Ed Orgeron on Sports Talk: "We're building a championship team"

The LSU Tiger head coach talked recruiting, expectations

Mark Menard
February 10, 2018 - 3:04 am

When the final tally came in on this year's college recruiting class, LSU was ranked differently by most major analysts, but one thing was unanimous - everyone had the Tigers listed outside the top 10 for the first time since 2005.

However, Tiger head coach Ed Orgeron told Deuce McAllister and Deke Bellavia on WWL Radio Friday night that he's pleased with LSU's incoming class, even if it's not as highly-rated as what Tiger fans have grown accustomed to, saying they filled a number of areas of need.

"Think about this," Orgeron said. "We needed offensive linemen. We went out and got the best junior college offensive tackle in the country. We got the best junior college offensive guard in the country. We signed four offensive linemen. We signed five defensive tackles. We needed a kicker and we got the best graduate-transfer kicker available. So we addressed a lot of needs. But the number-one need was Lousiana first, and we signed eight of the top 10 players in Louisiana. We did not lose a player in Louisiana we went after, and I'm proud of that."

Orgeron did discuss the "one that got away" - highly-coveted defensive back Patrick Surtain Jr., who chose Nick Saban and Tuscaloosa over Baton Rouge.

"Obviously, we missed on Surtain at the end," Orgeron said. "That's the only guy we thought we really missed on, and that hurt us. But we're gonna try to find some graduate transfers. I've already got some guys that are available so we have a plan."

Orgeron also addressed rumors that the hiring of safeties coach Bill Busch spelled trouble for current defensive-backs coach Corey Raymond, an assistant with a stellar coaching and recruiting record during his five years at LSU.

"Corey's a very good coach, but I wanted to give him some help," Orgeron said. "It's just an advantage to have a tenth coach, and that's an area we needed more help at." When asked point-blank if Raymond would remain on staff, Orgeron replied, "No question."

Talk then turned to next year's senior class. The 2019 recruits in Louisiana offer a bounty of talent, with a number of nationally-ranked players in play. Keeping them in-state would all-but-erase the disappointment some fans feel with Orgeron over the current crop of incoming freshmen.

"I feel like we're in the lead for most of them," Orgeron said. "Some of them are committed to us. We've got them all together trying to recruit. Our pitch is all come to LSU and let's win a championship. Why not us? Let's stay in our own state. Let's represent the Louisiana Tigers. I think we're further ahead in junior recruiting than we've ever been. But as we know, it's gonna be a battle. We have to have success on the field."

Orgeron was also asked if he felt his program was on the rise.

"No question," Orgeron said. "We're one play away from winning 10 games. We were 3-2, then we go 6-1. We lose to Alabama. We fought them pretty hard. We had a couple plays there we didn't make. Then we're one play away in the Notre Dame game from winning 10 games. That's not a national championship, but it's a pretty good sign of things to come. I do believe that we're building a championship program."

Listen to the full audio of Orgeron's interview on Sports Talk by clicking the podcast link below.



Ed Orgeron talks LSU's recruiting class

Deuce & Deke talk LSU's recruiting class with Tigers Coach Ed Orgeron.

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