Les Miles discusses Tyrann Mathieu
Mum is the word on departed cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, as far as LSU coach Les Miles is concerned.
Miles spoke publicly Tuesday for the first time since reports surfaced that Mathieu, his recently dismissed Heisman Trophy finalist, was mulling a return to LSU with an eye on playing the 2013 season.
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Miles reiterated his good will toward Mathieu but made it emphatically clear: The coach's focus has shifted to the present.
"I certainly am rooting for Ty and whatever his future is, but I'm not focused on him. I've got games to play," Miles said. "I've got 104 guys that I have to be ready for. I know this is a very key time in (Mathieu's) life, and I hope the decisions he makes are in his best interest for the long term. We'll help any way we can."
When pressed for a comment about the possibility of Mathieu returning to the team for the 2013 season, Miles declined.
"I am not in any way going to speculate. He will not be on this football (team) this year -- I guarantee it. That's a fact. I have no idea beyond that," he said.
Those comments aren't likely to quell the speculation about what last season's Bednarik Award winner will do after being dismissed from LSU's roster. If he decides not to return to LSU, the likely option is a transfer to an FCS program -- something Miles said Mathieu "would not necessarily need to go through me" to accomplish.
Asked if he had given Mathieu a full release to transfer to the FCS level, however, Miles was again evasive.
"I think we've done exactly what has needed to be done up to this point, and I think I want to focus on other things -- not those pieces," he said.
There had been reports that Mathieu would announce a decision on his future Wednesday. However, Mathieu's father, Tyrone, said that was not the case.
"My wife, Sheila, and the family are taking the time to heal," Tyrone Mathieu said. "We are not concerned right now about football at all. Tyrann totally understands that it will take some time and commitment to be the best student, player and adult he is capable of being."
Mathieu has visited McNeese State, and that remains an option, according to a source close to Mathieu.
Information from ESPN's Joe Schad was used in this report.
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