BATON ROUGE – LSU welcomed 103 players to campus on Wednesday as the Tigers are set to open their eighth training camp under head coach Les Miles on Thursday.
Wednesday served as reporting day for the Tigers as the players went through a series of organizational, academic and team meetings in preparation for the first day of practice on Thursday morning. LSU players were also fitted for equipment as well as undergoing physicals and other screenings with the medical staff.
“This is a great time of year and it’s always fun to see these guys report back to campus as we get ready for another season,” Miles said. “I look forward to coaching this team and watching the leaders on our team have an impact and lead the younger guys.
“Most of our team has been around here all summer and we are in pretty good shape both physically and academically. I thought we really used the summer to our benefit. We got a lot accomplished in the classroom and in the weight room with our strength and conditioning program. As a team, we are leaner and stronger. I can’t wait to see us practice. It’s one month from today we play a game, and I look forward to that and I think our team does as well.”
Miles also announced that junior defensive tackle Bennie Logan will wear No. 18 this year, taking over for safety Brandon Taylor, who wore that number a year ago. Beginning with quarterback Matt Mauck over 10 years ago, the No. 18 has been issued to a player who best represents what it means to be an LSU Tiger both on and off the field. Other players who have worn No. 18 include Jacob Hester, Richard Murphy, and Richard Dickson.
“Bennie is a guy that’s worked hard through this program, really defined himself by effort and energy and want, and constantly done things the right way,” Miles said. “He improved annually and daily. Now he wears No. 18, and that’s a tremendous compliment to him and what he’s accomplished thus far.”
Miles said that two players – offensive lineman Fehoko Faniaka and wide receiver Avery Johnson - did not report on Wednesday as they are waiting to get cleared academically. Fanaika has finished his junior college requirements and is waiting for a grade to be reported, while Johnson is waiting on a test score.
In addition, Miles announced the addition of two transfer quarterbacks in Rob Bolden from Penn State and Brad Kragthorpe from Idaho State. Brad Kragthorpe is the son of LSU quarterbacks coach Steve Kragthorpe.
LSU will have split squad practices for the first three days with the varsity going in the morning followed by the freshmen/newcomers and selected veterans in the afternoon. LSU will hold its first full squad workout on Sunday morning with its first day in full pads coming on Monday.
LSU opens the 2012 season on Sept. 1 at 6 p.m. against North Texas in Tiger Stadium.