Observations and quotes from LSU football’s spring practice, ‘I think the identity is starting to show itself’

Brian Kelly will try to add more high-end talent to his already top five 2025 recruiting class this weekend.

LSU football returned to the practice field today for another spring practice before the Spring Game on April 13.

Here are notable quotes from head coach Brain Kelly and observations from practice:

Defense

New defensive coordinator Blake Baker is bringing a new wrinkle to the LSU defense called the Star. The Star is like a nickel corner but with a few different responsibilities. The Star usually plays underneath zones and covers slot receivers.

“The star gives you a lot more versatility in your defensive structure,” Kelly said. “A guy that can play man coverage, a guy that can blitz, a guy that can play zone coverage, a really goof tackler, athletic in space. Also a guy that’s rugged enough that if you put a tight end he can handle himself at the line of scrimmage.”

Major Burns has been learning the Star position from Baker in practices. Jardin Gilbert and Sage Ryan were the deep safeties while Burns played the new position. Ashton Stamps and Javien Toviano played corner for the first-team defense.

“We felt like Major [Burns] really fit that role in terms of the star,” Kelly said. “He’s closer to the football and he has those skills that we’re looking for.”

Ryan made multiple big plays at practice and has been one of the standout players of the spring so far. Ryan snagged three interceptions at practice including a play where he jumped an out route for a Pick 6.

“Sage obviously is a guy that we moved around all over trying to find a spot for him,” Kelly said. “He’s got speed, he’s got athleticism. Obviously, that was a position that needed some depth and he provides that experience that we were lacking at that position.”

Offense

Kyren Lacy, Aaron Anderson and Chris Hilton were the first-team wideouts at practice today. Lacy had a standout play when he snagged an underthrown ball off a defender’s helmet for a touchdown catch.

“I’ve seen a big change in the way [Lacy] approaches practice,” Kelly said. “It’s so different than what it was last year. I think he was the third man and he’s not that now and he handles himself that way.”

Kelly said he was “really pleased” with the the wide receiver group but wants to see the backup quarterback position continue to improve.

Emery Jones returned to practice after sitting out earlier in the week.

Kelly also emphasized the importance of the team finding its identity during spring practices and said he thinks the team will be better as a whole than any individual part.

“I think the identity is starting to show itself,” Kelly said. “This is going to be much more that the sum is greater than any one of the parts of this team, which is great. I think there’s going to be a lot of players that will play and take an important role in the team. We’re going to need everybody.”

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Will Nickel

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