BATON ROUGE, La. — Ed Orgeron gave his players the weekend off. But he didn’t afford himself the same luxury.
Within “two minutes” of hearing the news that Saturday’s scheduled game between LSU and Florida had been postponed, Orgeron said he and director of player personnel Austin Thomas formulated a plan to get coaches on the road, dispatching Orgeron and the new-look LSU staff on their first recruiting trips since Les Miles’ dismissal two weeks ago.
“As soon as we found out, we had a team meeting,” Orgeron said. “Then during the special teams meeting, I went and talked to Austin. I said ‘Let’s move forward. Let’s do what we need to do.’ Austin made the plan and went over the plan and got guys out on the road recruiting.”
Sources confirmed to SEC Country that Orgeron is expected to visit nine New Orleans area high schools Friday before heading into Mississippi for a nightcap to catch up with 3-star quarterback commit Myles Brennan.
In other words, LSU’s interim coach — who has been steadfastly trying to pepper his relationship with the elite passer — could watch as Brennan breaks more Mississippi state records for total yardage and touchdowns. Brennan is 217 yards and six touchdowns away from those marks, respectively.
On the road today looking for the next members of the Tiger Family! Hold That Tiger!
— Coach Ed Orgeron (@Coach_EdOrgeron) October 7, 2016
There’s no doubt Orgeron is taking advantage of his new-found time off as best as he can. As for how his players will handle the impromptu bye week, that’s yet to be seen.
Orgeron conceded that while it’s true that taking this weekend off will help injured players recover and “come back fresh on Monday,” there’s no guarantee that this will help their status for next weekend. And this makes sense. If these players weren’t supposed to play Saturday anyway, they’ll be no more or less fresh than they would’ve been had the game been played.
Star running back Leonard Fournette, for example, still is listed as questionable according to Orgeron, and his status for next weekend’s game against Southern Miss is something that will need to be monitored closely.
As for LSU players not named Leonard Fournette, Orgeron said they were disappointed by the news of the cancellation of Saturday’s rivalry game, but they compartmentalized the disappointment and channeled it into a strong practice Thursday night.
“We changed our practice schedule. We worked on fundamentals today,” Orgeron said Thursday night. “And I think we might’ve had our best practice. We’ve got a very resilient football team. They bought into what we asked them to do and moved forward. Although they were disappointed, they moved forward today.”