coach Les Miles and his staff welcomed 104 players to campus on Wednesday as the LSU football team reported for the starting of preseason workouts.
After a day of orientation, physicals, meetings, and fitting for equipment, LSU will practice for the first time on Thursday morning when the veterans take the field for a shorts and helmets workout. The freshmen class, along with a selected number of veterans, will practice on Thursday afternoon.
The Tigers will hold two days of split squad workouts before coming together as an entire team for the first time on Saturday morning.
“Today is a great day to be a coach and it’s a great day to be a player,” Miles told members of the media shortly after the final player reported on Wednesday. “I can’t tell you how excited I am to be away from all those things that I’ve been doing for the last six to eight weeks. The many administrative tasks that coaches do that don’t involve football; I am now pointed north and south at football. I am excited about it and I know the team is.
“There will be anxiety in every newcomer and veteran. Because of ’how hot it is, how much are we going to run, how good are we going to be, can I return the punt, can I make the tackle and can I preform to be the starter’. That happens. It happens routinely at this time of year. It’s fun as you assume your pursuit of the game you love.”
Miles said that the Tigers will use the first two days of training camp to focus on teaching the players and that means going at a slower pace.
“We are going to make sure that the young players get an introduction to our style of football and give them a chance to get up to speed before we put on the pads in a few days,” Miles said. “The first two days are going to involve a lot of teaching and we will go very slow with them. We’ll pick up the pace once we get to our shells (helmets and shoulder pads).”
Miles noted that sophomore guard Josh Williford didn’t report to campus on Wednesday as he was dealing with two deaths in his family. Miles said Williford will report to practice in a few days.
In addition, Miles said he expects signee Alonzo Lewis to enroll in a junior college, while fellow signee Mickey Johnson is waiting to get through the NCAA Clearinghouse before he can join the Tigers, which could be later in the month.