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July 16, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Gary Laney

Gary Laney
  (2:02 PM)

After hustling from LSU's morning camp session, I've made it here just one minute late. Considering the weather in Baton Rouge, I declare this a success! LSU has another commitment, we've unveiled our ESPN 300 for 2015 and LSU has football camp going on. So let's get started!

Ryan (Alabama)

Gerry Dinardo was 4-7 and @-8 his last two years at LSU, including no conference wins his last year. How did Saban build off his momentum? Isn't that the same as saying that Saban built off Shula's momentum?

Gary Laney
  (2:05 PM)

When I wrote that, I was specifically addressing his success recruiting Louisiana kids. DiNardo was trying to, and starting to have success, securing the bulk of Louisiana's top players as the basis for LSU's recruiting plan.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

What is the status of Hill with the team after his recent guilty plea?

Gary Laney
  (2:08 PM)

I saw Jeremy in LSU's practice facility yesterday. The buzz I keep hearing is he'll face a suspension of a couple of games, tops.

Bill (NYC)

Thank you for answering all my questions. Can you tell me when the stoppage of oversigning started? Also, Do LSU fans really want Jeremy Hill on the team?. How is that kid allowed to be enrolled at school?

Gary Laney
  (2:12 PM)

First, let me apologize. I have a bit of a thunderstorm going on where I am and the power and internet went off for a second. Had to scramble back on...

Gary Laney
  (2:13 PM)

The 25-man signing limit went into effect, if I recall, last year. Again, there are exceptions to it. You may see a team sign 27-28, but that will generally be because they undersigned the year before and had room on the plate to add people.

Eric (Atlanta)

will Jeremy Hill play this year? (educated guess) And if not... who's gonna be "the guy" in the backfield? Any new signees the world should be ready for?

Gary Laney
  (2:15 PM)

I'll address both Eric and Bill. I'm guessing he will play but that is just a guess. There is a lot of discretion in the legal system now and I think how his probation is handled will determine how serious they consider the original charge. If his probation does not change much, then I would have no problem with Hill facing a punishment that does not include him being dismissed from the team.

Ryan (Alabama)

Saban inherited a mess when he began at LSU. Miles couldn't have come into a better situation when he began at LSU. So, my question is why would you compare winning percentages when the LSU program was at extremely different stages when the two coaches took over?

Gary Laney
  (2:18 PM)

Ryan, you do that because Miles should be measured by how he does relative to what he adopted. Did he take the program the next step? Yes he did. He started with three straight double-digit win seasons, including a national championship. He continued the progression of the program beyond just keeping it where it was. That's not a knock on what Saban accomplished at all, but reflects that Miles indeed continued to not only maintain, but to BUILD off what he inherited.

Joe Dirt (Denham Springs)

With all those top players together, which one stood out the most yesterday?

Gary Laney
  (2:20 PM)

I loved the way Tony Brown competed. Let me stop there and first say I loved his afro. Haven't seen one that big since bell bottom jeans were the rage. But beyond that, Tony wanted every rep and compete his butt off. Every time Trey Quinn lined up, Tony wanted him and he'd move other corners out of the way for the opportunity to take that rep. Tony loves the challenge. Trey and him competed like two champs on those plays, both making great plays. It was fun to watch.

Brian ( Houston)

What are your thoughts on Doyel's article regarding Jeremy Hill?

William (Mississippi)

Gregg Doyel (CBS) wrote an article explaining how Les Miles will not cut delinquent players from the team (Jefferson, Hill) because of his desire to win. What is your understanding of Miles character?

Gary Laney
  (2:26 PM)

This column seems to have hit a nerve. I don't think discipline is a major problem in LSU's program relative to major college football in general. I would respect that LSU handles things not for public perception, but on the merits of a case. In Hill's case, if the charges are treated as not a serious offense, then why should he be kicked off the team? I think it would be right to handle the charge in a way that's appropriate and fair for the particular case, and not for public image. If they ultimately decide that Hill will not play or will not be part of the team, I would hope it's because the charges were deemed serious enough to warrant dismissal and not because of public pressure.

