Notebook: Miles meets media on report day

August, 1, 2012
8/01/12
4:41
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Most of it got lost behind the uproar of Rob Bolden's transfer to LSU, but Les Miles actually addressed a bevy of topics in his pre-camp press conference Wednesday afternoon.

[+] EnlargeLes Miles
Gary Laney/ESPN.comAt a news conference Thursday, LSU coach Les Miles said he hopes Tyrann Mathieu doesn't put too much pressure on himself in 2012.
Miles spoke for roughly 30 minutes on a variety of topics, ranging from youngster angling for playing time to the Honey Badger hype surrounding Tyrann Mathieu. And of course there were several other notes worth mentioning besides Bolden on the Tigers' 2012 roster.

Roster moves: The Tigers traded a quarterback for a quarterback, with Bolden joining the team and sporting No. 1 -- his same number from Penn State. While Miles confirmed 2012 quarterback signee Jeremy Liggins as a non-qualifier who will not report to camp.

Two other LSU newcomers didn't report Wednesday, but Miles said he's confident both will be with the team shortly. Two 2012 signees, wide receiver Avery Johnson and juco offensive lineman Fehoko Fanaika, are still waiting on finalization with their academic qualifications. Miles said he's confident both will make it to Baton Rouge in short order.

"(Johnson) is waiting to get a test score back, and Hoko Fanaika has finished a class and is waiting for that grade to be reported," Miles said. "We're optimistic on both, and we look for those guys to join us in camp."

As for the returning roster, Miles said the rest of the Tigers are present and accounted for, with no academic issues.

There's been speculation since the end of last season about who would don the No. 18 jersey with Brandon Taylor having moved on to the NFL. It's been a tradition to give the number to a team leader since 2008, when departing running back Jacob Hester passed it to tight end Richard Dickson. Miles announced Wednesday it would be defensive tackle Bennie Logan sporting that honor in 2012.

"He's a guy that has worked hard through this program and really defined himself by effort an energy and want," Miles said. "He's constantly done the right things and improved annually and improved daily. Now he's wearing No. 18, and that's a tremendous compliment to him and what he has accomplished thusfar."

Serving youth: Asked about the depth on this roster, Miles took the opportunity to single out several youngsters who could make an impact early on in fall camp. With so many young faces in the secondary, it was expected to hear names like Corey Thompson, Dwayne Thomas and Jalen Collins. Same goes for the linebacking corps, where Miles said the likes of Kwon Alexander and Deion Jones will have early opportunities.

"I'm really looking forward to seeing those guys compete," he said.

Miles also pointed to 2012 defensive end signee Danielle Hunter, who measures up at 6-foot-5, 235 pounds.

"Danielle Hunter, the big defensive end from Texas. Boy, he looks really good," Miles said. "I have a couple of evaluation periods in mind for two-a-days that will be really specific for evaluating those guys."

Badgering Mathieu: One of the press conference's most entertaining moments was Miles addressing his star cornerback's profile. Mathieu is already one of the marquee names in college football after making a push for the Heisman Trophy last fall, and a series of dustups on Twitter this summer have only stoked that fire more. Miles said it's something he hopes to keep an eye on.

"It is tremendously entertaining to 'Honey Badger' this and 'Honey Badger' that -- it's just a lot of fun. The humor is spectacular," Miles said. "The reality is that nobody can be the Honey Badger, because the Honey Badger is just something, right? Personally, I like Tyrann Mathieu ... I just hope he relaxes."

Miles said he doesn't want Mathieu to spend his season trying to live up to the Honey Badger name brand, so to speak, but he added it hasn't been a problem in the past.

"I don't think (the hype) has negatively impacted anything. He was always and has always been just everything that you've ever wanted," he said.

David Helman | email

Reporter, RecruitingNation

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