The Heat is On: Football Practices at Mid-Day
BATON ROUGE — The LSU football team participated in “shells” for the second of three consecutive two-a-day practices Friday leading up to Sunday’s Fan Day and Media Day festivities.
The Tigers practiced for the first time in the 90-degree plus heat beginning at 12:30 p.m. and ending just after 2:45. The team returns to the LSU Practice Facility at 7:30 p.m. Friday for the second half of its two-a-day routine.
Thursday night’s 7:30 practice was moved to the LSU Indoor Practice Facility due to a severe thunder and lightning storm that left more that 35,000 Baton Rouge area homes without power.
“We had a good practice today,” Saban said. “Of course we got chased inside last night because of the rain, but we got a lot of work done inside and I was pleased with the carryover from spring ball to what we’re doing right now. We look good on both sides of the ball today, and quite a few players have carried the knowledge and the experience that they gained of the new system from the spring practices to right now.
“We picked up right where we left off and that’s the most important thing for us in the first year. We are very pleased and happy about that.”
LSU will continue to practice in “shells” — helmets and shoulder pads — until Sunday’s 2:30 p.m. practice preceding the annual Fan Day autograph session. Fan Day festivities begin at 1 p.m. outside Tiger Stadium. Gates open at 1:45 p.m.
Coach Nick Saban addressed the media between practices and spoke about the impact and rationale of practice in the mid-day heat, as well as the team’s positive carryover of skills learned in the 15-day Spring Drills.?
- TE Solomon Lee and DT Byron Dawson wore the “red shirts” for the second consecutive practice.
- Frosh. RB Randall Gay of Brusly, La., practiced for the first time in as a defensive back. There are 10 DB’s in fall camp, four of which are true freshmen including Adrian Mayes, Travis Moses, Eric Alexander and walk-on Chad White. Frosh. Rudy Johnson reported to fall camp with the freshmen on Aug. 4 but left before the varsity reported on Wednesday.
- Saban said that there were no injuries to report and that there were only 4-5 IV’s given as “preemptive measures.” He said that freshman LB Lionel Turner had a slight knee problem, but nothing serious.
- Saban was pleased with the overall condition of the team. He said that 11 players scored better than 70 on his conditioning test and around 40 passed the test (60 was a passing grade). QB Josh Booty and WR Abram Booty each scored 69 according to Saban.
- The only player who is practicing on both sides on the ball on an every-day basis is DE/TE Kyle Kipps. Kipps defected to the defensive side of the ball in the spring, but continues to work in 7-on-7 and 9-on-7 drills for about 20 minutes each practice with the white jerseys (offense).
SABAN ON PRACTICING AT 12:30 P.M.:
“We’re worried about the players’ health and that is why we’re doing it. We’re only going to do it for two days. The two best times that we could possibly practice are early in the morning and late at night. The best time to practice is at three in the morning, but you have to do what is practical. We spoke to the doctors about what contributes to problems with heat, dehydration and cramping. Stress and lack of sleep, lack of hydration time, and all of those things. They were against early morning practices, so the next best time to practice is at night. We are going to always practice at night. But if we practice at night, then we can’t get them up for practice in the morning.”
“The whole idea of the 12:30 practice is that the players have two opportunities to eat, two opportunities to hydrate, and the most time in between practice. We’re only going to have two-a-day practices three days in a row one time. And that is these three days, when we just have shells on.”
“We have to have a combination of times that we practice where we get our guys acclimated to the heat and not wear them out completely. Now as soon as we get on a two-a-day schedule in pads we are going to go morning, night, and the next afternoon. That comes from my pro background, because that’s how we practiced a lot then.”