Early Fall Camp Q&A's

Running back Kenny Hilliard, offensive lineman La'El Collins and wide receiver Odell Beckham, all juniors, weigh in with their opinions on topics ranging from Jeremy Hill to how the new offense looks under Cam Cameron.

Here are three Q&A's from LSU players following the opening day of Fall Camp 2013. TSD's Eric Oslund, along with assorted members of the media, combined to asked the following questions.

Kenny Hilliard Q&A

Over all thoughts on getting back out there today?
It's great to be back, we are going to throw the ball this year. Zach is becoming a great leader for the offense, I mean we just have to go out and be ready to play.

How do you see your role this year, being a veteran player?
I think my role is the same, anything they want me to do, fullback, halfback; I'm willing to do anything for the team, so my role is going to be the same.

Talk about your year last year.
I had a bad game against Towson with the two fumbles, and I guess they kind of held me accountable for that, but this year I am trying to limit the number of fumbles, and just mentally prepare, and be mentally focused and just play my game and go out there and have fun.

You seem to be in great shape. What did you do in the offseason?
I just laid off the fast food. The nutritionist really helped me out this summer, coming in the weight room and seeing what I was eating, and checking on my weight. I'm just staying lean and at the weight they want me to play at, which is 230.

Can you describe the difference in what Cam has implemented this year?
Well we have to be prepared for TCU, I mean they are a fast paced team, and we are trying to add a fast pace to our offense too. I mean just looking at him standing in the film room, listening to him in the meetings, and just coming out here and being mentally focused and then playing and trying to win games.

What has practice been like without Jeremy Hill?
I mean it's hard not having him, but we know he has some issues off the field so we are just going to try and get better. And once he gets here it's going to be welcome back and then get going. I know he's itching to get back and I have been telling him to keep his head up, I know things are hard for him right now, and once he gets back he will just come back and be part of the Tigers.

What have you seen out of Alfred?
He is a great leader, a senior, and I'm still learning from him and he is still getting on my tail sometimes. His role as a running back is to stay on us and be our brother since he is the senior in our group.

How's he look recovering from his injury?
He looks better from the injury. I could tell from the spring, he wasn't getting contact, but he was looking good running the ball. I feel like this year might be a great year for him, and he is going to have fun playing his game.

Jeryl Brazil, how'd he look?
Right now they have him playing DB, he came over today for a couple plays, and he is a fast kid. I think he is willing to play any position they put him in, so I guess we will have him at punt return and running a lot of speeds, and whatever he can contribute to the team I think.

Have you been briefed on Jeremy's situation from court this morning?
I haven't heard, I mean whatever happens happens I guess, but whenever he comes back we will welcome him, we love him as a brother, and can't wait for him to get back.

What do you think after talking to him over the summer?
I feel like it was a stupid mistake, and everybody makes mistakes. I guess he is going to learn from this and don't think it will happen again.

If he stays close to his family they will lead him the right way. You know, I'm a brother and I'm going to lead him he right way too. I am going to do what I can to help him, and anybody. Staying out of trouble, that's what he needs to do, and we all need to do that. And not go to bars.

He said he's been around the wrong crowd. Did you notice that?
I mean you do have those players on the team that are rowdy and can kind of mislead you, and that's why you have to examine people. Examine the room, examine the players, and see who is like your type. I feel like I have been with him through the whole recruiting process, he was like a brother to me, and me and him have been talking on the phone since that game we played on ESPN, and I think he got in with the wrong group of people who miss lead him to do that. I know he learned from his mistake and that would never happen again. And we will welcome him back because coach and I love him.

Have you watched any Ravens tape?
No sir, we haven't watched any yet, but I'm sure Cam is going to play those highlights this camp. I haven't seen any, I mean I have seen some plays on Youtube of Ray Rice, I mean he has made some great plays, so I have been looking on Youtube and checking everything out. I mean he has been successful.

Are you excited about what you guys get to do?
I am definitely excited, we have been coming out in the spread and have been throwing the ball. We have been trying to open everything up. The last couple years people have been stacking the box on us, and we have been trying to open that up.

I feel like this offense we have now, it will take time, we are still learning, we have to take everything as a learning process and come out and listen to coach Cameron, and come out and execute the plays and you will be all right. I feel like everyone is going to be smarter in the game, the offense is easy to pick up, so everyone just has to do their part.

What is the biggest adjustment for the running backs in the new offense?
Nothing really, I mean it is pretty self-explanatory. Everything is planned for us, so you just have to come out and do what you have got to do.

A new look on the O-Line, what have they been able to do?
For the offense of line I feel like everybody needs to know each position incase someone goes down, but everybody has his own role. They looked very well today; they got tired towards the end of practice because of the heat, but that all has to do with getting back into shape. I feel like those guys are all ready to get out there this year and make a big difference towards our offense.

