It’s been an offseason of turnover in Baton Rouge, La., which often comes with a high degree of both risk and reward as it pertains to championship contenders.
LSU is proving to be the outlier.
Over the past 10 weeks, LSU has lost its defensive coordinator, recruiting coordinator and a total of three assistant coaches.
Somehow, someway, the Bayou Bengals seem better off for it.
LSU’s latest triumphs come in the promotion of defensive line coach Ed Orgeron, who is entering just his second year with the team. Coach Les Miles extended Orgeron’s contract and added another title to his job description: Recruiting coordinator.
Orgeron assumes the role left behind by former running backs coach Frank Wilson, another Louisiana native, who left LSU to take the head coaching job at Texas-San Antonio in the weeks leading up to National Signing Day.
With Wilson moving out of the all-important role in mid-January, Orgeron stepped up — admirably at that — to help cushion the blow left behind by LSU’s recruiting ace and keep the nationally acclaimed class in tact.
The defensive line guru helped ensure that five-star defensive tackle Rashard Lawrence stayed in The Boot over Ohio State. He helped the Tigers maintain four-star defensive tackle Glen Logan despite pressure from former UGA coach Mark Richt, who’s now with Miami. He played an integral role in keeping four-star offensive lineman Donavaughn Campbell as well.
The semblance of both Wilson and Orgeron provided LSU with an all-star cast of recruiting aces, but Wilson’s departure Orgeron moved into the true alpha role and thrived.
Other SEC teams and nationally renowned programed tried to lure Orgeron out of his home state, which was a distinct possibility given that his two sons are set to graduate from high school in May and pursue their college football dreams.
That was a risk LSU was not willing to take, and wise for that.
Orgeron now leads a newly formed team of stud recruiters, including first-year running backs coach Jabbar Juluke and wide receivers coach Dameyune Craig.
The defensive line coach can continue to dominate recruiting field throughout the state of Louisiana, which includes the northern and central parts of the state, where LSU picked up the likes of Lawrence and highly-touted safety Cameron Lewis in the 2016 class.
Orgeron spearheads a team where Juluke can pick up where Wilson left off in New Orleans and Craig can make strides in his home state of Alabama.
Additionally, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, who also received an extension with LSU on Saturday, can continue the search for the Tigers’ next quarterback.
It’s not redundant, but necessary to reiterate the underlying victory that LSU pulled off by maintaining Orgeron on the staff and promoting him into a more prominent position. LSU should be able to continue its dominance with in-state recruiting and make even greater strides behind Orgeron’s leadership.
After all, there’s a reason that so many other programs and rivals tried to nab Orgeron away. Now it’s LSU’s win and the rest of the country’s lament as he stays put in a greater capacity.