Two months after expressing some not-so-flattering thoughts about former LSU commit and top-rated QB prospect Gunner Kiel, Tigers coach Les Miles has once again picked up the shovel and continued digging his own hole of verbal no-nos.
Miles, as you may recall, said Kiel didn’t “necessarily have the chest and ability to lead a program” during the 17th Annual LSU Bayou Bash in early February.
In an interview with Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports, Miles expanded on his words:
“I’m not bitter. I’m glad he stayed there. I really mean it. Here’s the truth: If you don’t have some swagger to you and you can step into this stadium and be able to know the advantage that you’re playing with the Tigers and you’re leading the program that has some real weight and clout, then you really need to stay home with your brothers.
“I don’t mean that [negatively]. I’m for him. He gets a chance to come in here and compete and start on a team that is a great team. I really meant what I said. I was talking more about the confidence and swagger. I was not demeaning. If he shows up, it means he has all those things …
“I mean it honestly, if it’s more about family for him, if it’s more being close to home … he would have never been successful as he needed to be. I mean it very respectfully …
“The guy we got now [Zach Mettenberger], he’s a confident son of a buck. He’s a throwin’, tough kid. If he continues to develop and learn and grow as a leader, no question.”
By my count, Miles said “I mean” or “I don’t mean” a total of five times. If you include some variations of the phrase, it gets closer to 10. So what do you mean?
The bottom line is that Kiel signed with Notre Dame. I don’t care how he did it, or how many times he changed his mind during the process. As annoying as it is at times, a kid has every right to change his mind about where he wants to go to school. Hell, you only get one crack at college. Make it count.
As for Miles, the excerpt above consisted of 16 sentences, when really, he needed two. “I understand my previous statements about Gunner were met with a lot of opposition. I didn’t mean for it to sound the way it did and I want nothing but the best for him.”
He doesn’t have to mean it, and it doesn’t even have to be true, but it can’t be something that could end up alongside something like this.