LSU tabbed Matt Canada as the new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach last week, solidifying a major void on the team and in the program’s recruiting efforts this winter.
Upon getting the nod, Canada reached out to quarterback commit Myles Brennan and other skill-position prospects such as Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Tory Carter, the future members of the Tigers’ backfield.
Canada also spoke with some LSU linemen pledges and primary dual-threat quarterback target Lowell Narcisse.
Here’s what the LSU commits and targets had to say about LSU’s newest coaching hire:
Canada and Ed Orgeron spoke with the Brennan’s on speakerphone Wednesday evening, delivering a message that quickly resonated with the 4-star quarterback’s family. That led to Brennan ending his recruitment and solidifying his plans to sign on the dotted line to attend LSU.
Myles Brennan, 4-star QB: “One key point that he made that his quarterback at Pittsburgh (Nathan Peterman) had the best quarterback efficiency in the ACC … Better than Deshaun Watson, Lamar Jackson and the guy from North Carolina that’s going to go in the first round (Mitch Trubisky) … The one thing he told me is he’ll adapt his offense to how the quarterback likes it, whether it’s Danny (Etling) or myself. That’s what I like. I want to go in there and be comfortable with the offense and what I do best.”
On Wednesday, Canada spent about 30 minutes talking to Narcisse, the LSU 4-star QB commit, on the phone. It was among the new offensive coordinator’s first calls, and according to Narcisse, went over very well.
Lowell Narcisse, 4-star QB: The conversation with Narcisse went well and wound up pushing the needle in any direction, as the 4-star dual-threat quarterback from St. James (La.) committed back to LSU instead of waiting to the Under Armour Game to finalize his decision. Narcisse already has begun to watch some of Canada’s offenses at Pitt and is confiding in those close to him about what system will fit him best. The major movement here is that Narcisse saw the vision for LSU’s offense and doesn’t have to wonder “what if?” Part of the reason Orgeron hired Canada is because of his adaptability, and the goal to lure both Narcisse and Brennan to Baton Rouge. That plan worked out exceptionally.
Canada spent 15 minutes chatting with LSU’s lone running back commit on the phone. He had a simple message to get across to Edwards-Helaire, which was well-received by the all-world talent.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, 3-star RB: “He was saying how he adapts to his personnel and the type of back that I am, you know, a change-of-pace (running back) and things like that. It was great and I heard good things. You know, it was very pleasing and very comforting to know that I can be used for what I bring to the table.”
The same goes for fullback commit Tory Carter, who received a visit at Lee County (Ga.) High earlier in the contact period. Carter is locked in with LSU, but was awaiting an offensive coordinator hire to determine if the fullback would be a part of LSU’s next offense.
Tory Carter, 3-star FB: “It was great to speak to him and also just to congratulate him on the job. He made sure that I knew he was going to use the fullback and use the personnel that he had, and adjust the offense accordingly. It was exactly what I wanted to see.”
One of Canada’s top priorities on Thursday was getting in touch with Louisiana’s top prospect, DeVonta Smith. From all accounts, this was an extremely positive conversation that yielded major movement for the Tigers’ chances.
DeVonta Smith, 4-star WR: We don’t know exactly what was said on the phone between Canada and Smith, but the results speak for themselves. A source told SEC Country that Smith added LSU to his list of official visits. A week earlier, Smith told SEC Country that he had only two scheduled visits — to Alabama and Miami — and that he left LSU out of the fray. However, the conversation with Canada piqued the 4-star wide receiver’s interest and he’ll be on campus in January, just days before he announces his commitment on Feb. 1.
Canada also picked up the phone for one of LSU’s top lineman commits, Saahdiq Charles, who shut down his recruitment earlier in December. Schemes and offensive game plans are not exactly the do-all, end-all for the men who line up in the trenches, but Canada impressed the Mississippi guard.
Saahdiq Charles, 4-star OL: “It went well. We had a good talk about the future of the Tigers, and I just can’t wait to chill with him in-person. He talked about how he produced some offensive linemen and turned some men into pros. He has coached two of the Cowboys linemen that are starting, and that a big fellow like me — together we can move and help the offense flourish.”
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