Ja’Marr Chase’s name just keeps popping up.
That’s the message head coach Ed Orgeron relayed to the media on Saturday, as LSU wrapped its first practice of the fall.
Chase hauled in a long touchdown during team period and showcased the talents that made him a five-star signing out of Rummell High School in February.
“A guy who keeps coming up is Ja’Marr Chase,” Orgeron said. “His name keeps popping up. In the team period today, caught a long pass for a touchdown. (Wide receivers coach) Jerry (Sullivan) is really pleased with him and the young receivers.”
Chase certainly looks the part. At 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, he’s the most physically developed of a talented corps of freshmen wide receiver, which includes fellow five-star Terrace Marshall and four-stars Kenan Jones and Jaray Jenkins.
Ja’Maar Chase. Footwork. pic.twitter.com/30oujiFaSS
— Cody Worsham (@CodyWorsham) August 4, 2018
“Ja’Marr is physical,” Orgeron said. “He has big hands. He has 10-1/2 inch ends. He can catch the ball well. He’s very strong. Fast. Runs great routes. Mature. He just has a natural knack for catching that football.”
Some other standouts from the session, according to Orgeron.
- K’Lavon Chaisson, OLB, Soph.: “K’Lavon Chaisson really took off. His preparation, his practice today, he was really hard to block coming off the edge.”
- Kary Vincent, CB, Soph.: “Had a solid day today…His speed. He came off the edge one time, blocked a field goal. Had good coverage, good break on the ball. Came up and made a couple of good tackles. Showed some physicality, understanding of the defense, making calls out there communicating.”
- Dominic Livington, DT, Fr.: “He’s still 380 pounds. He ran well. He made some place up and down the line of scrimmage. I was really pleased with him today.”
Other names mentioned included: freshman linebacker Damone Clark; freshman offensive lineman Cam Wire; freshman wide receiver Kenan Jones; junior linebacker Devin White; sophomore linebacker Jacob Phillips.
On the Quarterbacks
Joe Burrow made his LSU debut and “looked good,” Orgeron said. He worked with the fourth team, less a reflection of the current depth chart than a rotational system to make sure every quarterback gets enough reps in the four-man job under center. Orgeron had good things to say about Burrow, Myles Brennan, Lowell Narcisse, and Justin McMillan.
QBs worked with the following units today:
1st – McMillan
Steve Ensminger will switch up the order every day so guys get equal reps, O says#LSU
— James Moran (@SmartestMoran) August 5, 2018
“(Joe Burrow) made some good decisions,” Orgeron said. “Justin looks really good, made some plays with his feet. I thought Lowell threw the ball better today. I thought Myles Brennan probably had his best day since we’ve been having this competition.”
Orgeron opened his presser with happy news: transfer kicker Cole Tracy made all five field goal attempts, with a long of 42, and walk-on freshman Avery Atkins impressed on kickoff duties.
Ending the Split
Orgeron’s initial plan was to run two separate practices: one for newcomers in the morning, and one for vets in the afternoon. But a shortage of offensive linemen – exacerbated by the suspension of presumed starting right guard Ed Ingram, forced LSU to go with one longer session.
“We were going to split the squads,” Orgeron said. “We didn’t have enough offense of linemen. It would’ve been better for the quarterback sister for squads. But we didn’t have enough scholarship offense of linemen to split the squads. It would’ve taken a toll.”
With Ingram out, Damien Lewis slides to right guard, while Lloyd Cushenberry and Garrett Brumfield remain at center and left guard, respectively. If Cushenberry, who has yet to start a game for LSU, doesn’t stand out at center, Brumfield would slide there, and LSU would move either Austin Deculus or Adrian Magee – the two players battling for the right tackle spot – to guard.