LSU appears on the verge of hiring former Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron in a similar capacity, though neither side would confirm that Friday.
Several media outlets, citing unnamed sources, reported Cameron had been hired or was in serious negotiations to be hired. At least one current LSU player and one player on last season’s team tweeted the hiring was a done deal.
It was unclear what would be the fate of current offensive coordinator Greg Studrawa, who also serves as the Tigers offensive line coach.
LSU incoming wide receiver Avery Johnson, who already is enrolled in school, tweeted, “Just in. Cam Cameron will be Our New Offensive Coordinator at LSU. Great hire Coach Miles.”
Former Tigers tackle Josh Dworaczyk, a leader on last year’s team, tweeted, “Cam Cameron is the new offensive coordinator at LSU! Good luck boys go bring the crystal ball (national championship trophy) back to The Boot (Louisiana).”
It was unclear if those tweets were based on information from LSU or media and Internet speculation.
LSU sports information director Michael Bonnette responded to the speculation with this tweet: “Despite reports there will be no announcement today regarding any matters related to LSU football. Enjoy the weekend & Happy Mardi Gras!”
When asked by The Advocate for a response to the reports, Cameron’s agent, Gary O’Hagan said, “I don’t think that’s true.” Then he hung up the telephone.
The hiring would make sense for a variety of reasons. LSU coach Les Miles and Cameron worked together as assistants at Michigan from 1987-93 and are close.
LSU’s inconsistent offense was a key factor in the Tigers finishing 10-3 last season, after they began as national championship contenders.
An inability to gain a first down and run out the clock was a major factor in a 21-17 loss to Alabama and a 25-24 loss to Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. The Tigers failed to score a touchdown in their other loss, a 14-6 defeat at Florida.
When asked about potential staff changes, Miles has generally sidestepped the issue. When asked about it in an interview with The Advocate on Jan. 10, Miles wouldn’t answer.
After Miles’ refusal to answer seemed to raise concerns among some recruits, Miles gave The Advocate a statement a day later.
“(The offense) is not something that I’m thinking about right now,” Miles said. “We are certainly going to make improvements there. But right now all I’m focused on is recruiting and finishing out this signing class on a high note.”
LSU did finish recruiting on a high note Wednesday as recruiting services ranked the Tigers’ class as No. 5, No. 6 and No. 7 in the country.
When asked about potential staff changes in the wake of the end of recruiting, Miles said Wednesday, “I haven’t given much thought to changes in this staff at this point.”
He went on to praise the “team recruiting” by the staff, citing Studrawa for going beyond his geographic recruiting area to help land offensive line recruits. Miles called the group of five linemen the best such group he has had in nine years.
The irony of Cameron’s hiring would be that his firing in December was largely seen as a key factor in offensive improvement that helped bring Baltimore to its 34-31 victory over San Francisco in Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Cameron, 52, was credited with the development of fifth-year quarterback Joe Flacco, who was voted Most Valuable Player in the Super Bowl, but it was a recommitment to the running game under new coordinator Jim Caldwell that helped fuel the Ravens’ championship run.
As head coach at Indiana University, his alma mater, from 1997-2001 Cameron compiled an 18-37 record and was head coach of the Miami Dolphins for one season when they went 1-15 in 2007.
Cameron was offensive coordinator of the San Diego Chargers from 2002-07, and helped build one of the NFL’s better offenses around running back LaDainian Tomlinson, quarterback Philip Rivers and tight end Antonio Gates. He also coached Saints quarterback Drew Brees early in his career in San Diego.