Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers, a rundown of everything happening in LSU Tigers recruiting, with Sam Spiegelman.
Today, we discuss the role linebacker Alston Orji could fill on the defense.
DALLAS — National Signing Day 2017 landed a number of big-time booms for LSU’s then-current recruiting class. It also delivered a major offer to one of the best that Texas has to offer.
Alston Orji, a 4-star recruit and the No. 5 inside linebacker in the 2018 class, secured an offer from the Tigers on Feb. 1, which immediately caught his attention.
Since then, the blue-chip linebacker has connected with LSU offensive line coach and East Texas area recruiter Jeff Grimes more and more, and Orji is encouraged about the direction the relationship is heading. A visit is not yet scheduled, but certainly in the cards. Orji expects that to be a significant step forward in his interest in the program.
“They recently offered, and I want to visit LSU sometime in the near future to show my love and see what they’re all about,” Orji told SEC Country at Nike’s “The Opening” regional in Dallas last weekend.
“I’ve talked to Coach Grimes and we’re talking on a more consistent basis. I need to see their academics, their facilities. I know what they can do on the football field, but I want to see what they can offer me as my life goes on.”
Orji plans to major in business, which will be one key area he plans on paying close attention to when he makes his inaugural trip to Baton Rouge.
Thus far, Grimes has been the lone LSU assistant that the Rockwall (Texas) High School linebacker has been in touch with. He’s hoping to develop relationships with more coaches on the staff, most notably on the defensive side of the ball.
“I’ve been in touch with Coach Grimes the most. He’s the one I talk to about visits, so I can start to build that relationship with them,” Orji said. “He checks in on me a lot and asks how spring practices are going, how my offseason is going. I like it and I feel that we have a good relationship, something to build on, but a good basis. I may reach out to some (defensive coaches) before my visit so I can start to build that relationship with them.”
Orji is listed as one of the nation’s premier inside linebackers, but does not want to be cornered into one position.
The blue-chip recruit indicated that he can line up either inside or outside and certainly get after opposing quarterbacks. He noted that he can also drop back in pass coverage.
That makes Orji a prime candidate for the Field-linebacker role in Dave Aranda’s 3-4 front. In fact, he believes he can have an impact at linebacker similar to former LSU great Tyrann Mathieu had in the secondary.
“I see myself as a pass-rusher that can also cover, if needed. I can be a very aggressive player for them,” Orji detailed. “I have the aggressiveness of the Honey Badger. I compare myself with that. Even though he was a defensive back, this is on a mental toughness level.”
The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Lone Star State native informed SEC Country that he does not have a timeline for a decision and does not have a list of top schools. That leaves the door open for the Tigers, especially after he has an opportunity to take in the facilities and the campus, and see what LSU can offer from a business and academics standpoint.
“I want to see the facilities, see the weight program,” Orji said. “I have to see the campus before I make any real evaluations. But from the surface looking at them, they’re one of my top schools, obviously. I’m definitely trying to go down there and catch a visit and find out more about them.”
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