Shepard: Jefferson taking that next step

What kind of step LSU junior quarterback Jordan Jefferson takes in his second full season as the starter will go a long way toward determining how improved the Tigers will be on offense in 2010.

As the Tigers head into their next-to-last week of spring practice, the coaches have been pleased with the way Jefferson has managed the offense, his ability to spread the ball around and how much more freely he’s operating back there.

One of the guys Jefferson hopes to hook up with often next season, converted receiver Russell Shepard, said it’s no secret who’s in charge now.

“He’s a lot more vocal than he used to be and not afraid to get in somebody’s face if he has to,” said Shepard, who roomed with Jefferson on the road last season. “You’re going to see a different quarterback out there. I’m probably closer to him than anybody on the team, and I can tell you that he’s taking his game to the next level.

“This is going to be his offense.”

Shepard likes the chemistry Jefferson is establishing with all the receivers, but the two of them have worked extremely hard, especially with Shepard moving over from quarterback.

“I’ll pull him out of bed early to get started,” Shepard said. “We have great chemistry, and I owe him a lot for taking me under his wing and teaching me some things. There’s still a lot more to learn.”