Gary Laney
  (2:27 PM)

Having said that, I would find it disappointing if Hill does not face ANY discipline from within the program. I think it's worth a multiple game suspension.

William (Mississippi)

Does Sean White's commitment to Auburn give a better picture of where Brandon Harris will land? Would think he'd lean more between Ohio State and LSU now.

Gary Laney
  (2:28 PM)

Brandon loves drama, but Sean White may have taken the drama out of this. I think Brandon picks LSU but I can't say it's a done deal.

James (Gonzales, LA)

Any feel for how much better the Offense will be with Cameron taking the OC position?

Gary Laney
  (2:31 PM)

I think it will be much better. I'm all for simplicity and there is such an emphasis in simplicity in the passing game. Quarterbacks are drilled to look for mismatches and exploit them, just like if you are playing in the backyard. No need to overcomplicate. Just get guys on the field that create potential matchup problems (see, Antonio Gates, LaDanian Tomlinson and others), get them isolated with somebody who can't defend them and go to work. You see that mentality in the way they practice and those who have sat in on their offensive meetings tell me this stuff is repeated over and over. Makes offensive football easy to understand and execute.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

It appears Butch Jones will be able to bring talent to Knoxville, Cortez McDowell just a commited to the Vols. But do you think he is the coach to lead Tennessee back to the upper echelon of the SEC?

Gary Laney
  (2:34 PM)

Tony, I think Tennessee is always going to face something of an uphill battle, simply because as a state, it doesn't produce the talent that Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Louisiana produce. You can get players there but it's so much easier for those other programs, so it's almost like Tennessee has to rely on some sort of dysfunction in those rival programs that would give prospects from those areas reason to leave home for Knoxville.

Joshua Romero (Scott,LA)

Who is the commitment?

Gary Laney
  (2:35 PM)

The commitment I referred to at the start was the kicker, Cameron Gamble, who committed at the special teams camp Saturday.

Gary Laney
  (2:35 PM)

I've been chatting with ya'll for 30 minutes now and don't have my ear to the ground, so if another commit rolls in, let me know...

Scott (Los Angeles)

Hey Gary. Did Mett really miss the Manning Camp because of some academic issues he had to take care of first?

Gary Laney
  (2:36 PM)

I was told he had test(s) he could not miss in his summer school classes.

Eric (Atlanta)

In your honest assessment... will LSU beat Alabama this year and why or why not?

Gary Laney
  (2:37 PM)

Alabama is a clear favorite to me because while I think LSU will have the defensive personnel to compete with Alabama's offense, the experience factor with McCarron and the Tide offense will have Alabama's offense ahead of LSU's defense. I do expect both units to be outstanding though.

Jeff (Tampa, FL)

Do you think Jordan Mickey will regain his eligibility by the start of the season?

Gary Laney
  (2:38 PM)

50/50 or somewhere thereabouts. I see these appeals go through at times. Sometimes they don't. Don't know enough about the specifics of his situation to really be able to assess though.

Brian (Houston)

Should LSU fans be overly concerned with LA's top recruits heading to 'Bama? Expecting "Sky is falling" type dismay if Fournette and Cameron Robinson commit to Alabama.

Gary Laney
  (2:40 PM)

I expect LSU to get the majority of this talented class and I feel particularly strong about Fournette-to-LSU at this point, but don't read too much into that. If LSU lands 6 of the top 8 in the state (all in the top 50 nationally), I think it'll be a No. 1 class when it's all said and done, even if a couple end up elsewhere.

Jamal (Baton Rouge)

Did the chemistry being built between Harris and Dupre, Robinson and Knapp, and even T. Brown vs Quinn possibly almost solidify them wanting to be teammates at LSU?

Gary Laney
  (2:43 PM)

Harris seemed to bond well with Quinn and Noil in particular. Robinson was bonding with Will Clapp, the LSU-committed lineman from Brother Martin. I think there is great respect between Brown and Quinn. If I'm LSU, I'm pounding Quinn with facing the kind of competition he saw from Brown on Monday every day at practice for three years and how well that will prepare him to make a lot of money in the game. Not that I need to tell them that. LSU sells the "NFL prep" angle well.

