Outback luncheon notes: No Eugene talk, Mills practicing at safety, Hobbled Mett coaching

LSU coach Les Miles would not comment on the departure of safety Micah Eugene and Jalen Mills may play safety in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1.

Jalen Mills might play safety in the Outback Bowl. (Travis Spradling | The Advocate)

Those nuggets came from a luncheon at Outback Steakhouse on Thursday on Acadian Thruway. More than 100 football players descended on the restaurant for a celebration of the school’s invitation to the bowl game against Iowa.

The restaurant pecooked 189 sirloin steaks and 189 chicken breasts for the luncheon. A chicken breast and steak were served with each plate. And there were enough blooming onions to go-around.

Enough food talk … to news nuggets:

  • Defensive back Jalen Mills was made available to reporters at the luncheon. Mills, an All-American Freshman last season at cornerback, has been playing both safety and corner during bowl practice and is unsure what he’ll play in the Outback Bowl. It’s not too surprising. Mills filled in at safety when true freshman Rickey Jefferson struggled in the regular season finale against Arkansas. Jefferson was in for the injured Corey Thompson, who won’t play in the bowl because of a knee injury.
  • Asked about a replacement for Thompson, Miles said “more likely theĀ Ronald Martins and Jalen Mills kind of guys” would fill in.
  • If he does play safety, Mills said Rashard Robinson will replace him at cornerback, which is what happened against Arkansas. Mills mentioned that him, Martin and Jefferson are working at safety opposite starter Craig Loston. Mills began to make the transition to safety in practice leading up to the Arkansas game, he said. “Just knowing the depth at our safety is getting slimmer,” Mills said. Mills mentioned that Martin’s foot injury is getting better.
  • Zach Mettenberger, using crutches, led the team into the restaurant. Receiver Jarvis Landry said Mettenberger has been around the team and helping true freshman backup Anthony Jennings. “Him critiquing Anthony in little ways, helping Coach Cam (Cameron) and seeing things. (He’s) being able to be a coach now. That’s his thing. He’s sticking around the game as much as he can.” Mettenberger was not made available to reporters.
  • More on Jennings from Miles: “He’s improving everyday. He’s getting a lot of reps. We think he’ll play well. With the knowledge that ‘I’m the starter for this game’ … it really gives you a sincere reason to prepare. I think he’s doing a great job.”