BATON ROUGE, La. — It’s been a grumpy month for LSU football fans. Then again, maybe they all are. But early 2018 has been exceptional even by those standards, by which Oscar the Grouch would be considered an unbridled optimist.
Thing is, the pessimistic portion of the fan base isn’t wrong to feel that way. The news hasn’t been pleasant.
The Citrus Bowl ended in stunningly unfortunate fashion. Matt Canada’s departure was messy — you don’t often see a coaching exit that requires legal documents forcing each side to say nice things about the other. For many, the promotion of Steve Ensminger to offensive coordinator felt underwhelming at best. And the late defection of 5-star cornerback Patrick Surtain Jr. on National Signing Day became the Brussels sprout on top of that kale sundae.
But guess what? Not everything is miserable.
Though many remain fixated on Orgeron’s unfulfilled campaign promise to always hire the best coordinators in America, there’s another promise they should be focusing on: fun offense. The days of a stuck-in-the-mud LSU offense are over. Based on the personnel Orgeron has at his disposal, there is no option available for the Tigers other than a pass-friendly offense.
Just take a look at LSU’s wide receiving corps:
#LSU's wide receivers next season:
6-6 Dee Anderson
6-6 Stephen Sullivan
6-4 Drake Davis
6-4 Terrace Marshall
6-3 Kenan Jones
6-3 Racey McMath
6-3 Mannie Netherly
6-2 Justin Jefferson
6-1 Ja'Marr Chase
6-1 Jaray Jenkins
6-0 Jonathan Giles
5-11 Derrick Dillon
— Nick Suss (@nicksuss) February 7, 2018
Though there is justifiable teeth-gnashing over LSU having its lowest-ranked signing class since 2002, the Tigers definitely hit it out of the park by landing the tandem of Terrace Marshall and Ja’Marr Chase, who are so good that you almost forget that the Tigers signed two other very good receivers in Kenan Jones and Jaray Jenkins.
“[Ja’Marr] and Terrace Marshall Jr. remind me of Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr.,” Ed Orgeron said on Wednesday.
He wasn’t blowing smoke. Those guys have that kind of potential. And they enter a room that has enough talent — albeit unproven — that there’s no guarantee they’ll start as freshmen.
Someone still has to get the ball to those wide receivers, and it will be up to Myles Brennan or Lowell Narcisse to step up and prove to be the man for the job. There’s no guarantee that the offense will feature the execution to be exciting. But the scheme is going to be there.
There undoubtedly will be plenty of things for LSU fans to grumble about in the coming months, and many of those grievances will be valid. But come September, a 3 yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust offense won’t be one of them.