LSU has eventful opening week of practice

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com

Fall practice officially started for LSU last week and though it was only the first week, things were quite eventful for the Tigers.

Unfortunately, not everything that happened was positive.

To end the week, the Tigers ended up losing one of their starters for the year when it was determined that starting junior defensive tackle Quentin Thomas tore his biceps muscle.

The loss is a huge blow to an LSU defense that was expected to show dramatic improvement from last year.

Many were expecting Thomas to emerge and have a breakout season. However, now with his season ended, the Tigers' depth at defensive tackle really becomes an issue.

Anthony Johnson and Ego Ferguson--their two starting defensive tackles from last year--both left early for the NFL Draft. After Thomas' injury, the Tigers are now down their top three defensive tackles from last season's roster.

But there was better news for LSU.

Junior defensive back Jalen Mills was finally reinstated after serving an indefinite suspension that lingered throughout the summer.

The banishment from all team activities was due to an arrest for allegedly hitting a woman back in May.

Last week, the East Baton Rouge parish district attorney announced that Mills would be charged with only misdemeanor battery and not the felony second-degree charges that were originally discussed.

After this was announced, head coach Les Miles welcomed back Mills. Miles can still decide to keep him sidelined for game action as further punishment.

The Tigers may be thin on the defensive line with the loss of Thomas but with the reinstatement of Mills, LSU becomes very deep in the secondary.

Mills had three interceptions last year as he split time at safety and cornerback.

He'll help lead a Tiger secondary group that should see vast improvements from last year with players like Tre'Davious White, Rashard Robinson, Dwayne Thomas, Ricky Jefferson and freshman standouts Jamal Adams and Ed Paris.

Finally, Miles and the rest of the coaching staff presented the vaunted No. 18 jersey to senior running back Terrence Magee.

This jersey is given out annually to the player that best exemplifies how a LSU football player should conduct himself on and off of the field.

Former quarterback Matt Mauk began the tradition back in 2004 when he passed his jersey along after helping lead the Tigers to the national championship.

Since then, guys like Jacob Hester, Brandon Taylor, Bennie Logan and most recently, Lamin Barrow have all donned the number.

Magee is fresh off of a breakout year where he ran for 614 yards and eight touchdowns as a junior.

He'll help make up a star-studded Tiger backfield this season that includes fellow senior Kenny Hillard and the nation's top freshman Leonard Fournette.