Football Set to Open First Spring Under Brian Kelly

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Football Set to Open First Spring Under Brian Kelly

BATON ROUGE – LSU opens its initial spring practice under new head coach Brian Kelly on Thursday afternoon as the Tigers will go through the first of 15 workouts over the next month.

The Tigers will conclude spring drills on Saturday, April 23 with the annual National L Club Spring Game in Tiger Stadium. Kickoff that day is scheduled for 1 p.m.

The Tigers have used the first part of the spring semester getting bigger, faster and stronger, but also using that time to build good habits, something Kelly said is critical to building a consistent winner.

“It’s how we physically prepare our football team and it’s not just in the weight room,” Kelly said. “It’s been about their nutrition and how they’ve been eating. It’s been about getting the right amount of sleep. It’s been the training and conditioning element. The physical preparation has been different for them.

“Spring practice is an extension of how we prepare and how we get to the next step of our process. There’s been a lot of physical preparation and now we get to add the technical and tactical preparation but always with building these habits on a day-to-day basis.”

One way the Tigers are creating habits is they are asked to fill out a personal-wellness questionnaire every day on their phone and for seven days straight, there was 100 percent participation.

“Good habits lead to good things happening in everything they do – in the classroom, in the community and on the football field,” Kelly said. “We went seven consecutive days where we had every guy filling those questionnaires out. Those were the signs that there’s the kind of commitment that I’m looking for.

“I’ve been really pleased with the consistency of approach. Guys are certainly in a new environment with new standards. It’s been hard. It hasn’t been easy for them. We are all creatures of habit and the habits that they had were different. It’s been a give and take. I’m really excited about the overall group in terms of their grit. They want to do this; it’s important to them even though it hasn’t been easy on a day-to-day basis.”

Kelly said the Tigers have added 17 mid-year enrollees to the roster, 10 with Louisiana times. The Tigers had 39 scholarship players on its roster on January 4 and Kelly said he expects to be at 84 scholarship players when the Tigers report to training camp in August.

The Tigers will practice twice this week with workouts on Thursday and Saturday followed by three practices – Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday – next week. LSU will go through a total of 15 workouts during the spring, which includes the spring game on April 23.