Miles to team: “Come off the ball!”

Published: Aug. 11, 2011 at 3:10 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 23, 2011 at 3:05 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - "Come off the ball!"

The loud command of Les Miles was shouted, and away the LSU Tigers went with "The Big Cat" drill.

It didn't take long for sparks to fly, as massive freshman offensive lineman Jonah Austin had his helmet ripped off by fellow freshman defensive lineman Jermauria Rasco. It was totally accidental, as the two huge guys were engaged in battle. Miles went out to praise the efforts of junior tight end Chase Clement and sophomore linebacker Luke Muncie in the drill. "Damn good work by both men!" exclaimed Miles, "Both guys came off the line of scrimmage awfully fast."

But not everyone excelled on this occasion. Miles wasn't extremely pleased with the performance of redshirt freshman Jarrett Fobbs against senior safety Derrick Bryant. "You've got work to do Fobbs", Miles grumbled as the exchange ended. Fobbs is one of the many, untested wide receivers who needs to elevate his play. The receiving corps is very green behind juniors Reuben Randle and Russell Shepard and they could seriously be in a lurch if Shepard is ruled ineligible for the Tigers opener against Oregon. The NCAA continues to review a possible violation of housing compliance by Shepard and what the final outcome will be is cloudy. When asked at LSU media Tuesday if he would play against the Ducks September 3, Shepard answered, "It's hard to say."

What we do know is Shepard has very impressive athletic ability. On a particular pass from senior quarterback Jarrett Lee (against no defense, however) Shepard elevated extremely high into the air to snag the throw. It was a great display of his skill set and we all know Shepard's hands need to be more consistent this year. At media day, he told us he's confident they will be.

In the meantime other receivers do their best, to impress assistant coaches Billy Gonzales and Steve Kragthorpe. True freshman Jarvis Landry continues to recover from his foot injury and ran pass routes in nothing more than his jersey, shorts and helmet Wednesday morning. Landry is brought back slowly, as LSU hopes to work him into full pads soon.

Sophomore Kadron Boone was in a green jersey, but ran the drills we were allowed to watch.

True freshman Odell Beckham was praised in "The Big Cat Drill" and continues to look very fluid catching the football. This guy appears ready to make an immediate impact, as the coaching staff has indicated.

Sophomore James Wright has a frame similar to former LSU and current Kansas City Chief star Dwayne Bowe. Bowe was 6'3, 217 pounds at LSU, while Wright is listed as 6'2, 201 pounds. In no way are we saying Wright is going to have the career Bowe did at this point, but he does give the Tigers that big, physical presence lacking from players like Shepard, Fobbs, Landry and freshman Paul Turner. He could be the type of target LSU tosses fades to in the end zone. A true "jump ball" type of guy.

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