BATON ROUGE, La. — The LSU football team opened up fall camp Monday, the first full-team practice of the Ed Orgeron, Matt Canada era in Baton Rouge.
After the practice, Orgeron visited with the media, outlining what went down during LSU’s closed practice session. SEC Country was on hand for the press conference and updated this article with quotes as Orgeron said them.
The presser is stocked with information, including a bombshell about a former 5-star changing positions.
What LSU football coach Ed Orgeron said:
- We had a tremendous day today. It started with a great meeting last night and the tradition was to award the No. 18 jersey. Christian LaCouture got up and made the decision that a great leader does and chose to share it. We gave it Christian and got him to come up and he said “I think it would be unfair for J.D. Moore not to wear it. We’re starting a new tradition that two guys are wearing it.” That says a lot about Christian LaCouture’s leadership.
- There was a lot of team spirit today. The defense did a great job of stripping the ball. We show them the importance of turnover ratio. The guys that have been in the Super Bowl, they’re all +18, +12. We were at zero. Washington was +18 last year, so we know we can make an improvement.
- I thought Danny had a fine day today. He looked good. All the quarterbacks got a shot today. Myles Brennan looked exactly how we thought he would. The receivers caught the ball well. Derrick Dillon had a tremendous day. He and Russell Gage have stood out.
- Thad Moss had a great day. Obviously he can’t play this year, but he showed some great athletic ability.
- On defense, I thought Frank Herron came in in tremendous shape. Arden Key took some walkthrough snaps. He did some things with me in individual. A guy that keeps catching my eye is K’Lavon Chaisson. He’s fast and agile.
- Rashard Lawrence is in good shape, mature. He’s a leader out there. Jacob Phillips, Patrick Queen and Tyler Taylor all got a lot of reps. I thought they did a good job. Donnie and Devin did an excellent job.
- Donte Jackson had a good day today. We made a change. We moved JaCoby Stevens to offense. He’s a talented guy. He makes plays. Although we feel he could be a great defensive player, we think he can play fast on offense and help us. He’s playing at the slot position now.
- Brennan threw the ball very well. He’s athletic. Has a command about him. He had a very good day. Didn’t throw any interceptions. I think he might’ve gone the wrong way one time. But as far as the athletic ability, he’s there.
- We have a bunch of quarterbacks to rep so it makes it tough. We’re doing more team stuff to get more reps. But those are going to start dwindling down as the fall goes on.
- We felt that we were deep at safety and we needed some help at wide receiver.
- J.D. Moore: He walked on from Ruston High School and earned himself a scholarship. One of the most respected people on and off the field in this room. Everything you want in a football player, he’s it.
- Left tackle is K.J. Malone, backed up by Austin Deculus and Saahdiq Charles. Left guard is Garrett Brumfield. Center is Will Clapp. Currently Maea Teuhema is not at practice. He’s working on some academic stuff. Cushenberry could be at center, but it all depends on Maea. We’re unsure of his status right now.
- Yeah, it does. Knowing Danny, he’s a battler. When he tells me something, I believe it. When he says he’s 95 percent, I believe it.
- Those three young linebackers, they all have talent man. There’s a lot of shifts and motions. Just getting lined up right now is a chore. But I’m looking forward to seeing them get lined up and hitting when we put on the pads.
- When Dave Aranda has got to work hard [preparing for] Matt Canada’s offense, it’s difficult. We figured it out. But how to play technique like that? We haven’t figured that out.
- Sci Martin is doing some running right now and lifting. We’re going to see his status in a couple of days. I think toward the end of the week we’ll see if he can practice. Jamal Pettigrew is doing everything we’ve asked of him.
- We’d like to play four-wide some snaps. In order to do that, we have to have eight guys ready. We like to go into a game with a rotation with six and have eight ready. You have to, especially in the early season with the shifts and motions we have to do. I think there comes a time no matter how much conditioning we do, they’re going to be tired. So we have to keep those guys fresh.
- Field goal kicker is Connor Culp and Jack Gonsoulin. Our punter is Josh Growden and our snapper is Ferguson. Our kickoff specialist is up in the air. Kick it out of the end zone, we love it.
What Christian LaCouture and J.D. Moore said:
- LaCouture: Him and I came in together and now we’re going to leave together. We looked at it as something that would be very good for the football team. When I took over [No. 18] in the summer, I thought of it as a huge responsibility. But all the traits resembled J.D. as well.
- Moore: It’s just a testament to who Christian is. The fact that he would share such an honor with me. I was blown away. I was not expecting that. It came out of left field for me. I’m humbled by it. I think it’ll be a really strong thing for our team to have that leadership on offense and defense. I’m still in awe of the goodness of God’s plan for me. I came in and I had a triple-digit number because I was a walk-on.
- LaCouture: When it came out, I knew it was down to me and J.D. J.D. is such a class act that he came and congratulated me. With Coach O coming in and shaking things up, I thought let’s shake up this tradition. He’s such an unselfish guy. J.D. has all the traits that come with 18, if not more. Coach O thought it was a great idea because he thinks J.D. deserved it as well.
- Moore: I was in Jack Marucci’s office today. He said a bunch of the other 18s called to check in and see about it. It’s a small fraternity of guys and I’m proud to be a part of it.
- LaCouture: J.D. is the only guy I thought about. There’s a lot of guys on this team that deserved it. But just watching him work in the summers. I know he’s a fullback and a tight end, but we push each other. If I go up there, he’s always up there, if not before me. He’s a great teammate. So I said ‘I’d like J.D. to be a part of that because he deserved it.’ Everyone was on board for it.