Posted at 3:24 pm on March 11, 2018

Notebook: Ed Orgeron on the quarterback competition, potential reinforcements at cornerback and more as LSU begins spring practice

Courtesy of LSU Sports Information
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James Moran
James Moran was named Editor of Tiger Rag in August 2018. He previously served as the associate editor since 2014. He covers LSU football and baseball and is a graduate of the LSU Manship School of Journalism.

Don’t expect LSU to name a starting quarterback anytime soon.

Sophomore Myles Brennan took first-team reps as LSU began spring practices Sunday, as expected, but LSU coach Ed Orgeron said afterward that no decision is likely to be made at the position until fall camp.

Orgeron emphasized the idea of competition while parsing the performances of Brennan, Lowell Narcisse and Justin McMillan on the first day of spring ball.

“You could tell today was a high-pressurized situation for all three of them,” Orgeron said. “Some of them did better than others. You could tell the competition is on. You can tell that if a guy makes a big play, the others want to step up and do it.”

Orgeron spoke vaguely about big plays being made in downfield passing drills, but more will be decided when LSU inevitably puts on the pads and begins scrimmaging.

LSU will scrimmage as much as possible this spring, the coach said, as LSU offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger and the staff try to get a sense for how each signal caller handles the heat. Orgeron added that none of the quarterbacks will get hit in scrimmages.

“Today all three of those guys did some really good things,” Orgeron said. “They’re all getting equal reps. They’re all competing. There’s no first-team quarterback right now. They all have hope.”

STILL THIN AT CORNER

Cornerback Kristian Fulton practiced on Sunday, but Orgeron said there’s still no update to his status in terms of being eligible for the 2018 season.

“Still the same,” Orgeron said, declining to comment any further on the former five-star signee.

That leaves Jontre Kirklin and Kary Vincent as the only scholarship cornerbacks available behind Greedy Williams as LSU goes through spring practices. Wide receiver Mannie Netherly is also working at corner, the coach affirmed.

LSU will get more help at the position this summer when four-star signee Kelvin Joseph enrolls, and he may not be alone. Orgeron mentioned that LSU “has a graduate transfer in mind” at the cornerback position and expects to sign one.

“I envision him playing, but we obviously got Kelvin Joseph coming in,” Orgeron said of the graduate transfer in question. “I envision both of them playing and competing for a starting spot.”

NEWCOMERS STANDING OUT

Left tackle Saahdiq Charles is out for the spring after offseason shoulder surgery, Orgeron confirmed, but it’s given LSU a chance to look at two of its biggest additions up front.

JUCO signees Badara Traore and Damien Lewis were two of the players Orgeron singled out as looking particularly impressive on the first day of spring.

Traore is presently working at Charles’ place at left tackle — Charles remains the starter, Orgeron said, while Traore will eventually compete with Austin Deculus for the starting right tackle spot — while Lewis is working all across the interior of the line.

The praise for Lewis is particularly interesting considering LSU returns both of its starting guards, Garrett Brumfield and Ed Ingram. The coach didn’t rule out Lewis potentially working himself into the mix at center along with Lloyd Cushenberry and freshman Cole Smith.

“It means competition,” Orgeron said. “Garrett is our starter (at left guard) right now, but we’re going to have to find a place for this boy to play. It may be somewhere else. It may be center. It may be right guard … From what I saw today, he was one of the best players out there.”

THE COMMITTEE IS IN?

Leonard Fournette and Derrius Guice aren’t walking through that door.

LSU opened the spring with a running back group of Nick Brossette, Lanard Fournette, Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Tae Provens on Sunday. Orgeron downplayed the idea that Brossette, a senior, is head and shoulders above the pack as spring begins.

“Until we find a featured back, the offense will not be featured by our running back,” Orgeron said. “We’re going to throw the football, and I think we’re going to do that a lot better. It’s going to force us to throw the football. It’s going to force us to be creative.”

PERSONNEL NOTES

– Ed Alexander will miss most of the spring, Orgeron said, but is still considered the starting nose tackle. Tyler Shelvin has “showed promise” there, but is a bit overweight.

– Wide receiver Terrace Marshall “looked good” during practice, Orgeron said, but he hasn’t been cleared for contact yet. He’s expected to be fully cleared sometime this spring.

– Sophomore Tyler Taylor and Jacob Phillips are in a “battle” for the starting linebacker spot next to Devin White, Orgeron said. Patrick Queen and freshman Micah Baskerville are presently working as White’s backups.

– Orgeron was asked about the kicking battle. He said it won’t actually begin in any meaningful way until Cole Tracy enrolls this summer.

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