Inside: The “surprise of camp,” personnel news and scrimmage stats
By JAMES MORAN | Tiger Rag Associate Editor
All-American edge rusher Arden Key remained confined to the sidelines as LSU went through its first ‘preseason game’ on Saturday afternoon.
Key has participated in some non-contact drills under the watchful eye of LSU coach Ed Orgeron throughout the first week of training camp, but he spent Saturday’s scrimmage playing the role of spectator.
“He cheered a lot,” Orgeron joked, asked for an update on Key. “I will say this, he does some walk-through stuff. He doesn’t do any contact. Does some drills with me. Looks fantastic.”
Orgeron wasn’t sure when Key would be a full participant in camp. While he continues to work his way back, LSU has rotated four players in at the ‘Buck’ linebacker positioned he normally mans: Ray Thornton, K’Lavon Chaisson, Andre Anthony and Sci Martin.
Of that group, it’s Chaisson, the five-star signee out of Texas, who has drawn the most effusive praise from Orgeron through week one of training camp.
“K’Lavon Chaisson has been dominant,” Orgeron said. “Just a dominant player. He runs around. He’s a great kid, very humble … Extremely quick. He’s exactly the type of player we thought he was in recruiting, but more physical.”
According to Orgeron, he had three tackles, three tackles for loss, on sack and four hurries in Saturday’s scrimmage.
There’s more than one Catholic High running back turning heads in LSU’s crowded backfield during the inaugural week of training camp.
Of course there’s Derrius Guice, the well-established featured back and a preseason Heisman Trophy contender. But there’s also Clyde Edwards-Helaire, a 5-foot-8 true freshman making waves in the early going.
“He’s been the surprise of camp,” Orgeron said.
Edwards-Helaire rushed six times for 19 yards in Saturday’s full-contact to cap what a strong first week as a Tiger.
“We always knew he was a good back, but about three days ago, the first day in pads, he had a dominant day,” Orgeron said. “He had three runs over 60 yards. The way he makes them miss and hits the holes, versatility.”
– Nose tackle signee Tyler Shelvin has finished his summer coursework and is waiting to be cleared by NCAA Clearinghouse, Orgeron said.
– Converted safety JaCoby Stevens had a productive first scrimmage at wide receiver, hauling in two passes. Orgeron said he’d approached Stevens about the move to playing offense — in response to a depth concern at wideout — and has given Stevens the option to go back to safety if he wants to.
– 60 plays split evenly between first teams and second teams. The first-team offense scored two touchdowns against the first-team defense.
– Danny Etling: 5-for-11, 86 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT
– Myles Brennan: 1-for-4
– Lowell Narcisse, Justin McMillan and Lindsey Scot: 1-for-2 each
– JaCoby Stevens: 2 catches
– Darrel Williams: 8 carries for 40 yards; 1 catch for 32-yard touchdown
– Drake Davis: 1 catch for 15 yards
– Russell Gage: 28-yard touchdown catch
– Derrius Guice: 7 carries for 23 yards
– Clyde Edwards-Helaire: 6 carries for 19 yards