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Brian Kelly Talks at First SEC Media Days.

In his opening news conference at SEC media days, first-year LSU head coach Brian Kelly pushed back against the idea that the school is underfunded and said LSU is “as competitive as anybody else.”

“I don’t feel like we’re being outbid by anybody,” Kelly said. “I don’t think that’s the place of NIL anyway. So if we were being outbid, then we’re going to be outbid if we have $50 million in our collective.”

Kelly, hired by LSU in November, said the timing was right for his departure from Notre Dame after 11 years at the school.

“We had an incredible president, President Tate, an athletic director that I had history with in Scott Woodward, and a rich history and tradition with LSU football,” he said. “So for me, it was then taking on that great opportunity in front of me to be part of restoring championship-quality football to LSU.”

Kelly referenced his ability to “run a program at the highest level” as to why he fits in at LSU and his 32 years of coaching experience across the country.

“I’ve had success at Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Central Michigan, wherever I’ve been,” he said. “So running a program and then player development, I think those are the most important things. I don’t think that needs to be geographical in a sense.”

Kelly, who went viral in January after seeming to have a Southern drawl when addressing an LSU basketball crowd, was also asked about his favorite food he’s tried since moving to Louisiana and referenced his viral moment.

“Understand now, I have a Boston, Midwestern, Louisiana accent now,” he said. “It’s three dialects into one. It’s no longer family, I got all kinds of stuff to throw at you. … You know, it’s probably the crawfish étouffée. I don’t know how you top that.

“I would say also the grilled oysters. If you haven’t had grilled oysters, try that. That will get your cholesterol level up high pretty quickly.”

LSU opens the 2022 season Sept. 4 against FSU in Baton Rouge.

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