Kevin Mawae has ‘no hard feelings’ about LSU interview process

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Former LSU center Kevin Mawae, with wife Tracy and others, was honored as LSU's 2012 SEC Football Legend during a game against Mississippi State that season. Mawae had a five-hour interview Sunday to become the Tigers' offensive line coach. That job will go to Jeff Grimes, who spent last season at Virginia Tech. Show caption
Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Former LSU center Kevin Mawae, with wife Tracy and others, was honored as LSU's 2012 SEC Football Legend during a game against Mississippi State that season. Mawae had a five-hour interview Sunday to become the Tigers' offensive line coach. That job will go to Jeff Grimes, who spent last season at Virginia Tech.

Former LSU great didn’t get the offensive line job he wanted, but says he’s not bitter

LSU focused its search for an offensive line coach on a proven recruiter who’s sent players to the NFL.

It’s one reason, possibly, that former LSU All-American lineman Kevin Mawae didn’t get the job.

“At the end of the day, they wanted to have somebody that from a recruiting standpoint had put guys in the NFL and coached guys playing in the NFL,” Mawae said Wednesday.

LSU hired Virginia Tech offensive line coach Jeff Grimes to replace seven-year line coach Greg Studrawa, according to several sources. LSU said Studrawa left the program.

LSU and Virginia Tech could not confirm that Grimes had been hired. An LSU spokesman said he hoped the school would make an announcement Friday.

Mawae and at least two others — McNeese State assistant Rob Sale and Grambling assistant Ben Wilkerson, both former LSU linemen — interviewed for the position.

Mawae had a five-hour interview on Sunday with offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and head coach Les Miles. The trio discussed schemes, Mawae’s playing experience, lack of coaching experience and recruiting, Mawae said.

Miles called Tuesday to inform Mawae that he was no longer in consideration.

“I’m sad. I’m disappointed, but I’m not bitter about it,” Mawae said. “I’m still an LSU guy.”

Mawae will continue to buy his tickets and plans to assist the staff in scouting and video breakdown next season as he did this past season.

Mawae, 42, has minimal coaching experience. He played 16 years in the NFL and is an eight-time All-Pro selection. He served as an intern assistant coach at Vanderbilt in 2010 and worked as a high school coach in 2011 before moving to Baton Rouge with his family.

He has no plans to leave the city and says Miles “definitely left doors open for the future,” Mawae said.

“No hard feelings,” he said. “I’m still an LSU guy.”

Mawae cannot be a graduate assistant, he said. He finished school eight years ago, surpassing the NCAA’s seven-year window.

Freshmen enroll

Quarterback Brandon Harris and safety Ed Paris have enrolled in school and started classes Wednesday, LSU spokesman Michael Bonnette confirmed.

Harris and Paris are LSU’s only two early enrollees, Bonnette said. Both are expected to immediately challenge for playing time and will participate in spring practice.

Paris, an Arlington, Texas, native, is a four-star prospect and the third-best safety in the nation, according to 24/7 Sports’ composite ratings.

Harris, a star at Parkway High, is a four-star prospect ranked as the third-best dual-threat QB in this year’s class.

Harris is expected to challenge sophomore-to-be Anthony Jennings and a host of others for the starting quarterback gig. Paris will be in line for one of the two open starting safety spots.

From his verified Twitter account, Harris posted a message saying he’ll wear jersey No. 6 at LSU. Departing safety Craig Loston wore No. 6 last season.