BATON ROUGE — The LSU football team donned shoulder pads for the first time this pre-season at practice Wednesday morning and faced heat in the mid-90s for the first time as well after some unseasonably less hot temperatures.

“It was good. It made for a very competitive morning with the veterans,” LSU coach Les Miles said. “It was hard. We’re sloppy. We’re not there. It’s early in camp. But frankly, I like what’s going on. It was a hard day. These days are supposed to be hard.”

Three days of practices split between veterans and freshmen are in. Two more split workouts will be held today before the first full squad workout on Friday morning. That practice will also be the first in full pads.

INJURY REPORT: Senior defensive tackle Charles Alexander sat out Wednesday morning’s practice, but Miles was not concerned.

“It’s a soft tissue thing,” Miles said. “And it’s going to be eliminated as we get closer to the fall.”

Alexander missed most of the 2007 season with an anterior cruciate ligament knee injury that required surgery. Starting center Brett Helms also did not practice because of a calf strain and will likely not work today.

“We want to make sure we rest him,” Miles said. “It’s not something you can fix in any other way but rest him. It’s not a terribly time consuming issue, but we want him to be fresh when we go to hitting.”

LSU will hold its first light scrimmage on Tuesday.

Shreveport Times