Chauncey (Detroit)

What in the Wide, Wide World of Sports is the exact definition of "Geaux"?

Gary Laney
  (2:43 PM)

Neaux explanation needed Chauncey.

Buddah (Baton Rouge)

How good was Speedy Noil? What stood out the most within his skill set?

Gary Laney
  (2:45 PM)

Speedy worked mostly Monday morning and what stood out is what always stands out about Noil: He goes 0 to 60 faster than any player I've ever seen. It's not so much that he runs a Deion Sanders 4.2 40, but it's just that he gets to his top speed in a heartbeat and he can run full speed, put a foot in the ground, and change direction almost without slowing down. It's a freaky think to see.

Gary Laney
  (2:46 PM)

No, our reader, Chauncey, did not work out Monday morning...meant to say "Speedy."

Tony (Richmond, CA)

How much will the ineligibility of Joran Mickey throw a monkey wrench in the Tigers tourney hopes if the ruling is not overturned?

Gary Laney
  (2:47 PM)

It certainly will hurt because it goes to LSU's overall physicality. You can still play Martin as a face-up 4 or use O'Bryant as a traditional 4 with, say, Odo at the 5. But you lose a little bit of versatility if you lose Mickey.

Keith (Ohio)

Do people who follow LSU closely think the coaching staff generally gets adequate performance out of the talent they have? To outsiders, it seems like the football players seem more talented than they play. That may be unfair...

Gary Laney
  (2:50 PM)

It's more complicated than that. There have been guys who haven't panned out, Russell Shepard being the poster child for that. But Morris Claiborne, Tyrann Mathieu, Kevin Minter and KeKe Mingo are all guys who overachieved relative to how they were perceived coming out of high school. In many ways, LSU seems to have a better track record finding the under-the-radar stud than they have developing the prep all-American. But that isn't universally true either (say hi to Patrick Peterson).

William (Mississippi)

Since we are a couple of days into the LSU camp, have you heard of any players likely to commit at the camp?

Gary Laney
  (2:52 PM)

So far, it's been a no go on that. Anthony Jones, the TE from Karr is here, so we'll be waiting at the end of the day to see how that goes. Also, LSU offered an unknown DB yesterday named Santos Ramirez out of Evangel who was absolutely fantastic. I'd be surprised if he doesn't pull the trigger soon.

Toby (TX)

I think Les Miles is underrated nationally but you don't have to look any further than the two minutes of their last matchup to see the difference between him and Saban. Alabama was calm and knew exactly what to do and marched downfield to score in 43 seconds. With 51 seconds left LSU was an unprepared train wreck. First the drop off pass, then Hill running towards the sideline rather than for an easy 1st (and possibly 10-15+ yards). Bama was prepared and executed, LSU wasn't and it showed.

Gary Laney
  (2:54 PM)

That's not the first time that's been an issue at the end of games for LSU, though it was hardly THE issue in the loss. I do think the lack of offensive efficiency is part of the reason why Cam Cameron is walking around LSU's Field House right now.

Derrin (Plano, TX)

Which rising SEC coach's will become a consistent challenger to Bama and LSU in the SEC West year in and year out, Kevin Sumlin at TAMU, or Hugh Freeze at Ole Miss?

Gary Laney
  (2:56 PM)

Sumlin. More to work with there. Ole Miss faces a perpetual uphill climb being in a small state with literally nowhere to go to find prospects who will be no-brainer Ole Miss leans. Of course, Freeze needs to dominate Memphis and Mississippi to have a chance. Sumlin sits on the edge of the Houston metro area, which has three times the population of Mississippi and A&M seems to have done itself a HUGE favor in recruiting by joining the SEC and giving Texas kids a way to get to play in the SEC without leaving the state.

Alex (San Diego,Ca)

If LSU were to land all of the top targets they are considered in the lead for, how would you rank that class for the BCS era?

Gary Laney
  (2:59 PM)

Since LSU is nowhere near getting to that point yet, I haven't really sat down and compared it to, say, 2002 Texas, 2003 USC and 2006 Florida. But it will certainly be LSU's best.

