Spring football is officially in the books and the immediate next steps are getting everybody on campus in the summer while continuing to add the nuances to the offense and defense before fall camp.
It will likely be an extremely competitive fall camp with many positions, particularly on offense, up for grabs. The spring will play a factor into the decision making process but the real grading and intel will be how each player performs in the weeks before the 2021 season.
For the players, they've had something that wasn't the case in 2020 when everyone was sent home, time. Time to continue building rapport with one another off the field and time to put in extra, voluntary work with one another to get timing right, building that on field chemistry.
It's one of the most important periods of the year for this program as what these players do over the next several months will be telling in how they return for fall camp. For example, the extra work put in between Joe Burrow and the receivers during the 2019 offseason, meeting on Saturdays to run routes, ultimately made the offense a well oiled machine by the time week one of the season rolled around.
That's the kind of energy and mindset that this offense and defense, with so many pieces up in the air, need to approach the summer with.
"Right now this is just our foundation and we can still build our foundation stronger and stronger until fall camp comes and that's when you see the structure start to build," offensive lineman Austin Deculus said. "To continue on team comaraderie and just being able to work hard. Just being able to work hard. We went through Fourth Quarter together, went through the spring practices, 15 great days and just being able to build more onto that.
"Last year for COVID, we didn't have this whole spring, we had one padded practice and they sent us home. I believe all of this time we've had leading up to this next summer is going to be tremendous and a big help for this team. What we're gonna focus on is just to continue the hard work and everything we're doing right."
For linebacker Damone Clark, the biggest goal for this team will be simply sticking together. As Deculus alluded to, this team wasn't able to build that team camaraderie in an unprecedented season where many of its expected veteran players wound up opting out for the 2020 season.
"The biggest thing we need to do as a team is just stay together. This is as close as our team has ever been and we're just having fun just being around each other," Clark said. "We stay together, nobody can mess with us and I truly believe that. As long as we're one team, one heartbeat, nobody can mess with us."
For the coaching staff, on campus recruiting visits and drawing up new schemes will take up most of the time this summer. LSU has already scheduled visits with a number of the top 2022 prospects this summer and many of the in state prospects will make unofficial visits as well.
It'll be a critical next few months for the program of team building for next season and the future.