Wednesdays with Les: Miles wants Leonard Fournette to 'have fun with his college' _lowres

LSU running back Leonard Fournette (7) visits with fans before an NCAA college football game against Syracuse on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015, in Syracuse, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

LSU coach Les Miles, on Wednesdays during game weeks, speaks publicly three different times. Follow his comments here throughout the day.

SEC teleconference

  • Sophomore RB Leonard Fournette, considered by many to be the Heisman Trophy frontrunner, was not made available to the media this week. Miles said the decision was matter of letting Fournette enjoy his college experience, and he thinks “the approach we have for him is quality.”

“You wanna take care of a guy like Leonard Fournette. Not necessarily on the field, but also off the field. You wanna make sure he handles the regimen of having to speak to the press Monday-Friday, so we canceled some of those. We just want Leonard to go to class, go to football, enjoy a smattering of media opportunities, and play ball on Saturdays. We want him to have fun, have fun with his college.

  • Some are calling for Fournette to sit out his junior season to preserve his already sky-high NFL draft stock. Miles was asked to give his response to those who would claim the star running back shouldn’t play this Saturday against Eastern Michigan, a game in which the Tigers are heavily favored.

“The answer is this: Any time that you line up on a football field, you have 11 guys that wanna play for victory. You’re going to have to be the difference between being better than your opponent in your play. And I’ve never seen a game won or decided before you arrive. If that’s the case, I just want you to know we’ll call our starting lineup much differently. But if we’re going to line up and decide and the clock starts with 0 for them and 0 for us, then we’re going to have to play and play well. The difference then would be the play of the Tigers. We would invite and insist on inviting all the best to the field.”

  • Miles reiterated that keeping Fournette fresh will factor into his number of carries every week. “As long as he’s playing fresh with fresh legs, we feel like calling his number is a very positive thing to do in many instances for many reasons,” the coach said.

“There’s so many things that are seen through the course of a year. So many characteristics are important that are shown in your best games. If we look forward to playing a quality opportunity for Leonard to get a big number of carries, we wanna keep him fresh. We have good backs. …We fee like getting him through the season, getting him to the key contest, certainly this Saturday and thereafter, that allow us the opportunity for him to do the things he’s capable of doing for our team, he might show what would be a prospective employee in the NFL.”

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