Gary Laney
  (3:00 PM)

Folks, it's 2 p.m., but I have a few more minutes, so we'll keep this going a little longer...

Garrett (Baton Rouge, LA)

Fournette, Robinson, Brown, Noil, Garrett, Jones, Blacknall, Willis, Dupre, Harris, Quinn, Godchaux, McDowell. Does LSU realistically have a shot to close out the 2014 class with all of these guys? If so, could it be heralded as the best signing class of all time at LSU?

Gary Laney
  (3:03 PM)

There isn't a guy in your list who is a stretch for LSU. All of these guys could end up at LSU. But ALL of them? That would be an incredible class, easily the best ever for LSU. While it is definitely a reasonable possibility, I won't say it's likely.

kenny (Prairieville, la)

Does LSU get any commits out of this camp? What are you hearing about Quinn?

Gary Laney
  (3:05 PM)

I think you'll see some. For example, I'd be surprised if Santos Ramirez did not pull the trigger. Will it be 5 ESPN 150 guys? That's looking less likely now. What could happen is a couple days after this is all over, some guys might circle back and pull the trigger. I hear the Quinns wanted to visit with LSU's coaches Monday, but not to commit. Trey has a tough decision, likely between LSU and Clemson, and I don't necessarily expect it to be decided this week or maybe not even this month.

Gary Laney
  (3:05 PM)

I think you'll see some. For example, I'd be surprised if Santos Ramirez did not pull the trigger. Will it be 5 ESPN 150 guys? That's looking less likely now. What could happen is a couple days after this is all over, some guys might circle back and pull the trigger. I hear the Quinns wanted to visit with LSU's coaches Monday, but not to commit. Trey has a tough decision, likely between LSU and Clemson, and I don't necessarily expect it to be decided this week or maybe not even this month.

Gary Laney
  (3:05 PM)

I think you'll see some. For example, I'd be surprised if Santos Ramirez did not pull the trigger. Will it be 5 ESPN 150 guys? That's looking less likely now. What could happen is a couple days after this is all over, some guys might circle back and pull the trigger. I hear the Quinns wanted to visit with LSU's coaches Monday, but not to commit. Trey has a tough decision, likely between LSU and Clemson, and I don't necessarily expect it to be decided this week or maybe not even this month.

Gary Laney
  (3:05 PM)

I think you'll see some. For example, I'd be surprised if Santos Ramirez did not pull the trigger. Will it be 5 ESPN 150 guys? That's looking less likely now. What could happen is a couple days after this is all over, some guys might circle back and pull the trigger. I hear the Quinns wanted to visit with LSU's coaches Monday, but not to commit. Trey has a tough decision, likely between LSU and Clemson, and I don't necessarily expect it to be decided this week or maybe not even this month.

Gary Laney
  (3:05 PM)

I think you'll see some. For example, I'd be surprised if Santos Ramirez did not pull the trigger. Will it be 5 ESPN 150 guys? That's looking less likely now. What could happen is a couple days after this is all over, some guys might circle back and pull the trigger. I hear the Quinns wanted to visit with LSU's coaches Monday, but not to commit. Trey has a tough decision, likely between LSU and Clemson, and I don't necessarily expect it to be decided this week or maybe not even this month.

Ben (Richmond, KY)

I am curious about John Curtis S Mattrell McGraw. Why is LSU not interested in him? He boasts an incredible list of offers (Texas, Bama, USC, Ohio State, etc.) If I'm not mistaken, isn't the secondary a big need in this class? Even more odd, with this list of offers, he is rated pretty low by most recruiting services. What gives?

Gary Laney
  (3:07 PM)

I haven't seen McGraw at this camp. Size is a big thing for LSU right now and maybe it's because he's a bit on the short side. The trend right now is to guys who can cover big receivers outside and go inside and be presentable as a safety making tackles against the run game or covering a slot receiver. But I'm with you in that I think McGraw is a player.

Tyler (Houston )

Do you think Speedy Noil will become a LSU Tiger or going some where else ? Which recivers you think will commit to LSU ?

