Off to a 3-0 start, LSU interim head coach Ed Orgeron is trying to again make his mark as a head coach. Almost more impressive has been his ability to keep LSU’s fourth-ranked recruiting class together.
The Tigers have lost only a single commit, junior college wide receiver Stephen Guidry, since Orgeron took the reins of the LSU program after Les Miles was fired on Sept. 25. The Tigers, meanwhile, still have 19 verbal commitments including 12 that are ranked in the ESPN 300, and will host a bevy of big-time recruits for the huge rivalry game against Alabama on Saturday night.
ESPN 300 quarterback commit Myles Brennan said it’s Orgeron’s energy and excitement energizing the recruits.
“It really started all the first week he took over. All the commits had a group chat and we talked about this. Obviously it was tough seeing Les [Miles] and Cam [Cameron] get fired,” Brennan said. “Especially as a recruit, those were the two big guys in the LSU program. But Coach O just kind of took over and filled some really big shoes. As recruit when you see him win three straight games, two of which were in the SEC, that’s pretty big for a guy coming in and doing that. We’ve been to the games as a recruiting class and you just see the change. You can feel the energy level change. I feel like Coach O brings a lot more energy and is a lot more enthusiastic.
“He interacts more with the players in the locker room. He’s yelling and getting them fired up and I feel like that carries over on to the field. I didn’t see that before. I wouldn’t say it was quiet in the locker room, but I didn’t feel like there was much interaction between coach Les and the players. It was kind of like, they ran off the field and they just did what they did. I feel like it’s just been great the last three weeks and there’s another big test this week. I’m just excited to get down there and just be in an environment that I’ve never been in before and hopefully we’ll get the outcome we want.”
While current commits have been impressed with what Orgeron has done so far, uncommitted prospects have also noticed the change. ESPN 300 defensive back Todd Harris, who will be on hand for the Alabama game, echoed Brennan’s thoughts on Orgeron.
“Coach O is a great coach,” Harris said. “He brings a lot of energy to the field and to the players. I’m looking forward to watching a good game on Saturday night.”
While there is no guarantee that Orgeron will win the full-time head coaching job, it’s apparent he is starting to win over the players and recruits.
“I feel like whoever LSU is going to bring in is going to be good,” Brennan said. “I don’t think LSU would settle for someone that not’s good and that’s not going to be successful and win games. But right now, I feel like they are doing a pretty good job with what they have. Coach O has done a great job. I feel like most the commits want coach Orgeron to get the job, just because there hasn’t been much talk lately of another coach coming in.
“Obviously at the beginning there was talk of Jimbo [Fisher] and Tom Herman but things have kind of died down as the weeks have progressed and as LSU kept winning. I feel like as a recruiting class and guys that have come down on visits, we’d be just fine with Coach O taking over. I just feel like having the same staff, you know, they’ve been together for many years now, so I feel like that would be a good thing. Just build from there instead of someone starting at ground level and working their way up.”