LSU football is back.
The Tigers began spring practice Thursday afternoon with a series of padless drills in the indoor football facility with a key player returning from injury, a few players sitting out because of injuries, a new coach and a handful of new players.
Heralded pass rusher K'Lavon Chaisson ran through pass rush drills with a wrap around his right knee, where he suffered a season-ending torn ACL in the 2018 season opener against Miami.
New passing game coordinator Joe Brady, LSU's only offseason staff change, led the wide receivers on the field for the first time. The former Saints offensive assistant was hired in January to help the Tigers get toward a run pass option offense.
Four mid-year enrollees ran through individual drills in brand-new jersey numbers: DT Apu Ika (No. 62), TE T.K. McClendon (No. 84), CB Derek Stingley (No. 24), and DE Mike Williams (No. 39), a freshman walk-on who transferred from Texas.
McClendon ran through individual drills with the tight ends, along with sophomore Jamal Pettigrew, who missed last season with a torn ACL he suffered in the summer, and sophomore Thaddeus Moss, who missed the season with a foot injury.
Pettigrew and starting nose tackle Breiden Fehoko wore gold noncontact jerseys, and Fehoko, who missed the past five games of the 2018 season with an arm injury.
Fehoko participated fully in the defensive line drills.
Starting inside linebacker Jacob Phillips did not participate in drills. He did not wear a helmet, and he was not wearing a gold noncontact jersey.
Freshmen defensive tackles Davin Cotton and Dominic Livingston were both absent, since both entered the NCAA transfer portal last month.
Starting defensive end Rashard Lawrence stood off to the side; the Fiesta Bowl's defensive MVP will miss spring practice after undergoing surgery on his right knee.
Key players that were missing were starting cornerback Kristian Fulton, who missed the final two games of the season after undergoing surgery to repair his right ankle, and offensive guard Chasen Hines, who posted a post-surgery picture in December with what appeared to be a knee issue.
Unanimous All-American strong safety Grant Delpit wore the coveted No. 7 jersey for the first time, just hours after the athletic department announced in a video that he would given the honor.
Grant Delpit will next wear LSU's coveted No. 7 jersey.
Spring football starts Thursday for LSU with one of its sturdiest footholds in several seasons.