PRACTICE RECAP: Miles talks Friday night

As of Friday afternoon, every player that was expected to be a part of the 2006 LSU Football team had arrived. Coach Les Miles got word Friday afternoon that Rayville running back Richard Murphy had officially been cleared by the NCAA and would be arriving on campus as soon as possible.

Murphy was the last of four players, which included Al Woods, Steve Singleton and Keiland Williams, whose future hinged on final approval from the NCAA Clearinghouse.

"We now have all of the guys in the class in now," Miles said. We are certainly glad to have them all. We haven't received Richard Murphy yet, but I am told he is going to be released and is eligible. First day of school is Monday. We want to make sure those guys do the right thing, get into class and get their feet on the ground."

While Miles was assured that all four players were eligible and it would be just a matter of time before they were cleared, Miles admitted the longer it took to get those four players on campus, the more worried he grew.

"I had great concerns," Miles said. "I'll be honest, I don't necessarily understand all the criteria that they were looking at. There were some mistakes made on someone's part, certainly the school, the player and the Clearinghouse. We wanted a timely decision on it so we could get our guys into camp."

Miles did say he will launch an investigation into the matter in hopes of finding out where the system broke down, who was at fault and how those problems can be remedied in the future.

"There isn't any question (that there will be an investigation)," Miles said. "Obviously, we know the academic issues from the high school end. I am not ready to figure out just what is going on in the Clearinghouse just yet."

Murphy got the word on Friday and is expected to be in Baton Rouge tomorrow. However, Miles doesn't expect him to officially join the team in drills until Monday.

"There will be a little bit of work done tomorrow," Miles said. "I don't know exactly what his plans are. We'd like to have him on campus tomorrow. But I haven't talked to him."

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Steve Singleton (60) at today's workout (Photo by Matt Deville)



Like the other three players, Murphy will join the team and go through an orientation period. Williams and Singleton have gone through practices in helmets, shorts and jerseys and will be able to suit up for the first time on Monday. Woods drilled in shorts and helmet the first day, but immediately went to pads for the scrimmage last Saturday.

"There is a climatization period that they have to go through until school starts," Miles said. "Once school starts, then they can start in pads."

Just how much will the players who reported late contribute this season?

"It's really tough to tell how much these guys can contribute based or not contribute based on getting in late and not having the same amount of practices as the other guys," Miles said.

But that may not apply to Woods, who donned full pads almost immediately and is already running with the second team defense at defensive tackle.

"Al has done a great job," Miles said. "I think he is really going to be fine. He is getting snaps and working with the second team. He operates on either side of the ball, at either (defensive) tackle spot."

Williams practiced for the first time on Thursday, but Friday's workout was the first for Singleton, who just arrived in Baton Rouge yesterday. Miles said, though, he can't evaluate the Buford, Ga. native until he dons full pads.

"I really didn't get a great opportunity to get a look at an offensive lineman who is not in pads," Miles said.

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