LSU coach Les Miles set for ‘ice bucket challenge’ Saturday

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU head coach Les Miles fields questions from local and statewide media in the Shirley and Bill Lawton Room at the team's football operations facility during LSU Football's annual media day, Sunday, August 10, 2014.
Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU head coach Les Miles fields questions from local and statewide media in the Shirley and Bill Lawton Room at the team's football operations facility during LSU Football's annual media day, Sunday, August 10, 2014.

By Ross Dellenger

rdellenger@theadvocate.com

When the governor calls, you listen.

LSU coach Les Miles on Saturday will join a list of public figures to take part in the “ice bucket challenge” — a social media-driven awareness campaign for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Governor Bobby Jindal on Wednesday challenged Miles to join the thousands who have videoed themselves being doused with a bucket of ice water. Louisiana first lady Supriya Jindal did the honors for her husband, pouring the water over his head in a video posted on YouTube on Wednesday.

Miles is scheduled for his ice water bath Saturday afternoon from Tiger Stadium following LSU’s first full scrimmage of fall camp. Miles won’t be the only SEC football coach to take part in the challenge.

Missouri defensive coordinator Dave Steckel took the challenge Friday.

ALS groups say the awareness campaign, with heavy backing from former New Orleans Saint Steve Gleason’s Team Gleason, has helped drive millions to ALS research funding, as well as raise the public’s knowledge of the disease, which is fatal and has no cure.

Gleason, who retired after the 2007 football season, was diagnosed with ALS in 2011.

His foundation provides supports to others with the disease.

The viral video sensation, which is sweeping Facebook and Twitter, has people across the country posting videos of themselves or others dumping large buckets of ice on their heads. They then “challenge” others to do the same or donate to ALS charities. Many are doing both, and politicians and celebrities have become popular subjects to challenge.

Futbol vs. football

Cameron Gamble was torn.

He wanted to play both football and soccer. The overlapping seasons didn’t allow for that. Gamble, LSU’s freshman kicker from Texas, found an easy fix.

“The only option I could do, if I wanted to play both, was to be the kicker,” Gamble said.

A soccer player since age 5, Gamble started playing football as a safety and receiver. He began to kick, and coaches at Flower Mound High liked what they saw.

“They said I was actually really good,” Gamble said.

Rated as high as the sixth-best kicker in the nation, Gamble is a rookie going through his first fall camp. He’s competing, primarily, as a kickoff specialist. He’s unsure if he’ll be redshirted.

LSU returns sophomore Colby Delahoussaye, who made 13 of 14 field goals last season. For now, Delahoussaye is expected to kickoff. Former LSU kickoff man James Hairston transferred over the offseason.

Gamble had 19 touchbacks during his senior year of high school.

It’s a snap

A new quarterback won’t bring snap issues, center Elliott Porter says.

Porter spent last season snapping to a veteran quarterback in Zach Mettenberger. He’ll now snap to a young QB – two of them.

Freshman Brandon Harris and sophomore Anthony Jennings have split snaps with the first-string unit over the first two weeks of fall camp.

“We worked a lot in the spring,” Porter said. “We’ve got everything straight. Me and Anthony been working together for a while. Brandon is coming along big time.”

The duo is expected to split first-team reps in the Tigers’ first full scrimmage of fall camp Saturday in Tiger Stadium. The scrimmage is closed to the public and media.

Jennings and Harris are in what’s believed to be a tight battle for the starting job.

“You’ve got two different personalities,” Porter said of the two QBs. “Just like me and Vadal (Alexander) have different personalities. You just roll with the punch.”

Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter @DellengerAdv. For more coverage of LSU football, follow our Tiger Tracks blog.