BATON ROUGE – LSU began its on-field preparations for the 2021 season on Friday as head coach Ed Orgeron put the Tigers through their first preseason workout at the Charles McClendon Practice Facility.
LSU opens its fifth full season under Orgeron on Saturday, Sept. 4 when they travel to face UCLA in the Rose Bowl. The Tigers open their home slate the following week against McNeese on Sept. 11.
“It was a great first day for us, everybody was fired up and ready to go,” Orgeron said. “We had a great walk-through this morning and we had a pretty tough practice this afternoon although it was only helmets. We got a lot done.
“We have to get in football shape. Summer conditioning gets you ready for camp, camp gets you ready for the season so that’s the part of camp we are going to be in for a while. It was pretty warm today, but I think in a couple days they will be used to it.”
The Tigers return 54 letterwinners and 18 starters from a year ago. Among the returnees for LSU include sophomore quarterback Max Johnson, who led the Tigers to a 2-0 mark in his first two collegiate starts. Johnson, with the injury to Myles Brennan, has since been named the starting quarterback for the Tigers.
“We miss Myles,” Orgeron said. “It (the accident) was very unfortunate. I think Max and Myles and the entire team were looking forward to the competition. It was very close; we didn’t’ know who was going to be the starting quarterback. I thought the competition would have been very good for the football team because there is competition at almost every position.”
Johnson was named SEC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in LSU’s 37-34 win over No. 6 Florida in Gainesville in what was his first start. The following week in a win over Ole Miss, Johnson threw for 435 yards and accounted for five touchdowns (3 passing, 2 rushing) in the 53-48 win over the Rebels in Tiger Stadium.
Friday’s practice also served as the LSU debut for offensive line coach Brad Davis, who was added to the staff in June. Davis, a graduate of Belaire High School and a native of Baton Rouge, inherits an offensive line that returns five starters from a year ago.
“Brad is very smart, he gets the players to believe in him and he cares about his players,” Orgeron said of Davis. “He recruited most of those guys so he has a relationship with most of them. He’s vocal, he wants to run the football and he wants to be great on the offensive line. I’m looking forward to him having a great season with the offensive line,”
The Tigers will practice again in helmets on Saturday and then add shoulder pads for Sunday’s workout. LSU is scheduled to practice in full pads for the first time on Thursday.
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