Les Miles is no longer the head coach of the LSU Tigers. In his stead is Ed Orgeron, who, in his second season with the team, now is the interim head coach.
Orgeron is auditioning for the full-time job and has six games to convince the LSU brass that he’s the right fit. Even though his tenure at Ole Miss didn’t go so well, Orgeron impressed in the same situation three years ago when Lane Kiffin was fired by Southern Cal.
Orgeron is one of the nation’s most esteemed defensive line coaches, but the Louisiana native also is an ace recruiter. Most importantly, high-ranking LSU officials are keen on Orgeron’s coaching style, assertiveness and discipline as it pertains to players.
On Saturday, Orgeron will make his LSU head coaching debut against Missouri, so we’ll get a first-hand look at what this version of the Tigers looks like. One notable recruit that’ll be a close spectator is 5-star defensive tackle Marvin Wilson.
It goes without saying that Orgeron is the reason why LSU remains in the hunt with the standout Texan. Wilson fired off a tweet on Sunday after the news broke that Miles was out at head coach, indicating that the Tigers were cut from his list … for now.
That might be the case — albeit temporarily, at least.
However, how the LSU coaching search plays out will be critical to Wilson’s potential future in Baton Rouge.
A source familiar with the situation was assertive in expressing how Wilson covets his relationship with Orgeron. In the past, Wilson has told SEC Country a similar message and relished the opportunity work with the noted defensive line guru during LSU’s satellite camp at Episcopal High School in June.
The scoop: If Orgeron remains at LSU and the other Houston area commits remain in the class, you can still pencil in Wilson for LSU’s 2017 haul. The Tigers hold commitments from a slew of Lone Star State 4-star prospects, most notably Mannie Netherly, Kary Vincent Jr., Grant Delpit, Jhamon Ausbon and Austin Deculus. The majority of those commits reaffirmed their pledge to LSU on Sunday.
In other words, LSU remains in the thick of the race for Wilson, the nation’s top-rated defensive tackle. The Tigers are holding off on accepting commitments right now until they are assured of their stance with Wilson and other high-profile defensive prospects such as Christopher Allen, Dylan Moses and fellow Houston product K’Lavon Chaisson.
The source also indicated that Texas remains LSU’s biggest threat. If Orgeron is not with LSU beyond this season, then Wilson would elect to stay home. Assuming that Orgeron is either promoted to the full-time coach or remains on the Tigers’ staff, that bodes well for LSU’s chances of landing a huge pledge.
Major LSU presence in The Grove
Four-star LSU linebacker commit Patrick Queen took the first of what should be four official visits to Ole Miss, attending the rout of Georgia. He was far from alone.
Queen visited Oxford, Miss., alongside best friend and top remaining safety target, 4-star Todd Harris, who previously named the Rebels as one of his three finalists along with LSU and Alabama.
Additionally, 3-star LSU offensive line pledge Saahdiq Charles made the short trek over to Ole Miss for the game. That makes it two visits to rival schools for the standout Mississippi lineman, who took in the Mississippi State home opener earlier this month.
For what it’s worth, Queen is doing his due diligence in taking his official visits. The Livonia (La.) standout is solid in his commitment to the Tigers and has an outstanding relationship with defensive coordinator Dave Aranda. He’s an ideal fit to play the “rover” role next year, which is a hybrid safety, field linebacker position in the 3-4 scheme.
Harris, too, is a favorite of Aranda and secondary coach Corey Raymond. This is Harris’ second visit to The Grove after participating in the prospect camp in June. Harris was strongly considering Ole Miss earlier in the summer after making the short trip from Plaquemine, La. The Rebels, along with Alabama, pose a major threat to poaching Harris out of The Boot.
Charles was expected to be in Baton Rouge for LSU’s SEC opener against Mississippi State, but was unable to make the trip. Both Mississippi State and Ole Miss are short drives for the offensive lineman, who is expected to be at LSU multiple times throughout the season. He boasts an outstanding relationship with offensive line coach Jeff Grimes, which helped the Tigers gain an edge over Mississippi State when Charles committed late in the spring.
LSU offers rival commit
Numerous players on the IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) roster hold offers from LSU. Add 2019 stud athlete Trey Sanders to that list, too.
Sanders, a 4-star prospect, landed an offer from the Tigers on Thursday afternoon. The twist here: Sanders is committed to Alabama.
The 6-foot, 200-pounder is the No. 9 overall prospect in the 2019 recruiting cycle and the top recruit from the Sunshine State. While he’s committed to the Crimson Tide, he has a pair of teammates in 4-star wide receiver Jhamon Ausbon and 4-star safety Grant Delpit who have already let their thoughts on the new offer be known.
— Trey sanders (@6sixGod_) September 22, 2016
— G$ (@grantdelpit_) September 22, 2016
Of course, IMG’s perennially loaded roster includes numerous prospects that hold offers from both LSU and ‘Bama. In fact, an argument can be made that both of the SEC West powers recruit the Bradenton, Fla., school quite well.
LSU added blue-chip recruits Saivion Smith and Drake Davis in the 2016 class and is on track to add at least two more in 2017. That’s not to say that the number couldn’t increase considering the Tigers are high on 5-star linebacker Dylan Moses and have offers out to additional players on the roster, most notably Jordan Anthony, Brian Hightower and, now, Sanders.
So, yeah, it looks like another Tide vs. Tigers recruiting battle is on the horizon for this 2019 stud.
Notable offer to 2018 Miami athlete
The LSU staff wasn’t done after offering Sanders.
Area recruiter Corey Raymond extended an overture to 2018 athlete Lamont Finnie Jr., who is teammates with 4-star LSU safety commit Nadab Joseph.
Finnie, who measures 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds, is another budding prospect from the Miami area. Labeled as an “athlete” for recruiting purposes, Finnie embodies the term. The junior has played wide receiver, safety, cornerback, quarterback and returned both kicks and punts.
“He does it all,” Joseph said of his teammate. “He plays everything. He’s a gamer.”
Finnie already held offers from Temple and South Florida, but like Joseph, could see his recruitment spike with an offer from the Tigers in hand.
— Lamont Finnie Jr (@Greatness_LJr) September 23, 2016
Needless to say, Joseph was pleased to see his teammate receive an offer from LSU.
“He’s official,” Joseph said. “That’s who I have to cover every day in practice, so we challenge each other daily.”
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