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Insider

Names to watch for WRs coach

1/13/2012

Even with recruiting season entering its home stretch, LSU coach Les Miles isn’t planning on rushing the process of hiring his new wide receivers coach.

Miles said so himself when receivers coach Billy Gonzales left Wednesday to take the offensive coordinator position at Illinois.

"I'm not going to be in a hurry,” he said in a news release. "We are going to hire a great coach with an outstanding background."

Miles may not be ready to make a hire this instant, but that won’t stop speculation about who could be joining the Tigers coaching staff.

Here are some names that could pop up in the comings weeks:

Tyke Tolbert: Tolbert’s name came up the last time LSU had an opening for a wide receivers coach in 2009. Tolbert, then a wide receivers coach with the Buffalo Bills, was reported to have landed the job by several outlets, only for Miles to select Gonzales.

Tolbert is a Tiger alum, having played in Baton Rouge from 1988-90. He saw scarce playing time at wide receiver before moving into coaching.

Tolbert has coached college wide receivers and tight ends throughout the South, including stops at Auburn, Louisiana-Lafayette and Florida. But he has been in the NFL for the better part of a decade, having coached wide receivers for the Bills, the Arizona Cardinals, the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos.

The Broncos, Tolbert’s current employer, are in a playoff run, which would likely make him unavailable until the end of the season. But that could be as early as this weekend.

Tolbert hasn’t had to recruit since 2003, but he should be familiar with the area, having spent nine years coaching at Louisiana schools.

On top of that Tolbert has worked with the likes of Anquan Boldin, Terrell Owens and Steve Smith during his NFL career -- which could be a good selling point with recruits.

Adam Henry: Another NFL guy, and another guy with ties to Louisiana.

Henry is currently the tight ends coach with the Oakland Raiders, although he could be looking for a new job after Raiders coach Hue Jackson’s firing Tuesday.

Henry also has a long history in Louisiana. Prior to leaving for the NFL, Henry was a staple at McNeese State in Lake Charles.

Henry worked at McNeese State for 10 seasons and held multiple positions during his time there. Two of the positions were offensive coordinator and receivers coach.

Henry was also an all-conference wide receiver during his playing time at McNeese State. He’s originally from Beaumont, Texas, so there’s little doubt he would be familiar with the fertile recruiting grounds of east Texas and south Louisiana.

On the LSU staff: Miles hasn’t been afraid to appoint from within his own staff in the past, and there are several options with some experience among his current coaches.

Tight ends coach Steve Ensminger has coached wide receivers at a few stops in his 30-year career. Recruiting coordinator and running backs coach Frank Wilson also coached receivers during his one-year stint with Tennessee under Lane Kiffin.

Losing Gonzales gives the Tigers one less recruiter on staff, however, and Miles may want to give Wilson some outside help, rather than increasing the workload.