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Spring practice report: Day 13

3/27/2012
Tyrann Mathieu excelled in a new drill for the defense during Tuesday's spring practice. Chris Graythen/Getty Images

BATON ROUGE -- LSU's final week of spring practice started Tuesday afternoon, and once again it felt like an early preview of the Tigers' August camps. Temperatures climbed into the 90's as LSU went through its final Tuesday practice ahead of Saturday's spring game. The team will go through one final workout Thursday ahead of the game.

Here's a rundown of some of the usual tidbits from practice, as well as a few new sightings.

Back on the grind: A few of the guys that missed Thursday's sparsely populated practice were back on the field Tuesday and going about their usual routine. Michael Ford returned to drills, albeit in his typical green no-contact jersey. Tyrann Mathieu was also back in attendance and leading the defensive secondary through its paces. After making way for Elliott Porter for an afternoon, center P.J. Lonergan also returned to the fold after taking Thursday off.

There were still some notable absences, however. Craig Loston was missing for the second straight day, and he was once again replaced by Ronald Martin. Tahj Jones was once again absent. Ronnie Feist would be truly impressive if he snagged starting time as a true freshman, but the early enrollee is definitely making the most of his extra spring. Feist scrapped with Kenny Hilliard once again in Tuesday's Big Cat Drill and caught several looks at Jones' outside spot.

Terrence Magee also missed Tuesday, as did consistent absentee Chancey Aghayere.

The gauntlet: Tuesday stood out from the past few practices thanks to a fantastically fun show put on by defensive coordinator John Chavis.

Chavis took the defense through a new drill the media had never seen before. For lack of a better term, let's it the gauntlet. Each member of the defense took turn charging through three blockers to reach a tackling dummy about 15 yards down the field. The point was to simulate the effort of fighting off blockers to get to a ball carrier.

It sounds exciting enough on its own, but factor in the fact that Chavis and all of his veterans were going absolutely ballistic on the sideline, and it definitely got pretty heated. Safety Micah Eugene absolutely obliterated all of his blockers on his way to the dummy, as did Mathieu (who lost his helmet in the process). Jalen Collins fought off two guys at once to get to his target. And while it might be spring, the contact and the effort put in were excitingly real-deal. It was probably one of the highlights of the entire spring.

Visitors: Kelvin Sheppard and Lazarius Levingston were two more of the dozen or so LSU alums in the NFL to stop by the facility during spring ball. The difference between this pair and others was that Sheppard and Levingston were actually training. While the Tigers got into practice, they wandered away to a separate part of the facility to work with tackling sleds and dummies.

Devin Price, a 2013 safety prospect from Ruston High School, was also visiting practice. Price said he didn't hold an offer from LSU, but he was in town to check out the proceedings.