‘We’re going to change spring’: LSU coach Les Miles says Tigers to alter drills, visit other schools

Les Miles is changing — at least that’s what he says — and he doesn’t care if you don’t believe him.

The LSU coach said Wednesday that changes are coming to his team’s spring football practices next month, and his staff is planning to visit the spring practices of several “opponents” to study their offense.

The staff will “emphasize” the passing game during spring drills, and they’ll travel to other sites to learn how to better “attack people effectively with our personnel,” he said. Spring ball is set to begin March 7, and the spring game is scheduled for April 16.

“If you do the same thing you’ve always done, it will be the same thing you’ve always been,” Miles said Wednesday at a news conference introducing new running backs coach Jabbar Juluke and receivers coach Dameyune Craig. “We’re going to change spring. It’s going to be different.”

What if folks don’t believe him?

“I don’t mind,” the 12th-year coach said. “If you look around and see guys that have had great success at the quarterback position, they’re veteran. One thing we know about our quarterbacks is they are juniors. We’re going to have a junior quarterback. How about that?

“No matter what, if we change nothing, our execution will be better,” he said, “but we’re going to change some things.”

Junior Brandon Harris, the incumbent, and Purdue transfer Danny Etling, also a junior, are expected to battle during the spring. Anthony Jennings, a senior, will participate in his final spring practice.

Harris has begun throwing passes and should be fully recovered from hernia surgery he had in January, Miles said.

“He appears to me that he’ll be fine,” Miles said. “He’ll take part in our offseason program, which is key and is well before spring ball.”

Toliver out for spring practice

LSU starting cornerback Kevin Toliver will miss spring practice, Miles said, the second projected starter who the Tigers will be without during drills.

Toliver, a highly rated freshman last year who started eight games, underwent a procedure to “clean up” his shoulder area. He was seen on campus in an arm sling. Miles said the injury is not serious, and Toliver will return for summer workouts.

Center Ethan Pocic will miss spring practice after having offseason surgery on his hip, the coach reiterated Wednesday. Junior Andy Dodd will replace Pocic with the starting group, Miles said — a positive in at least one way.

“Getting some comfort with the center-QB exchange with another guy is great,” Miles said.

Cameron contract still in works

LSU continues to work on a new contract for LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, athletic director Joe Alleva said Wednesday.

Cameron is in the final six weeks of a three-year deal paying him $1.5 million per year. The contract expires March 31 — amid LSU’s spring practice.

Asked if Cameron had been presented a new contract, Alleva said: “We’re working on that.”

‘50-50’ on Dillon Gordon

The NCAA has not yet ruled on LSU’s request to get tight end Dillon Gordon a fifth year of eligibility, and Miles said he feels “50-50” about it.

Gordon, a 310-pound run-blocker, missed the final six games of the season after rupturing his Achilles tendon. He did not enter the NFL draft and hopes to return next year.

According to the NCAA rule, a player can receive another year of eligibility if he played less than one-third of the season — all of it coming in the first half of the season. Gordon played in part of three games, and the Tigers played their sixth game against Florida in an 11-game regular season.

Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter, @RossDellenger.

More Stories