BATON ROUGE, La. — After a few weeks off, the LSU football team returned to practice Tuesday evening in preparation for the Citrus Bowl versus Notre Dame.
After practice, LSU coach Ed Orgeron spoke to the media to address some of the pressing issues surrounding the team, including the absences of defensive starters Arden Key and Donnie Alexander from practice and what to expect from the Tigers’ matchup with the Fighting Irish.
SEC Country was on hand to type Orgeron’s comments as he said them. Scroll through to see Orgeron’s words as typed by our reporter.
What LSU coach Ed Orgeron said:
- It’s good to get the team back. We had a team meeting yesterday at 3 o’clock. Most of our coaches were on the road recruiting. It’s the contact period. We’re balancing practice and recruiting. Today we had a regular Monday practice without pads. A little bit of an introduction to Notre Dame, but mostly corrections from Texas A&M. Tomorrow we’ll have a spring practice kind of day. We’re going to focus on ourselves. Guys will have Friday, Saturday and Sunday off. The coaches are going to do home visits at nights. I think we’ll have 12 official visitors this weekend, maybe a little more. Next week we’re going to be all Notre Dame.
- I’m sure most of the players had watched [the A&M tape] and seen their grades. But I wanted to make sure we went over the game.
- I go to one home and it was gumbo with a chicken salad. Then I go to the next home and it was the best red beans and rice I’ve had in a long time. I need some bigger pants. But I like it. The early signing period is big for us. We might sign 20 guys, then we can zero in on the last five.
- We’re discussing it with our guys. We’re telling them the pros and cons. We feel that many of our guys will sign when signing day comes. But it opens up the window to see how many scholarships you guys have left. We think the last part of recruiting is going to be more junior guys, targeting the big guys that haven’t signed yet. Usually, if we’re in the area where a junior recruit is, obviously you can’t contact them, it’s an evaluation period. But in Louisiana and Dallas and Houston we’ve hit those guys as much as we can.
- Everything’s about winning the game. The next week is going to be total focus on Notre Dame. Those [younger] players are going to get more reps. I might give them a few more reps. But I don’t want to send the wrong message to the players.
- Arden Key is questionable. He hasn’t come around like I expected him to be. This is all I can say right now.
- K.J. Malone is ready to go.
- It was the goal of this recruiting season to rebuild the lines. Obviously I can’t talk about the guys who are committed, but we’re very excited to have 5 defensive linemen and 4 offensive linemen committed. Both of our line coaches did a nice job.
- You have to adjust. I didn’t see an advantage [to the early signing period] but you have to adjust. We have a big practice that day. We’re going to be waiting by the fax machine early that day and then working it before practice. It’s going to be exciting. I think if you sign the number I expect to sign, it gives you time to target in on the big-time guys. You can go to their school for the whole day. And it gives you an advantage on junior recruiting, which we’ve always said 2019 is a good year in Louisiana.
- Danny Etling is fine.
- I think most of the [juniors] are going to talk to me after the bowl. Nobody that I know has made their decision [about the NFL Draft]. They may have decided but they haven’t told me.
- That’s who Derrius Guice is. Derrius loves football. He’s loved every day he’s walked into this room. I’m sure he’s motivated. I’m not sure if he’s made a total decision if he’s leaving yet.
- Notre Dame’s offensive line is very good. Very physical. We’re going to have to practice tackling. Josh Adams is going to make some yards. But first of all we’re going to need to get off some blocks. They’re big and they’re well coached.
- They’ve done a good job recruiting. They have speed. But we’ll see. That’s a statement made all the time. I don’t know if there’s that much of a difference any more.
- On signing Ole Miss transfers: I don’t think so. In recruiting anything can happen. But as of right now, no I don’t think so.
- Things have been pretty quiet.
- On graduate transfers: If they fit a need that’d be awesome. We always like transfers. But the three we got last year have been awesome. Giles caught a few passes today that raised some eyebrows and Breiden has been unblockable all camp.
- We love football but without my education I wouldn’t be standing here in this room. I tell the guys my story and how much graduation means. No. 1 is getting that diploma.
- It’s got to fit a need, or just be a player that’s off the charts. We had some needs and we went out and filled them. Obviously you want them to come in and play. Those guys we’re recruiting, we think they can come in and play.