Obviously, the biggest headline grabber this week was Ed Orgeron’s appearance on the Dan LeBatard radio show, particularly his consumption of energy drinks.
Ed Orgeron says when he's drinking, he'll have 8-10 energy drinks a day: "If we do something LSU we're going to do it full speed." pic.twitter.com/ecea92OAyR— Jordan Heck (@JordanHeckFF) May 10, 2017
Oddly, the rest of the interview was rather awkward. LeBatard, ever the mark for old THA U stories, wanted Orgeron to go into detail on some of his wilder days, which is certainly not going to happen now as a major program coach.
LSU’s annual Tiger Tour is off and rolling this week, so there’s been lots of other reports featuring Coach O:
At last night’s tour stop in the Mandeville/Covington area, Orgeron revealed that when the summer semester begins in June, 22 members of the 2017 recruiting class will be fully enrolled, with defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin the lone holdup. Shelvin needs to a few As and Bs to replace the LBs he’s been shedding as of late, per this gem from the Lafayette Tiger Tour stop earlier in the week:
“I told his grandma to start feeding him gumbo with no rice,” the LSU coach said Monday. “He called me (and) said, ‘Coach, you’re killing me. I need more rice!’ ”
All gumbo, no rice. May have to try this diet in the name of science.
Shelvin’s grades have always been a question mark, but scuttlebutt has been optimistic that he will qualify for the fall. If he’s truly down to 325 pounds, he’ll still likely be able to contribute in 2017, even if he does arrive late to camp.
The Advocate’s Ross Dellenger had more on the Mandeville tour stop here.
Speaking of 2017, Kevin Toliver earned a spot on Edward Aschoff’s list of most improved in the SEC over at ESPN. Aschoff also had this feature on the Tiger linebacking corps, easily the biggest question mark on the defense for the coming year.
The future of Coach O and LSU were a topic on Andy Staples’ Dear Andy mailbag this week as well:
As discussed during the hiring process, there’s no doubt that a strong staff and coordinators will always be necessary for Orgeron’s success. But that’s almost always the case, even for head coaches that have a particular expertise, or framework on one side of the ball. The disastrous hire of Brian Schottenheimer at Georgia helped spark the end of Mark Richt’s tenure, and Richt is a heck of an offensive mind. Likewise, Bob Stoops’ Oklahoma defenses have looked much better with Brent Venables running them than they have Mike Stoops. Replacing Dave Aranda and/or Matt Canada will certainly be key to sustaining any success for Orgeron, but that would be the case with almost any other head coach as well.
In some bigger picture news, the much-debated early signing period for recruiting has been approved. SB Nation Recruiting Editor Bud Elliot has a good primer here on what to expect — we’ll have more on how it could affect LSU in the future at a later date.
More ‘crootin’ news: LSU has bumped Michigan out of Tulane’s football camp in New Orleans this summer. You may remember that the Greenies and head coach Willie Fritz hosted Texas A&M last summer, which led to Les Miles not inviting the Tulane staff to the Tigers’ camps. Orgeron was able to extend an olive branch there, and while some Tiger fans may not care to associate with such Greenie types it’s a smart move strategically. Good relationships with the other in-state schools has value for LSU, particularly in terms of keeping other programs out of satellite camps in Louisiana. And that, in turn, will help extend efforts to keep more of the state’s best players at LSU (and away from other SEC powers).
A proposal to extend redshirt rules is also on the table — and that could make bowl games very interesting in the future, particularly beyond the playoff tier. It could be a boon to player development, particularly in paycheck games, if a staff knows they can give a freshman significant playing time yet still preserve a year of eligibility.
The NCAA released Academic Progress Rate scores this week, with LSU’s football score ticking up up 18 points to 959. Overall, 11 of LSU’s 21 varsity sports hit a score of 990 out of 1,000 total points on the APR scale, and 16 scored at least 975.
On the NFLSU front, the Miami Dolphins also posted this short interview with former Tiger Davon Godchaux:
In other recruiting news, friends of the blog Jordy Culotta and T-Bob Hebert, from the ESPN 104.5/104.9 morning show in Baton Rouge, conducted this interview with stud pass-rushing recruit K’Lavon Chaisson, during which he reported his weight at 234 currently, up from 215 on National Signing Day. If Chaisson can maintain his speed at that weight, he’ll absolutely contribute as a true freshman.
Something else Chaisson mentioned dovetails interestingly, in my opinion, with this piece on Auburn recruit Markaviest Bryant, who very nearly wound up signing with the Good Guys. Bryant mentions something of a tender approach from Orgeron and LSU’s recruiting staff, while Chaisson specifically mentioned appreciating how Orgeron and Co., were willing to be openly critical of his play. Tyler Taylor also mentioned appreciating how hard Orgeron and Aranda coached him in LSU camps. Recruiting takes a lot of approaches.
In hoops news, Will Wade recently hired Ole Miss assistant Bill Armstrong to fill out his staff, and attrition to the current roster has started. LSU’s new head coach had a few things to say about player workouts in this recent interview with Tiger Rag.
On a final note, today is Commencement on LSU’s campus, and our own Adam Henderson will be among the graduates. Let’s all congratulate him and wish him luck in wherever life takes him on his next step.