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Accelerometers give LSU football a look inside the impact of practice

04/04/2014
Since August, a routine has unfolded behind the scenes after every LSU football practice.
It all starts with a 3-inch long purple device stuck to a player’s helmet.
A team staff member removes the device, retrieves data from it from that day’s practice and inputs the numbers into a steadily growing spreadsheet.

How many hits, in G-force, did left tackle La’el Collins sustain in Thursday’s practice?

The data can tell you.

“We’re looking at who’s taking the brunt of the blows,” said Jack Marucci, LSU’s director of athletic training.

LSU is using accelerometers to measure the force of collisions during football practice, breaking in a somewhat new technology amid the recent wave of head-related issues in the game.

Marucci has headed the eight-month experiment, a pilot program for the Maryland-based company Brain Sentry. It’s on its last leg: Data will be compiled after spring practice.Marucci’s goals: discover what positions are more prone to head trauma and send that data to the NCAA to assist in policy-making.

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