Long before he was winning national championships at LSU, Ed Orgeron’s reputation was built by being one of the best defensive line coaches in America. Coaching at the University of Miami in the 1980s, Orgeron helped develop future Pro Football Hall of Famers Cortez Kennedy and Warren Sapp and coached Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
So when Coach O says BJ Ojulari is going to be an All-American, he’ll probably end up being right.
When it came to getting BJ Ojulari’s Letter of Intent, LSU had its work cut out for them. Ojulari is from Marietta, Georgia, the same school as Arik Gilbert. Ojulari was initially committed to Tennessee, pledging to the Vols along with his teammate Harrison Bailey a quarterback and top-100 prospect. Bailey and Ojulari were both trying to get Gilbert to come to Knoxville with them. If all that wasn’t enough, Ojulari’s brother Azeez is a linebacker at Georgia. Surely Ojulari would either go with his high school teammates to Tennessee, or stay home and play with his brother.
But out of nowhere Gilbert committed to LSU last October. Four days later, Ojulari decommitted from Tennessee and committed to the Tigers. After taking two unofficial visits to Baton Rouge, Ojulari officially visited campus the week of the Texas A&M game and three weeks later, he signed with LSU and enrolled in January.
Five-stars (98-110 rating): The top 32 players in the country to mirror the 32 first round picks in the NFL Draft. These are 32 players that we believe are the most likely to be drafted in the first round from each recruiting class. The full list of 32 with five-star ratings typically isn’t complete until the final ranking. Any player with a rating of more than 100 is considered a “franchise player” and one that does not come around in every recruiting class.
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Three-stars (80-89 rating): This is where the bulk of college football prospects are found and it incorporates a large range of ability levels, all of whom we consider as possible NFL players long term.
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247 Composite Ranking: ****
247 Composite Rating: .9635
Orgeron’s called his shot. He thinks Ojulari will be an All-American, and if anyone has an eye for these things it’s Ed Orgeron.
“He’s just so athletic,” Orgeron said after a spring practice. “Today in pass rush, he had two wins against the first team. He came up and under. He’s very strong. He’s very mature. Great student. Making straight As. Hard worker. He just has all the makings of being a great end. He’s perfect for the 4-3.”
I’m curious how much we’ll see Ojulari in whatever 2020 season we get. LSU has a lot of options at defensive end, but it’s far from proven. There’s a mix veteran players who haven’t really made an impact, like Andre Anthony and Ray Thornton, and players that are new because it’s the first time they’ve played the spot (TK McClendon), are coming from JUCO (Ali Gaye) or are true freshmen. Justin Thomas is also back with the program after leaving in October. Why couldn’t Ojulari leapfrog some of those guys?
High End: All-American, just as Coach O predicted
Low End: Solid contributor that doesn’t stand out because of the amount of talent LSU’s bringing in at defensive end
Realistic: Multi-year starter who flourishes under Orgeron’s coaching
Realistic: I’m inclined to listen when Coach O speaks about defensive linemen. Per LSU’s website Ojulari is already at 230 pounds so he’s already packed on weight. If Ojulari can add on another 10 or 15 pounds, and I have no reason to think Tommy Moffitt’s staff won’t get him there, Ojulari could very well live up to O’s lofty predictions.