15 LSU players will not play in Spring Game

By Rachel Whittaker | LSU Reveille

For the LSU football team, the annual National L Club Spring Game is about working hard and having fun, but 15 players won't be participating.

LSU's White and Purple teams will square off Saturday at 3 p.m. in Tiger Stadium, and the game will be televised on ESPN for the second-straight year.

Senior safety Brandon Taylor, sophomore defensive end Sam Montgomery and senior linebacker Karnell Hatcher have worn green non-contact jerseys throughout spring and won't play in the game.

Senior guard Josh Dworaczyk, junior tight end Chase Clement, junior defensive end Lavar Edwards, junior defensive tackle Josh Downs and junior wide receiver Chris Tolliver have also been hampered by injuries in practice and won't participate Saturday.

Fans won't get to see true freshman running back Kenny Hilliard or sophomore running back Michael Ford in action, either. They and sophomore fullback J.C. Copeland are out, along with senior linebacker Stefoin Francois.

"We're a little nicked right now, certainly at the back end of the spring," said LSU coach Les Miles. "The ones that are there have really paid the price and improved. Sam Montgomery really could have played some this spring, but why would you? Just let him have another strong summer and be ready to play in the fall."

Seniors Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee and sophomore transfer Zach Mettenberger will play at quarterback on both the White and Purple teams. Miles didn't elaborate on how many snaps each quarterback will get Saturday.

"In the back half of the spring, Lee and Mettenberger have continued to press," Miles said. "Zach is certainly improving in the knowledge of his play, and his throws are really good. ... I feel the same way about Lee. Jefferson is a more complete quarterback. There's still a piece of the offense that he understands intuitively."

Sophomore running back Spencer Ware will play on the White team, and sophomore Alfred Blue will suit up at running back for the Purple squad. Redshirt freshman running back Jakhari Gore will get snaps on both teams.

Gore played at wide receiver initially before being utilized at running back as spring progressed, and Miles said he likes what he sees from the 5-foot-9, 175-pound Gore.

"We're excited about Gore," Miles said. "He's low to the ground, has great vision and makes you miss. I like to have a little change of speed. He gets up in there and finds a way to get out."

Senior tight end Mitch Joseph is playing in his final spring game, and he said he plans to enjoy the day while playing smart football.

"This whole spring our coaches have been hard on us, and we've been working on fine-tuning little things," Joseph said. "At the same time, I'm going to have fun in my last spring game and hopefully put on a good show for everybody that comes."

Junior center P.J. Lonergan said his goals for the game are to show the offensive line is fundamentally sound, mainly with no penalties.

"I want to play perfect Saturday," Lonergan said. "I don't want to see any offsides and no holding penalties. That's the No. 1 thing I'd like."

LSU will run plays in normal game time in the first half Saturday and use a running clock in the second half.

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