Ed Orgeron’s post Thanksgiving to-do list has included more obligations this December than it has during his previous season at LSU. First of all, he spent the first week preparing for the Southeastern Conference Championship Game. During the second week, he has attended awards ceremonies to collect honors and see his players do the same. All the while, he has squeezed in telephone calls and visits with recruits. One has to wonder if he will ever had any time to do any Christmas shopping.
Considering the circumstances, a lack of time to spend on recruiting stands out as a huge positive step for Orgeron. What he has lost in time is offset by multiple bragging rights to impress potential signees. His quarterback, Joe Burrow, won several national and conference awards, including the Heisman Trophy.
Passing game coordinator, Joe Brady, received the Broyles Award for best assistant coach. His safety, Grant Delpit, took home the Jim Thorpe Award. Ja’Marr Chase earned the Fred Biletnikoff Award. All three players were named to the All-American and All-Southeastern Conference teams. Coach O could simply point to dozens of headlines of football-related stories. That would be an easy way to dazzle high school players considering LSU.
As signing day approached, LSU had received verbal commitments from 23 candidates. Orgeron, along with his staff, continued their determination to pursue high schoolers beyond LSU’s traditional areas of focus. That region had included primarily Louisiana, Mississippi and southeastern Texas. Occasionally, LSU would venture into Florida, Alabama and the rest of Texas. This bunch included commitments from 11 states, including six states outside of the traditional recruiting territory. These recruits lend credence to the notion of LSU becoming national brand.
In the end, LSU only signed 19 recruits. Five are from Louisiana. Four come from Georgia and two from Florida. The other eight are from eight different states. Linebacker and defensive linemen are the most common positions, four of each. Additionally, they include three offensive linemen and two quarterbacks.
NOTABLE IN-STATE SIGNEES
Kayshon Boutte, wide receiver, from New Iberia
Boutte committed in the middle of the 2018 season. He has stayed true to his word.
T.J. Finley, quarterback, from Ponchatoula
Finley announced publicly on Twitter that he wants to begin practicing this week with his new team. He graduated high school at the Winter break, so once he signed, he became eligible for LSU.
Jacobian Guillory, defensive tackle, from Alexandria
Ending the losing streak to Alabama paid a dividend by keeping this in-state product from heading to Tuscaloosa.
Koy Moore, wide receiver, from Metairie
Moore’s high school team won the Division I state championship.
Jaquelin Roy, defensive tackle, from Baton Rouge
Roy will be able to take a short stroll from his high school campus to Tiger Stadium. He attends University High School located on LSU’s campus.
NOTABLE OUT-OF-STATE SIGNEES
Arik Gilbert, Tight End, from Marietta, Georgia
Before Ed Orgeron took the reigns in Baton Rouge, the tight end served as merely another offensive lineman, not a receiving option. Perhaps Gilbert was swayed by the frequency of Thaddeus Moss catching passes this season?
Max Johnson, quarterback, from Watkinsville, Georgia
Johnson led his high school’s team to the Class AAAA State Championship Game.
B.J. Ojulari, defensive end, from Marietta, Georgia
He seemed to be headed to Tennessee. Meanwhile, his high school teammate, Arik Gilbert, committed to LSU. That decision may have swayed B.J. to become part of the quartet of Georgia high schoolers to head to Baton Rouge.
Elias Ricks, cornerback, from Santa Ana, California
Coach O lured someone originally from Mater Dei High School, a perennial powerhouse in Orgeron’s former backyard.
Antoine Sampah, linebacker from Woodbridge, Virginia
By signing a second player from the DC-metropolitan area, this shows how much LSU’s reputation has expanded.
Eric Taylor, defensive tackle, from Trussville, Alabama
In addition to LSU. more than half of the SEC offered him a scholarship as did several other FBS programs.
Kole Taylor, tight end, from Grand Junction, Colorado
Taylor committed in July. Despite his listing, he might switch to wide receiver as he did play that position during his high school career.
Jordan Toles, safety, from Baltimore, Maryland
Toles has expressed interest in playing basketball as well.
With the numerous distractions this month, recruiting could have suffered. Ed Orgeron and his assistants took advantage of the time that they did have. In addition to practicing for the SEC Championship Game and attending award ceremonies, they still pursued their prospects. They skipped having a party during the College Football Playoff Selection Show in order to visit recruits. Such dedication should pay off in the long term.