BATON ROUGE -- Standing on the LSU practice fields in 86 degree heat on March 15, it's painful to think what's coming for LSU.
It's not even officially spring, and temperatures are soaring for the Tigers. To make matters worse, LSU's spring game at the end of the month is slated for 12:30 p.m. Doesn't sound fun.
Despite that, the Tigers were back out in full pads on Thursday afternoon. Here are some observations from the eighth practice of the spring.
Missing in action: Several members of the squad were missing from practice after what looked like full participation on Tuesday. Defensive end Chancey Aghayere was absent, which became abundantly clear when the team broke off to work through individual drills. Joining him on the list of absentees was defensive tackle Josh Downs, who has been the Tigers' unofficial starter through the first half of the spring. It's unclear where the pair were, and LSU coach Les Miles isn't scheduled to speak to the media for the rest of the week.
Michael Ford was at practice, but was once again the lone man (aside from the quarterbacks) in a green no-contact jersey.
Drills: Thursday seemed to lag behind other LSU practices this spring, perhaps because of the heat. Relative to other practices, not a whole lot happened.
As previously noted, the team went through its Big Cat Drill. Perhaps the biggest item of note in that regard was a dustup between Paul Turner and Lamar Louis. It's pretty typical for players to scuffle a little bit after a drill, but Turner actually got into it with junior safety Eric Reid, who wasn't even participating. Turner and Reid jawed for a solid five to 10 seconds before the coaches told them to knock it off. But Reid continued to size up the freshman receiver.
When they split into groups, the defensive backs worked on footwork -- a hallmark of Corey Raymond's brief tenure. The linebackers (along with the offensive line) continue to be one of the only groups that is doing live hitting. They continued their live action Oklahoma drill.
The defensive line switched it up a bit and worked as individuals more than as a full line. They took turns charging around a blocker and using various moves to get past -- simulating a defensive end rushing around a blocking tackle. Johnson and Ego Ferguson excelled particularly.
Offensively, the quarterbacks looked a little sloppy for one of the first times this spring. While trying to run posts and flags, all three QB's tossed a healthy number of overthrows and lame ducks. The crispness that has marked the receivers and quarterbacks just didn't seem to be there today.
Visitors: Two more visitors showed up at practice on Thursday -- one old and one new. Former defensive tackle Drake Nevis was on hand to watch the defensive line go through its workout. The current Indianapolis Colt is coming off an injury in his rookie season and is working out at the team facility.
LSU 2012 recruit Deion Jones, one of the Tigers' several incoming linebackers, was also on hand to witness practice, and see what awaits him when he enrolls.