Game changer. That was the best way LSU coach Ed Orgeron could describe what the hire of new offensive line coach Brad Davis meant to the program.
When LSU elected to move on from James Cregg, it was expected the Tigers would act swiftly with the replacement hire. The coaching staff and Orgeron settled in on Davis, who was firmly implanted at Arkansas and made the right pitch to bring him home to Baton Rouge.
It was a big deal for Orgeron to go out and find a young coach with a ton of promise and already a really good tracking record, both qualities Davis has shown over the last four years in the SEC.
"All of us in the profession knew about Davis," Orgeron said on Off the Bench Tuesday morning. "Up and coming coach, I know several schools were after him but he wanted to come to one school, Baton Rouge and in the interview he reminded me a lot of the things I thought about at Miami and USC.
"I always wanted to be back in Baton Rouge, always wanted to coach for the Tigers and represent the state."
It took 24 hours to zone in on Davis and make him the requisite offer to bring him to Baton Rouge. According to a report from The Advocate, the deal is for three years, with an average annual salary of $830,000 per year. It's an expensive price to pay as Davis becomes one of the highest paid offensive line coaches in the country, with only Georgia's Matt Luke making more.
But it also sends a message that LSU is willing to spend if it believes it can lure in a difference making coach. Orgeron said that from the start, Scott Woodward and the athletic department were willing to do what it took to get the program what it needed.
"Our administration didn't blink, we told them exactly who we wanted, exactly what we needed and they were ready to go," Orgeron said. "Everybody was on board with the hire."
LSU not only wants Davis, a Louisiana native, to be a staple in recruiting moving forward, but also to develop some of the young offensive linemen who have not yet taken that next step in their careers.
Davis was on campus this weekend in an observatory role before the hire became official, watching from a distance as hundreds of offensive line high school recruits flooded the Tigers' camp on Saturday. Since then, he's been able to meet with his current offensive line players and Orgeron said the goal is to move forward in as smooth a transition as possible.
"He was able to meet with his offensive linemen for the first time yesterday. We have us a great coach and we're gonna hit the ground running," Orgeron said.