January has been a rough slog for LSU football fans. One junior after another has announced his intentions to leave Baton Rouge early for a spot in the NFL draft. The total has now reached 10 players from last year’s team, 11 if you count Tyrann Mathieu who drugged his way out of school prior to the season.
One person who’s not worried? Les Miles. At least that’s what he’s saying publicly:
“I like the state of the program. I like the fact that we send guys to the NFL early and recruit guys with the potential to go to the NFL early…
I could go down every guy and I could tell you that the reasons are personally compelling. Were they my decisions? No, but frankly I understood them.
I think some guys are looking forward to having great and long pro careers and some guys are trying to optimize a lower position in a draft spot and maximize the number of years they get to be there…
Some guys think they may never be most optimally positioned for the NFL and this may be the best that they’ve got. It may be bad, but they think it’s the best that they have.”
Miles also told The Baton Rouge Advocate that his staff “anticipated the departures, to a certain extent, and we recruited guys right along that we anticipate would come in and have a great opporunity to play very early and play big roles on next year’s team.
Sounds good. But here’s guessing Miles is actually pretty frustrated by all the turnover. How could he not be?