LSU football coach Ed Orgeron said a lot of things during his run through the ESPN “Car Wash” on Wednesday in Bristol, Conn., with appearances ranging from the early-morning “Mike and Mike” radio show to the early-evening edition of “SportsCenter.”
Just in case you missed monitoring Orgeron’s 11 hours’ worth of media appearances, SEC Country has you covered. We culled the coach’s comments to the five biggest takeaways in one convenient spot.
1. Ed Orgeron believes LSU has a championship QB
While Orgeron was on The Ryen Russillo Show, co-host Adnan Virk quipped that a statue would be built of Orgeron if he brought a quality quarterback to LSU.
Orgeron said he thinks such a player is already on the roster. He has high hopes for Danny Etling this season, and even higher hopes for incoming freshmen Lowell Narcisse and Myles Brennan.
“I think Danny’s a good quarterback,” Orgeron said. “He proved that last year. He knows he needs to play better in the big game.”
Etling did not have anything going against Alabama, going 11 of 24 for 92 yards and an interception.
“We have to protect him,” Orgeron said. “He has a chance to be a championship quarterback. We’re going to see that.”
As for Narcisse and Brennan, Orgeron feels certain that one of the promising freshmen will deliver an SEC title to LSU.
“We recruited two great quarterbacks in Lowell Narcisse and Myles Brennan,” Orgeron said. “I do believe one of those guys will end up being a championship quarterback for us.”
2. He prefers the spread offense
Speaking to a national audience, Orgeron wasted no time making it perfectly clear that this LSU team won’t be anything like they are used to watching.
“We’ll be a totally spread offense,” Orgeron said. “We won’t have a fullback in the backfield.”
Among other things, he expects changes enacted by new offensive coordinator Matt Canada will benefit running back Derrius Guice.
“It will create a lot of 1-on-1’s for him,” Orgeron said.
The glimpses of success LSU demonstrated using a partial spread playbook under Steve Ensminger last season give Orgeron confidence for the future.
“It’s evident you can give the ball to playmakers in space and they’ll have success.”
3. He prefers a ‘family atmosphere’
Naturally, Orgeron faced plenty of questions about Alabama, a team LSU has not beaten since the 2011 regular season.
“They’re the benchmark. You have to give them credit,” Orgeron said. “But we’re LSU. We’re going to be what LSU’s going to be, and we’ve won championships before.”
Pretty much all of those questions revolved around the X’s and O’s of beating the Crimson Tide. But there was a very subtle moment during which Orgeron uttered a sentence — whether calculated or not — that could reveal how he is fighting the Tide on the recruiting trail.
“I treat my players exactly as I treat my sons,” Orgeron said on SportsCenter. “It’s not a business-like atmosphere. It’s a family atmosphere.”
If “business-like atmosphere” is not a direct code word for “Alabama” it might as well be. But it shouldn’t be interpreted as shade toward Nick Saban’s beloved Process, which is college football’s measure of success. Orgeron’s message seems to be that if recruits come to LSU, they can have fun and win in a “family” atmosphere.
4. He will be keeping his shirt on, for real now
A week ago, Orgeron could not have anticipated he would repeatedly be asked about a shirtless photograph. But as they say, life comes at you fast.
— Terry Minor (@MoreThanMinor23) July 17, 2017
Orgeron was just minding his own business, jogging along the Mississippi River levee, when a couple fans asked to take his picture. Being mid-afternoon in Louisiana, Orgeron had no shirt on, and he’s a bit embarrassed about the whole thing now that it’s gone viral.
“I won’t make the same mistake twice,” he said. “Next time I’ll be in a shirt.”
We’re not sure what Coach O has to be sheepish about — he’s not exactly hiding a Charlie Weis physique from the public — but it was very clear he’d like to put that moment behind him.
5. He is building a wall around Louisiana for recruits
The message of building a recruiting wall around Louisiana was frequently repeated throughout Orgeron’s busy day.
“We have one of the best states in the country to recruit,” Orgeron said. “If we get the best players in Louisiana to come, we’ll win a lot of championships.”
Orgeron admitted there is still work to be done on that end.
“I believe 99 percent of young men born in Louisiana want to play at LSU. It’s a natural fit,” Orgeron said on The Ryen Russillo Show. “We have lost some guys out of state.
“We need to mend some fences that have been broken. We need to continue to makes some great relationships with high schools we don’t have great relationships with. We need to continue to keep the best players in state.”