Gary Laney
  (3:08 PM)

I like LSU's chances with Speedy. I think LSU goes 2-for-3 in its in-state WR targets (Noil, Quinn, Dupre), but that's just a guess.

William (Mississippi)

Some Athlon writers picked LSU to use to Alabama, Georgia, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, and/or Florida. All of them picked LSU to lose to Alabama and Georgia unanimously. What's your thought on LSU's chances against these teams? Here's the link: http://athlonsports.com/college-football/lsu-football-game-game-predictions-2013

Gary Laney
  (3:10 PM)

That's not shocking given LSU's losses on defense. But I do think that does not take into account the accumulation of talent LSU continues to pile up on the defensive side of the ball. Looking at Lewis Neal yesterday, I'm ready to say this kid's going to walk in and be an impact SEC player right off the bat on the defensive line. Same with Tre'Davious White. I think people who see the losses on defense and expect a drop off will be surprised by the physical talent LSU will put on the field this fall.

Scott (Los Angeles)

Off of what Toby said, LSU did have problems closing out games and part of it was defense. Chavis is the best coach they have, yet the Clemson and Bama games show we can't hold a lead in crunch time. Is that a concern or do they just hope to score more points now?

Gary Laney
  (3:12 PM)

Tennessee folks have told me Chavis' end-game defenses drove them crazy. If there's a chink in "Chief's" armor, that's it. I'd still take him over just about any other DC out there. And I do think LSU will hold up better at end games because there is a talent upgrade coming in terms of pass coverage.

Scott (Los Angeles)

Posts keep repeating. What the hell is going on in Hoover? Bama technology?

Gary Laney
  (3:13 PM)

Scott, blame it on weather here (Baton Rouge, I stayed here for LSU's elite camp). I keep getting internet slowdowns, followed by repeats posts. Thanks for hanging in.

Travis (Grand Junction, CO) [via mobile]

Would you say that highly ranked prospect leonard fournett is the best prospect recruited since adrian peterson?

Gary Laney
  (3:15 PM)

Fournette is always being compared to those kinds of elite backs. I hate comparing any 18-year-old to guys who have already accomplished great things on the field. But in terms of how he's perceived as a recruit, it is a fair statement.

William (Mississippi)

Last question from me. If Hill is suspended or released from the team, is Blue fully recovered to take over as a star RB? Or who might be the guy?

Gary Laney
  (3:16 PM)

Blue and Kenny Hilliard. Terrance Magee for change of pace.

Cyril Crutchfield (New Orleans)

Do you think Gerald Willis ends up at LSU? Doesn't seem like Bama is even a factor with his brother there and it's a choice between LSU, aTm & UF.

Gary Laney
  (3:17 PM)

Nice to see you coach. I like LSU's chances with Gerald, to be honest. System fit and LSU has worked him hard. Now, you tell us the latest on your running back. Here he might be a Division I talent, but he needs to camp one more time to make his offer committable.

Jimmy Duckie (New Orleans)

Any word on Blue's recovery?

Gary Laney
  (3:18 PM)

Last question folks...and he was near 100 percent in the spring. Unless he's reinjured it -- and I've heard nothing to indicate that's the case -- he should be 100 percent in August.

Gary Laney
  (3:18 PM)

Great chat guys. Sorry about the glitch. I'm heading back out to LSU's camp. See you guys next week.

Hunter St. Cyr (Springfield, LA)

Gary,Who has been the most outstanding looking freshman this year? the one who will come in and make the biggest impact, in your opinion?

Gary Laney
  (3:19 PM)

Hunter, I'm taking your question because I want to answer it...

Gary Laney
  (3:20 PM)

Lewis Neal is a man. Followed closely by Tre'Davious White who looked like a grew up from a kid to a man over the summer. And both Ethan Pocic and Christian LaCouture both proved in the spring that they will be factors in the fall (both enrolled early). There's four for you to watch for right off the bat.

Gary Laney
  (3:21 PM)

I was dying to talk about those four because being around the campus the last couple of days and seeing the current players working out, those guys are so darn impressive.

Gary Laney
  (3:21 PM)

Anyway, that will do it. Really. We're done. See y'all next week.