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BATON ROUGE – LSU coach Brian Kelly and the Tigers officially opened preseason practice here Thursday afternoon with a shorts and helmets workout indoors at the Charles McClendon Practice Facility.

Kelly and his staff welcomed 110 players to the practice field as the Tigers began their preparations for the season-opener against Florida State. LSU opens its first season under Kelly on Sunday, Sept. 4 against the Seminoles in the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans.

Thursday’s workout was the first of two for the Tigers scheduled indoors. LSU will remain inside for practice on Friday followed by its first outdoor session on Saturday morning when the team will workout in helmets and shoulder pads. LSU’s first workout in full pads will come on Tuesday.

Today’s session was about getting the players back into the structure of practice and understanding the expectations when on the field.

“I was really proud of the way they were focused on what we asked them to do,” Kelly said. “It’s understanding the technical and tactical aspects of practice. That’s what we are trying to do. We are trying to lay down the programming so when we get to Florida State, just press play and go play fast. They did a nice job today.

“They tenets of what we want in practice - running out and doing it the right way, not having guys on the ground, not being sloppy – was really good for me. We’ve come a long way since the spring so it’s good to see that retention and feeling good about how to practice the right way.”

Thursday also marked the return of preseason All-America wide receiver Kayshon Boutte, who missed most of last season and the entire spring with a lower leg injury. It was Boutte’s first practice session since Kelly took over as head coach.

“This was my first glimpse at him and he’s an explosive player,” Kelly said. “He’s learning how to practice. Today he was a guy that I had to remind a little about how to practice the right way. He’s so committed, he’s worked so hard. I’m excited for him. I just like the fact that he’s totally committed to what we are doing and how we are doing it.”

A year ago, Boutte was among the nation’s leading receivers when he suffered his season-ending injury against Kentucky. In just over five games in 2021, Boutte caught 38 passes for 509 yards and nine touchdowns.

Friday’s workout is scheduled for 4 p.m. and will be held in the Charles McClendon Indoor Practice Facility.

Photo credit Josh Auzenne

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