Ben Miles Rivals camp

Ben Miles (72) participates in the Rivals New Orleans Camp last March. Miles, the son of LSU head coach Les, committed to Nebraska on Sunday.

Let's cut to the chase.

Ben Miles' father is Les Miles, LSU's 12th-year head coach. A powerful and versatile fullback, Ben Miles has held a scholarship offer from the Tigers for nearly a year.

So, why did Miles, a standout at Baton Rouge (Louisiana) Catholic High, choose to play college football at Nebraska?

"I just always grew up wanting to do my own thing and be my own man," he said Monday morning. "Obviously, LSU is a great place to play football and get an education. But for me, I just want to do something different."

Miles verbally committed to Nebraska on Sunday via Twitter. He answered questions Monday in a phone interview.

Rated with three stars by Rivals.com, Miles also holds scholarship offers from Michigan State, Boston College, Purdue and Texas-San Antonio, among others.

What was his parents' reaction to his big decision?

"Without too much detail, they have mixed feelings," Miles said. "They're very proud of me. But, you know ... They're very proud of me. That's all I'm going to say."

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Miles said Nebraska stood above all other schools in part because he felt comfortable with his recruiters, most notably running backs coach Reggie Davis, graduate assistant Tavita Thompson (who works mostly with tight ends) and graduate manager John Weiss (who assists Davis).

"I just like the program, like its tradition, like the staff -- I really like coach (Mike) Riley," Miles said.

Another major factor was the prominent manner in which Nebraska used fullback Andy Janovich last season. A sixth-round pick by the Denver Broncos in April, Janovich in 2015 rushed for 265 yards, averaging 6.3 per carry, while also catching two passes for 58 yards.

"In terms of things we can do, there are a lot of similarities," Miles said. "That's a lot of what the coaching staff saw in me. I think they're correct -- I fit that role -- and I can do a lot of things for them."

He played a versatile role for Catholic High, which won the state championship last season. He packs a punch at 6-foot-1, 230 pounds.

"I can play fullback, H-back, running back, and I played in the slot," he said. "I've done most everything but play offensive line or take a snap."

He's a confident sort. Yes, like his dad. But the younger Miles wanted to forge his own path. You have to respect that.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7440 or ssipple@journalstar.com.


Husker columnist

Steven, a lifelong Nebraskan, newspaper enthusiast and UNL grad, joined the Journal Star in 1990 and has covered NU football since 1995.

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