- David Helman, Reporter, RecruitingNation
In a lot of ways, the afternoon session of LSU's first day of practice was more intriguing than the morning.
None of the Tigers' playmakers were on display in the indoor practice session Thursday afternoon. All of the All-America candidates and key cogs for 2012 wrapped up their day during the morning. But the players who took the field for the later practice were the great unknown.
The vast majority of LSU's incoming recruiting class was working in this second session -- including 2012's top signee, Kwon Alexander. And of course, all eyes were trained on the most noteworthy offseason addition, Penn State transfer Rob Bolden, who worked out with freshman quarterback Jerrard Randall.
QB watch: Bolden looked good in his first practice as a Tiger, although the junior's reps were decidedly more scaled back than the morning workouts. Bolden and Randall mostly took turns in a pass skeleton, throwing balls to second-string and freshman receivers. The former Nittany Lion definitely showed the arm strength of a FBS quarterback, although he wasn't given much opportunity to showcase his accuracy.
More than anything, Bolden walked through a lot of the aspects of the Tigers' playbook. He worked with quarterbacks coach Steve Kragthorpe on the design and progressions of LSU's plays -- which is understandable. Lost in the excitement of a last-minute quarterback transfer is the fact that Bolden has been in Baton Rouge for less than a day. He'll be picking up the offense on the fly, and it will probably show in practice.
Young guns: With the next generation of LSU talent on display, it's easy to get caught up and overexcited about players who have yet to play a college game.
Patience is prudent, but it's hard not to be amazed at the potential of 2012 signee Danielle Hunter, who took the field for the first time in the afternoon practice. Les Miles gave reporters an advance warning about the Katy, Texas, defensive end Wednesday afternoon, when he singled Hunter out by name. Hunter certainly lived up to that praise in workouts. At 6-foot-5, 235 pounds, Hunter looks like an SEC defensive lineman right now.
I asked junior defensive end Barkevious Mingo, a fellow 6-foot-5 monster, about Hunter's similarity in size earlier Thursday afternoon.
"He's definitely bigger than I was when I got here," Mingo said.
It remains to be seen if Hunter plays as well as he looks. But the early signs are encouraging.
Elsewhere, LSU's incoming crop of freshman defensive backs earned plenty of praise of their own. In limited workouts with secondary coach Corey Raymond, reporters received a first look at safeties Corey Thompson and Jerqwinick Sandolph and cornerback Dwayne Thomas. All three have been considered as candidates for early playing time, and their comfort level on the field did nothing to dispel that notion.
Although he's an early enrollee and not quite a newcomer, running back Jeremy Hill is worth mentioning for his sheer size. The freshman is listed at 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, and might be the Tigers' strongest overall back alongside Alfred Blue. Sophomore Terrence Magee held down the fort with Hill at running back and didn't seem hampered by the injury that limited him during the spring.