Has coach Miles talked to you about experimenting with you at a different position?
No, my role is still going to be the same. Whatever it takes for me to contribute to the team, that is what I'm going to do.

Freshman Desean Smith was out there catching some balls. How'd he look?
Oh man he looked great; he looked like a receiver. He has great hands and he is going to contribute a lot to this team. Trust me, y'all are going to be seeing him a lot; he is a great athlete as a freshman.


La'El Collins Q&A

You're a veteran guy and they expect you to be a leader. What's your mindset like?
It's a big role to play, but being here for three years I kind of know what to expect. You want more out of the young guys and you just try to keep what they do here going, and set a good example by going out and working hard every day.

What is the change now with Cam Cameron coming in?
As far as game planning, you can't really tell if you are going to throw the ball more or run the ball more, it depends when you get in game situations and what is working better. If the pass is there you are going to pass it, if the run is there you are going to run it. I mean no good coach is going to come in and say we are going to run the ball 50/50, its all about what their giving you.

If Hill gets reinstated would you guys welcome him back?
Oh yeah, he is a brother to us; he is a brother to the team. Everybody makes mistakes and I hope he comes back.

What kind of guy is Hill?
He is a great kid, he is a great friend, he works hard, and for me personally, I went to high school with him, and he is just a good kid. I love being around him and he kind of helped me get to where I am today.

What did you think of his video?
I just felt like that could happen to anybody. That could have been anybody on the team. I mean everybody makes mistakes and you live and learn from them.

Are you fitting in on the left side of the offensive line?
Oh yeah, the transition is great. I have great coaches around me, I have great teammates around me that help support me, and I'm supporting them. That's what you do on a team you support one another.

What's important to you at that position?
The importance is really just with urgency. You are dealing with faster/quicker guys, the errors are smaller, so just being alert and being ready for anything they throw at you, any stunts off the edge, just have to keep your eyes up and be ready.

What's Miles' view on staying out of trouble?
He emphasizes that every time you see him, and its not just coach Miles' standard its every coach on our coaching staff.

Do you think Jeremy has paid a big price already?
Oh yeah, from a mental stand point, what he went through, I feel like he has grown up from it and ready to move on.

What have you seen from Blue on his way back from injury?
I have seen the same old Blue: hard-noised, fast, gritty, strong mind, he's just coming out and ready to go.

Has Zach grown up a little?
Oh yeah, he is doing all the little things right, he had a great first day, and I think he's going to be a great player.

He is known as a goofball, has he toned that down?
Yeah he is showing more leadership, but that comes with time and maturity. I feel like everybody around has grown up, and that's a good thing.


Odell Beckham Jr. Q&A

Is Cam installing a faster paced offense?
It is a faster paced, we aren't exactly used to it now, but I think it will help us in the future.

Is there more of a passing philosophy?
A little more of a passing philosophy, a lot of down field, a lot of things that are new that we have to keep working on.

Is everyone a target?
Exactly. Anybody can be open on any given play. There's no this is the first read, this is the second read, its kind of anybody can do it. It's a lot more on the receivers. We have to be in the right place at the right time and he (Mettenberg) will make the read and whoever is open is open, make the throw, and move onto the next play.

Is the offense as predictable as it was last year?
Its definitely not. Its going to be something that's hard for defenses to pick up on. Its going to take a lot of film work and a lot of studying for them to finally recognize and see what we are doing.

Why is that?
There are a lot of receivers out there running a lot of different combinations which, for DB's, its hard. If you are watching film and see they are only running a go route in this formation then it is a lot easier to pick up what we are doing.

You are very versatile, what do you see your role being?
I am looking forward to punt returning this year, our punt returning team is going to be something special this year. We could break the record this year, its one of our goals and something we are working on.

DeSeasn is a true freshman out there catching balls? What are your thoughts on him?
He's definitely good; he is more of a receiving type tight end. I think he will be able to help out a lot and be able to create some good matchups against linebackers.

If Jeremy Hill is reinstated would that be a big boost to the team?
Well its all coach Miles' decision and if he returns great, that's a brother of ours and we would love to have our teammate, but we have to wait and see what happens.

Has everybody kind of matured this year?
Yeah, its something that has allowed us to step into our roles a little better and we need to just embrace that, which I feel we have done a pretty good job at.

Talk about your offseason.
Well it was an on/off season for us; I was at home for the most part training and really worked on focus. Focusing is a big thing for me, just catching the top end of the routes, and as far as the other receivers go I know they have been working very hard, and I am expecting great things this season.

Talk about the message coach Miles has given you about off the field issues.
It's the same thing he says on the field, just being accountable and holding yourself to a higher standard. Its something we all have to work on and it could have happened to anybody.

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