It was Tell the Truth Monday once again for Ed Orgeron as he met with assorted members of the Baton Rouge media after his Tigers got blown out by No. 1 Alabama 55-17.
“I thought our team, just like I said after the game, competed very hard, prepared well,” Orgeron said. “The will to win on the sideline was there throughout 60 minutes of the game, down to our last drive, 15-play offensive drive. A lot of young players got a lot of valuable playing time, competed really hard.”
That’s a whole lot of coachspeak, but I felt O summed up Saturday night’s beatdown nicely:
“We didn’t get that done.”
Didn’t get it done, indeed. Anyway, after making his opening statement, Orgeron took questions from reporters. It sounded as though the staff is considering giving Max Johnson the start at quarterback Saturday against Florida. Oregon felt Johnson played well against Alabama.
“I thought (Johnson) looked his best against Alabama,” Orgeron said. “I thought he was crisp. I thought he went through his progression well. His ball came out very well, threw very catchable balls. He can scramble, run. I think he’s tough. He’s a hard worker. So is TJ (Finley) I think both of those guys are very similar. I thought Max played his best game.
Orgeron was also asked if there was a need to reassess the current commits that make up LSU’s 2021 recruiting class. The class is ranked No. 3 nationally but only has one offensive linemen in the class—four-star Garrett Dellinger from Michigan—and Orgeron was asked specifically if LSU’s last few spots, five as of this writing, will be for linemen.
“Obviously offensive line is a priority for us,” Orgeron said. “Yes, there’s a sense of urgency there. I do believe we’re in on some big-time players. I believe we’re going to have success on one or two. We may need a junior college player or maybe a graduate transfer in that area. I may have to hold a couple scholarships for graduate transfers. We had a roster management meeting this morning. That subject did come up.”
Speaking of recruiting, Orgeron was also asked about his staff’s efforts to re-recruit the older players to come back for the 2021 season. The NCAA has granted all football players an additional year of eligibility so even seniors like JaCoby Stevens and Andre Anthony could return if they so chose.
Orgeron said some players were “dead set going” while others are considering returning. The staff is trying to sell players on returning to school because with an extra year they could get drafted higher in the following draft.
Orgeron was asked if he’d want to play in a bowl game if his team was extended the invite, and Orgeron of course wants to play in one. Orgeron said bowl practices would be like a “mini spring” and that the younger players need those practices.
Finally, Orgeron was asked about the staff’s preparations for Florida and its high powered offense led by Kyle Trask and Kyle Pitts.
“We got to know where that tight end is, for sure,” Orgeron said. “He gave us fits last year. Great player. Kyle Trask is an outstanding quarterback. I think he has 38 touchdowns, three interceptions. Tough, can run the football. Got a great offensive line. A lot of speed. We’re just getting started on Florida.”