LSU football coach Les Miles and returning juniors addressed the media Friday regarding their decision to return school for the 2016 football season.
Miles said that the decisions were made by the players with the support of both their family and the advice of the coaches.
"They felt as a group that there was just more to accomplish," Miles said. "Each of these guys can improve their draft position, get their degrees certainly by next December and they've put a premium on education, their teammates, and they also want to play in a championship game."
There will be 19 seniors returning for the 2016 football season, 18 of which are starters.
Christian LaCouture, Lewis Neal, Kendell Beckwith, Tre'Davious White and Ethan Pocic were the returning juniors in attendance at the press conference. Travin Dural will also be returning, but was unable to make it Friday as well as Rickey Jefferson.
LaCouture, a three-year starter, and Neal, a defensive end, both took a turn at the podium before Miles returned to wrap up the news conference.
"We really feel like, talking it over, that we have a legitimate shot at being in the playoffs and win a national championship," LaCouture said. "That is something that when we came to LSU we expect, to play at the highest role and play in big time ball games, and we expect to go out there and win a national championship. We got one more time to go, and like I said at LSU, we expect to win championships and we want to leave here with one."
"[Neal] was among the SEC leaders in sacks. He had 8 sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss," Miles said. "[LaCouture] was just one of those guys who made it awfully tough for our opponents to run the football up the center."
Beckwith, a two-year starter, is "the returning leading tackler and really the kind of the glue of the defense," according to Miles.
Miles touted White's academic achievements, saying he went All-SEC academic honor roll. White, a three-year starter, is a punt returner and cornerback for the Tigers
Pocic has started for three years on the LSU offense. Miles praised him as well saying he "really could play any of the five positions" on the offensive line.