LSU coach Les Miles is not considering the open job at Michigan, he said.
Speaking to reporters after Monday’s practice, Miles declined to be directly quoted about the opening at Michigan, but the coach — unprompted — said the job is not in his consideration.
Michigan contacted Miles’ agent about the job to replace the fired Brady Hoke, according to at least three outlets covering the Wolverines.
The Advocate reported on Sunday that Miles is focused on recruiting and getting contracts extended for his assistant coaches, said a source who spoke directly to the coach. Assistants have been told nothing from Miles about Michigan and don’t expect him to leave, two sources close to the staff told The Advocate.
The Advocate reported last week that LSU has offered extensions to some, if not all, of the football team’s staff members. Five assistant coaches have contracts that expire in March.
Miles, who recently finished his 10th regular season at LSU, has been linked to the open job at his alma mater for the third time in seven years. The program flirted with the coach in 2007 and in 2010. Michigan hired Rich Rodriguez and then Hoke.
On Monday, Miles spoke of the future at LSU, including the second-ranked recruiting class he hauled in last year.
“There’s a tradition and a culture here we’ve kind of established. The young men that come in here really enjoy stepping into this room and being a part of that culture,” Miles said. “I think that this team has the potential to play in championships.”
Hilliard in; Porter out
The team is “optimistic” that running back Kenny Hilliard will play against Notre Dame (7-5) in the Music City Bowl on Dec. 30, but center Elliott Porter likely will miss the game, Miles said.
Hilliard suffered a shoulder injury in the overtime loss to Alabama on Nov. 8 and missed the final two regular-season games, against Arkansas and Texas A&M. Porter suffered a severe injury to his ankle after running back Terrence Magee accidentally rolled into him in the regular-season finale at A&M.
Hilliard has run for 431 yards this season, third-most on the team. He has scored six touchdowns, second among rushers.
Porter, a senior who has likely played his final game as a Tiger, started nine games this season. Sophomore Ethan Pocic handled center against Texas A&M and is likely to do the same in the bowl game.
Miles said true freshman Will Clapp also has been seeing time at center in practice.
Five underclassmen requested grades
Five LSU draft-eligible non-seniors requested grades from the NFL’s College Advisory Committee, Miles said.
The coach declined to release the names of the players, saying that it would be unfair. A maximum of five underclassmen from each team can request grades from the committee, a new limitation instituted this season by the NFL.
Miles said the school is petitioning the committee to allow more than five to request grades. The committee will deliver one of three grades: first round, second round or that the player should remain in school.
LSU has had 16 players leave early for the draft over the past two years — excluding running back Alfred Blue, who passed on a fifth year, and defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, who was dismissed before the 2012 season.
Defensive end Danielle Hunter, cornerback Jalen Collins and guard Vadal Alexander are all underclassmen who have been projected as mid- to early-round draft prospects.
Robinson out for bowl
LSU cornerback Rashard Robinson remains under indefinite suspension and will not participate in bowl practices or the bowl game, Miles said.
Robinson, a starter at cornerback who also was suspended for the season opener, was suspended for a violation of team rules the week of LSU’s game against Alabama.
Asked whether Robinson would rejoin the team next year, Miles said he hoped that would happen.
“That’s not something I’m ready to comment on right now. I’d hope he might be here,” he said.
Neighbors to Senior Bowl
Fullback Connor Neighbors joined a list of LSU players who will play in postseason all-star games.
Neighbors accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl, the school announced Monday. The game is scheduled for Jan. 24 in Mobile, Alabama.
Neighbors, a former walk-on from Alabama who earned a scholarship, started nine games this season as the lead blocker for a running game that rolled up 219 yards per game.
He may be the first player in Senior Bowl history to be a third-generation athlete in the game, according to LSU. Neighbors’ grandfather and father both played in the Senior Bowl after their careers at Alabama.
Neighbors joins left tackle La’el Collins as Senior Bowl invitees, and a host of other Tigers who will play in postseason all-star games. Safety Ronald Martin and running backs Magee and Hilliard will play in the East-West Shrine Game, set for Jan. 17 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Linebacker D.J. Welter will participate in the NFLPA Bowl, scheduled for Jan. 17 in Carson, California.
First Pitch Banquet set
LSU’s 2015 First Pitch Banquet has been scheduled for Jan. 25 at the Crowne Plaza ballroom. Doors open at 6 p.m.