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LSU head football coach Les MIles. (Photo by Associated Press)

Brandon Harris took the first reps at quarterback during a 35-play scrimmage Thursday, but coach Les Miles declined to call Harris the favorite in the on-going QB derby between him and Anthony Jennings.

It highlighted Miles’ 20-minute post-practice news conference with reporters. Other nuggets from the chat:

Injury update: LB Lamar Louis (pectoral strain) remains in a green non-contact jersey but is participating in practice, Miles said. DE Tashawn Bower returned to practice after missing a few days for an unknown illness or injury.

More on QBs: Miles said it’s not important when he plans to tell the quarterbacks who will start the Tigers’ first game, and he declined to call Harris the leader of the race when asked. “Define that any way you want. I’m still going to wait to the back end of this thing to make a decision. Both guys are getting reps, both guys are getting and that’s what I want,” he said.

Spread It Out: Asked if LSU will spread the field more offensively because of the depth at receiver, Miles said yes. He also said that he notices a comfort level when Harris in the spread. He said the same for Jennings.

Basketball To Football: Miles wants basketball freshman Ben Simmons, the nation’s top-ranked recruit, to join the football team as a goal-line receiver, he said. “If hes interested in taking snaps … I could give him a goal line position if he can catch,” Miles said. “He’d set the NCAA record for touchdowns.”

Under The lights: LSU’s scrimmage Saturday will start at night in Tiger Stadium. It is closed to the public and media. It will consist of about 50 plays, Miles said.

Backup Talk: Miles lauded freshmen defensive ends Isaiah Washington and Arden Key, at one point saying “Geez” when discussing the two. Even the coach is surprised, he said, how far they are mentally. He also said DT Greg Gilmore “looks like a starter.”

Kicker battles: The battle for the field goal kicking job is “really tight,” Miles said. Colby Delahoussaye, Trent Domingue and Cameron Gamble are all competing for the gig. Domingue has the lead for the kickoff job, Miles said.