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LSU's Russell Shepard
Photo by:Steve Franz, LSU Athletics Staff Photographer
Football's Spring Practice Winding Down
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Published: March 23, 2010, 12:00 AM (CT)
Updated: March 24, 2010, 09:26 AM (CT)
by Michael Bonnette (@LSUBonnette), Sr. Assoc. Athletic Director/SID

BATON ROUGE -- With just two practices left during spring training, LSU coach Les Miles said on Tuesday that he likes the progress his team has made thus far and that he's looking forward to watching the Tigers in Saturday's National L Club Spring Game.

Kickoff for Saturday's spring game is set for 3 p.m. in Tiger Stadium. Fans can go to www.LSUtix.net to get free admission coupons to the game. The game will be televised nationally for the first time in school history as ESPN will air the contest.

"I think our football team is improving, and I like how they come to work," Miles said following Tuesday's workout. "They have made strides in every practice. I think everybody right now is looking forward to the spring game. I think our players are all looking forward to playing and playing big in this (spring) game.

"I encourage (our fans) to come out. It will be a great time for the state of Louisiana to fill our stadium and to have a good time watching LSU football in the spring of the year. We are going to make sure that we have a competitive, entertaining game and one that our fans will enjoy."

Miles said the Tiger coaching staff will split the teams up on Wednesday and then use Thursday's practice as an opportunity to prepare the teams for Saturday's game.

"We are going to finalize the teams tomorrow (Wednesday)," Miles said. "I know that the players all want to know what team they are one and who is the quarterback for this team and that team. I'm excited and I know the players are excited about getting back into Tiger Stadium in front of our fans for the spring game."

But before the Tigers turned their attention to the spring game, LSU used a portion of Tuesday's practice to scrimmage as the squad went 12 "live" snaps to cap the workout. Miles singled out the play of redshirt freshman running back Michael Ford and sophomore receivers Russell Shepard and Rueben Randle for their play during the brief scrimmage.

"Out of guys who made big plays today, Michael Ford made a nice run," Miles said. "Russell Shepard had a couple of big catches. I think Rueben Randle had a couple of big catches. It was a nice practice today."

Miles said he continues to be impressed with LSU's receiving corps and that Shepard continues to make progress as he transitions to the position from quarterback.

"You look at our receiving corps, and Terrence Toliver is obviously the veteran there, but Chris Tolliver, Rueben Randle and Russell Shepard are all really coming," Miles said. "I think they are making some young receiver mistakes, but today, they improved, made some big plays, ran great routes and again, took a step toward maturing and being a good receiving crew. Russell Shepard is going to be a heck of a player."

Miles also complimented the play of quarterbacks Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee, saying that both players have improved during the spring.

"I think Jarrett Lee has had a really good spring, and I think how he runs the team and how he handles the mechanics at quarterback are much better ," Miles said. "I think Jordan understands the reads much more. He's throwing the ball better. The things he certainly would like to be best at are to be a little bit more consistent and more accurate, but again, he's improved."

The Tigers will take Wednesday off from practice before holding their final practice of the spring on Thursday afternoon. LSU wraps up their sixth spring under Miles on Saturday in Tiger Stadium with the spring game.

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