Ed Orgeron couldn’t land Ishmael Sopsher.
But according to the LSU head coach, the Tigers suffered no true losses on Signing Day. The only ones missing out are the players who chose to continue their football careers with other collegiate programs.
When asked about the players that passed up on the opportunity to play in Tiger Stadium, Orgeron’s response was simple.
“I don’t really care,” he said. “We got the guys we wanted.”
It’s no secret the loss on Sopsher stung a bit, and Orgeron made it clear he wasn’t the only player that slipped out of LSU’s grasp.
“We went after probably four other defensive linemen, and they chose to go other places,” he said. “Whatever makes them go over there, I don’t want to discuss that.”
One notable name the Tigers did land was receiver Devonta Lee, the first Amite player to sign since 2002. The 4-star athlete was one of Sopsher’s teammates.
“We went into that area, and we haven’t had a lot of success there, and I’m happy we got Devonta,” Orgeron said.
Orgeron also thinks he’s found a special talent in Alabama prospect, Desmond Little. Orgeron compared the 6-foot-5, 210-pound edge rusher’s potential to that of former LSU greats, Arden Key and Barkevious Mingo.
“We had a pecking order,” Orgeron explained. “Obviously we had some guys we went after that didn’t come, but Desmond was always sitting there. He’s a guy that we thought would always come to LSU.”
“We feel like we found a diamond in the rough in Desmond Little,” he said. “We’re glad that we signed him.”
The Tigers finished with the No. 5 signing class for 2019 in the nation, complete with cornerback Derek Stingley, defensive tackle Siaki Ika, center Charles Turner, tight end T.K. McClendon, running back John Emery Jr., outside linebacker Marcel Brooks, offensive guard Kardell Thomas, wide receiver Trey Palmer, cornerback Maurice Hampton, running back Tyrion Davis, offensive tackle Ray Parker, inside linebacker Devonta Lee, offensive guard Anthony Bradford, quarterback Peter Parrish, athlete Raydarious Jones, offensive tackle Thomas Perry, cornerback Jay Ward, inside linebacker Kendall McCallum, cornerback Cardale Flott, defensive tackle Joseph Evans, defensive end Soni Fonua, defensive end Desmond Little, kicker Cade York and long snapper Quentin Skinner.
Orgeron is proud of what LSU has accomplished on the recruiting front as they prepare to head into the 2019 season.
“This has been a process. This class, we’ve been recruiting these guys for two years, some of them for three or four,” he said. “And obviously to keep the guys in-state is a huge deal for us at LSU. I thought we did an outstanding job this year. We actually only lost one player that we went after and offered a scholarship to, so I think that’s an outstanding job by our staff.”