Miles meets with media on eve of signing day

LSU coach Les Miles met with the media in a special press luncheon at Walk-On's Bistreaux & Bar Tuesday.

Miles, who is one day away from reeling in his first signing class as the Tigers' head coach, seemed very optimistic about his first month on the job. Much more collected than at his obviously nerve racking initial press conference, Miles flashed some quick wit as he addressed a select group of the media on a variety of issues.


Also present was gymnastics coach D-D Breaux, whose Lady Tigers are currently ranked No.4 in the nation.


Led by four-time all-American April Burkholder, LSU hosts No. 13-ranked Arkansas Friday. Miles complimented Breaux and the Lady Tigers on their recent accomplishments as Breaux considered her current squad the best she might possibly has had in 28 years at LSU.


"First of all, D-D I would like to be addressing a crowd after 28 years on the job," Miles said. "I would be an older coach in the SEC at that time, but I'd like to have that kind of staying power."


Breaux quipped back, "then we could call you ‘More Miles.'"


"And April, a four-time all-American in any sport is quite a career," Miles said to Burkholder. "You don't see too many of those in football. I married a point guard so women's athletics is not foreign to me so I look forward to coming and watching you guys."


Once the pleasantries were moved aside, Miles got down to business fielding questions from all angles. The former Oklahoma State boss answered questions on recruiting philosophies, his coaching staff, as well as first month on Tiger Town.


"The first month, or weeks, or days, I don't know the timeframe, has all gone quickly," Miles said. "We are putting together a class that appears to be a strong addition to the team. We are putting together the coaching staff as well, which is taking my waking moments."


The following is Miles' response to an array of questions from the media:




Is you staff in place yet?

"We feel like the staff is within days of completion and are really ironing out the details with our last couple of candidates."


What about the defensive coordinator?

"We have found the guys, it just seems everyone else finds them about the same time we do. The key is finding the right mix and somebody who is tremendously talented. Coach (Nick) Saban has had such a strong hand on the defensive side that you can't just bring in a good coordinator, it has to be a guy with NFL expertise and understands the college game and the pro game very well and certainly that is where we have looked first. Those guys are talented, they have jobs and they are men that can get jobs. Many times we are going against an NFL team. We have not won some of those. But I can tell you that the man that will be introduced as the defensive coordinator will be a very, very strong candidate.


Will that man be (Dave) Campo?

"I wouldn't think so."





When Nick Saban was hired on a Nov. 30, he had two months two recruit. What have been the limitations of having just one month to close out this class?

"I think it is more with the relationship that have been built and recruiting so many times is based on the relationship of the head coach, assistant coach, school, the people that surround the decision and it is hard to manufacture those relationships in such a short amount of time. Anyway, it doesn't make any difference when they see you – whether you are well and say all the right things – it is still the first time we've met and this is an awfully important decision. The great position that we were left in was that we represent LSU and LSU is the difference. Certainly, the relationship were not hard to enter into and certainly myself and our staff represent the style of values that would be consistent with LSU. So we feel like we will have a very good signing class."


Nick Saban had such great signing classes here. What kind of pressure do you feel?

"I have always enjoyed great expectations personally. I think that we will recruit extremely well year after year based on the great resources of LSU. I certainly understand the expectations are high and wouldn't want it any other way.


Did you work with his list?

"Absolutely. We felt like we were in pretty good shape when we got here and tried to maintain that position certainly and tried to improve on it in several different spots."


Are you aware of the number of guys that got away?

"Any time you get into a recruiting season, somebody got away that you wish you had in your class. Certainly there were opportunities even in the last 24 hours that we would have liked to have had a guy that we wanted to have (Martellus Bennett). But that happens every year. However, it is more important who you have rather than the one that got away.


How many players do you intend to sign tomorrow?

"I am going to guess 16, in that area, give or take two"


Some people are getting a little tired of the drama of recruiting these days and what happened last night (Martellus Bennett on Fox Sports). Do you think this is getting a little out of hand?

"The decision to me is akin to choosing a wife. It is a very personal decision and is not one that needs to be displayed on regional or national television in the media – unless he would have picked our school. (laughter) Then frankly it is a good idea. Young people mature at different times and certainly if a young man picks our school, he will mature sometime after he signs.


When he flipped the coin (Martellus Bennett on television) and it landed on LSU, did you think you had him?

First of all, you suggest I was watching. (more laughter) You shouldn't believe everything you hear on TV. I knew exactly what was going on. I knew there was quite a tussle in the studio and I knew kind of what was going on. I was hoping to be – at that point – surprised.


Is there still a chance for a surprise tomorrow?

"Recruiting always has an opportunity for a surprise. The young men that we are sure will sign convinces me that we will have a pretty good class."


Have you fulfilled your needs in this class?

When you looks at our team, we do need some help at backer. Certainly like to add a corner or two, maybe a safety or so. But on the offensive side, a good quality quarterback would be just what we need considering there are only two on scholarship now. You have to have some weapons there – tailback – just some general smattering of talent that would serve as support to an already quality team.



"I don't quite know what to expect. I know it opens early and it goes til late. I know that it is a great way to follow a recruiting class. I know it is a great way to celebrate a key day in the development of a football team and certainly that is a moment that we can add to a quality club that we have."





What have been your initial impressions of Baton Rouge, LSU, the enthusiasm?

"I am a guy that really enjoys getting out. I have four kids and a wife that can't cook and so I eat out a lot. I have really enjoyed it. People that care about their school and have a rabid interest, a love for it, I share that same feeling. I have seen that. (Associate athetlic director) Verge (Ausberry) were at a recruiting function Saturday night and their was a highlight film shown that depicting some of the great moments in LSU's past – the Earthquake Game – you got a real feel for Gameday, the excitement and tension. We had several administrators and professors and people representing the curriculum and their children and wives that would be in attendance and at a key spot, a heightened spot of the presentations, a very attractive 40-year-old mother of two, educated woman, went YYEEOOOWWWW!!! I said, ‘WOW!' I am not stretching the truth at all. And afterward, she looked at me like, ‘what?' But I look forward to a Saturday night. I think we will all be a little jacked up when we run onto the field."

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