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Story Archives: Miles can recruit
|Miles can recruit|
OK, I question Les Miles' decision-making. I question Les Miles' play-calling. I question Les Miles' use of personnel at certain times.
One thing I cannot question - Miles' ability to recruit and get the best out of his players.
That has never been more evident than this year.
Almost any other program (in other words except Alabama) would not be able to survive the type of season LSU has had as far as the intangibles are concerned.
And we just thought last year was crazy.
Just when we thought it was safe to breathe easy after surviving the final practice of the summer and having no one arrested near Shady's, the bottom seemed to fall out.
Actually it was a little earlier than that when Tyrann Mathieu was released from the team for failing drug tests.
Then came linebacker Tahj Jones unable to play because of academics, offensive tackle Chris Faulk suffering a knee injury and leading running back Alfred Blue out with an injury.
Promising freshman linebacker Kwon Alexander was lost for the year after breaking his ankle against Florida.
And that's leaving out all the bumps and bruises that occur during a game, forcing someone like Eric Reid, Spencer Ware, Josh Williford and P.J. Lonegran to the sidelines.
LSU has had at least eight players who have had a chance to start at least one game instead of providing needed depth: tackle Vadal Alexander, guard Trai Turner, defensive tackle Anthony "Freak" Johnson, linebacker Lamar Louis, strong safety Ronald Martin, center Elliot Porter, defensive end Lavar Edwards and punter Jamie Keehn.
But here are the Tigers at 7-1 and ranked No. 6 in both polls.
Blue goes down, Ware suffers body cramps and in comes Jeremy Hill to take the pigskin and look like he's been running in the backfield for years.
Problem now may be if and when everybody gets healthy. But what a nice problem to have. Not that Miles can be counting on that anytime soon.
Turner and Alexander, both freshmen, played well on the right side against South Carolina. It appears Alex Hurst is history. If he has personal issues that can be a distraction, it might be just as well he did not return. Williford had a head injury. Also,, Elliot Porter made in place of starter P.J. Lonegan, who had a cheap shot taken at him during an interception return against Florida and had to sit out a game.
And if quarterback Gunner Keil would have been honest with Miles at the outset, Miles probably would not have lost offensive lineman Patrick Miller, the No. 24-ranked offensive tackle nationally, 36th ranked player from the state of Florida and 225th ranked player in the country according to Rivals.com.
LSU did not have a scholarship available for Miller because they were saving one for Keil, who then opted for Notre Dame.
Miller started against Auburn earlier last month.
You can't fault Miles on that one.
On the other side of the line, Edwards stopped in when an ankle injury slowed Mingo (there hasn't been a whole lot else slow down this former West Monroe star.
When Jones was ruled academically ineligible in August, LSU was left with Kevin Minter, Lamin Barrow and Luke Muncie.
Minter has been lights out, Barrow is hot and cold, although more hot against South Carolina, and Muncie had a stomach ailment that caused him to lose weight.
Freshman Deion Jones shows great promise.
So can the patchwork hold up for the rest of the season? That's asking quite a bit.
But it sure does make for even more promising seasons ahead. Especially the way Miles recruits.
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