BATON ROUGE, La. — It’s been nearly 12 years since Dameyune Craig last coached at LSU.
But Les Miles has never been one for great timing.
Miles shared a story Wednesday about the early moments into his tenure at LSU in which he tried to retain Craig, then a graduate assistant, before he eventually followed Nick Saban to the Miami Dolphins.
“He came into my office and said, ‘Listen, if you want to make full-time …’” Miles recalled.
“You have to give me some time to make my decision,” Miles responded to Craig in 2004.
“It takes me a little bit of time to figure out what I ought to do,” Miles said on Wednesday after introducing Craig as LSU’s new wide receivers coach.
Craig returns to LSU after a three-year stint at SEC West rival Auburn and three years at Florida State under coach Jimbo Fisher.
The record-setting Auburn quarterback helped recruit national champion and Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston to Florida State. He also helped mold Christian Ponder and E.J. Manuel into first-round picks in the NFL draft as the Seminoles quarterbacks coach.
Twelve years after that conversation about a full-time position on Miles’ staff at LSU, that notion has come to fruition.
“He’s a quarterback by nature and understands every position on the field,” Miles said of Craig. “He coached under Jimbo Fisher, who’s a great coach and mentor. He coached several first-round draft picks at quarterback at Florida State. He comes from the SEC. He comes with the knowledge of how to compete at this level.
“When you’re a quarterback, you know every play. You know what all 11 guys are doing on that play. That kind of knowledge makes for great coaches.”
While Craig does boast plenty of knowledge at the quarterback positions, he coached wide receivers the last three years at Auburn.
That job title will remain the same at LSU, though Craig remains open to whatever is asked of him.
“I want to come in and be the best coach I can be,” Craig said. “Obviously, my knowledge at the position and playing in the SEC and in the NFL could be helpful to these guys if the coaching staff ever asks for it. I want to come in and just fit into what we’re doing.
“I’ve been around the SEC and this kind of success over the course of 10 years. They know what they’re doing. It’s not up to me to change what they’re doing. I’m going to learn and add and add my advice. I just want to be the best co-worker I can.”