LSU football kicked off the spring with practice and a coach Ed Orgeron press conference on Thursday as the Tigers look to continue their upward trajectory through college football.
LSU finished the 2018-19 season 10-3 with a Fiesta Bowl win over UCF.
"I think we're much further ahead than we've ever been," Orgeron said. "Credit to our coaches and the endless hours of preparation starting since we got back in January. We're going to hit the ground running today.
"Our coaches are a lot further ahead than they were last spring."
Fulton, Phillips, Lawrence will not participate all spring
Cornerback Kristian Fulton, linebacker Jacob Phillips and defensive lineman Rashard Lawrence will both sit out all spring practice as they rehab from injury.
Fulton injured his ankle in LSU's 24-17 win over Arkansas and missed the last few games of the season.
Phillips did not practice on Thursday.
“He’s not going to have any contact," Orgeron said. "He didn’t have a helmet on today. He can run around, but he won’t be ready to go until August.”
The Advocate announced last month that Lawrence would not be participating this spring due to a knee injury. He will miss most, if not all, of spring practice.
Orgeron said that freshman nose tackle Apu Ika and freshman cornerback Derek Stingley both stood out in the first practice. Stingley, along with sophomore Kelvin Joseph, stood in for Fulton, while Ika worked with a thin defensive line.
Stingley also returned punts during practice.
Chaisson, Fehoko return from injury
Edge rusher K'Lavon Chaisson is returning to the field. Chaisson tore his ACL in LSU's win over Miami in week one, but he is back bringing the consistency and energy in the pass rush for the Tigers this spring.
Orgeron said he's looked good so far, but they are going to keep him out of contact all spring.
Fehoko missed the last few games of the 2018-19 season with an arm injury. He was at practice, but was wearing a gold non-contact jersey. Orgeron said he will practice this spring.
New offensive direction
Senior quarterback Joe Burrow is spending his first spring with the Tigers after transferring from Ohio State last summer. Orgeron said that had made a world of difference in terms of preparation and chemistry with the receivers.
Orgeron pointed out sophomore recievers Ja'Marr Chase and Terrace Marshall as players having good days as well as working Stephan Sullivan at tight end.
Add new passing game coordinator Joe Brady to the mix, and Orgeron was pleased with the work on day one.
"This is a new offense from last year," Orgeron said. "You're going to see it. We spread the ball around with different formations and I thought they did a really good job.
"I really like the direction of our offense. We spread the ball around, throw the ball to receivers. Getting the ball to our receivers to make plays."