Tigers back outside for Friday practice
Stephen Peterman held out again (LSU/Steve Franz)
Stephen Peterman held out again (LSU/Steve Franz)

Posted Aug 16, 2002


LSU tight ends coach Derek Dooley sang the title verse of John Denver's "Sunshine on My Shoulders" between periods of the Tigers' Friday morning practice.

His crooning gave evidence that 1) he has a promising career - as a football coach, and 2) the team conducted its practice in the warmest conditions yet in fall camp.

The media was allowed to watch only the opening 45 minutes of Friday morning's practice, the first of the day's two sessions in advance of Saturday's scrimmage.

The injury list for the Tigers remained unchanged from Thursday. All of the affected players are expected to be held out of the scrimmage withe possible exception of offensive guard Stephen Peterman, who missed a second straight day to recover from a concussion.

Defensive back Keron Gordon was on the sidelines but not wearing a brace on the knee his twisted in yesterday's practice held in the indoor facility because of heavy rains. The injury has been diagnosed as a mild MCL sprain.

Damien James continues his rehabilitation from a slight shoulder separation and may be available for next week. He will be watched to see that the same injury doesn't occur again, which would indicate he would need surgery to repair the joint.

Kenderick Allen was jogging and conditioning on the practice fields wearing a soft brace on his left knee. He is optimistic that he will be able to take part in the latter portion of two-a-days, on a limited basis, and may be able to play again sometime in September. Allen is the subject of an upcoming cover story in Tiger Rag magazine.

Other players on the mend include walk-on fullbacks Jacob Guidry (ankle) and Kevin Steltz (unspecified).

The defense continued its emphasis on stopping the run. No doubt this is geared toward Virginia Tech's probable offensive approach and will aid the Tigers throughout the season. Torran Williams is stepping up and making his presence known, and Bull Hurley WILL be a factor this year. Of course, they will support Chad Lavalais, perhaps the best player on the Tiger D-line.

At this point, the offense can be considered slightly ahead of the defense in terms of progress in fall camp. It's an interesting reversal from spring practice and a direct result of Mauck working extensively with the skill players over the summer.

The concern on defense is development of depth. More bodies are needed at linebacker, and the backups on the line and in the secondary are inexperienced.  

At linebacker, Jason LeDoux may turn into a multi-use player with primary concentration at Will linebacker. He has good company at the position in Lionel Turner. Freshmen Willie Demps still has a way to go before becoming a contributor here.

Head coach Nick Saban was wrapping up his practice when LSU Chancellor Mark Emmert announced the release of the final report on allegations of academic improprieties involving student-athletes. Unnamed football players were mentioned in the five NCAA violations LSU is admitting to.

Saban issued a statement on the report late Friday afternoon.

“Everybody at this institution, from the Chancellor to the Athletic Director, has done all that they can do to improve the Academic Center for Student-Athletes," said Saban. "We’re trying to have the best academic support program in the country. We’ve hired the best director in Roger Grooters and we’re building a $14 million academic support facility.

"I feel very good about what we’ve done to improve the academic support for student-athletes and I’m pleased with how we have handled this entire self-reporting of academic allegations. We are all very much committed to the very highest principles and values in our program, especially when it relates to academic integrity.”

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