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With Program's Future Out in the Open, LSU Players Can Now Focus Solely on Football

Players react to news of Orgeron's departure, staying focused ahead of final five game stretch

LSU defensive tackle Glen Logan is in the unique position to being a part of the entire Ed Orgeron era with the program. He was a redshirt freshman back in 2016 when the Tigers made the last coaching change and Orgeron was named interim.

Through the ups of 2018 and 2019 to the downs the last two seasons have produced, Logan knows that with any change of the baton, things will almost always get worse before they get better. That's why he's advising the younger players on the roster to stick with LSU, because the program isn't falling off the map anytime soon.

"Some of the advice I can really give is stay humble and believe in the process," Logan said. "Things are going to get ugly before they get better. We're in a good situation, at a great program and this program is not gonna lie down. LSU is still going to be a dominant program, we're still gonna go to bowl games and championships. Do everything everyone expects us to do."

It hasn't been an easy two week stretch for the players. They've had to hear about the state of the program and what the future could look like more than anyone. The goal was always to keep there heads to the ground and focus on what they could control. 

Many of the players found out what was happening over social media, prior to a team meeting that was held at 6 p.m. Offensive lineman Liam Shanahan was relaxing with some family in town when he heard the news Orgeron wouldn't be returning after 2021. 

That afternoon at the team meeting, Orgeron pretty much relayed to his players what he would later tell the media.

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"We had a team meeting called and Coach O came in and pretty much told us what I've seen, he said similar stuff," Shanahan said. "No regrets and that he's proud and wants to finish this season strong and I'm excited he's doing that for us. He's obviously, he's our head coach, he's one of the leaders of this team so I'm happy."

Now that the direction of the program is clear, the question becomes what's next for this 2021 team?Shanahan doesn't believe there was much of a weight the players were carrying around with this news looming over their heads. 

What getting everything out in the open now does for this team moving forward is put the focus squarely on football. 

"I don't know that there was that much weight on us to begin with. Even before this news, we just do our jobs and play so that's what we did and it worked out for us last weekend," Shanahan said. "That's what we'll do going forward."

"It feels the same to me, at the end of the day I'm going to be forever grateful for everything coach has done for me. He gave me an opportunity to play at this great university," linebacker Damone Clark said added. "We hate to see something like that happen but it's a part of the business. He wouldn't want us to be sad, they broke the news so we can focus on football so that's what we're gonna do."

There's momentum riding into this Ole Miss game that didn't exist a week ago at this time. From improvements along the offensive line and run game to the physicality showed by the LSU defense against Florida, the Tigers are going to do everything in their power to prove there's still fight left in this team.