In all of his years in football, if there's one area coach Ed Orgeron has always had a knack for and excelled at, it's recruiting. He has an uncanny ability to walk into a recruit's home and make he and his family feel like the program he represents is home.
His innate ability to recruit has led to high ranked classes each of the past two years at LSU and the Tigers are well on their way to securing a third straight elite level class. Fresh off a championship caliber season, recruiting this offseason has been about as great as can be expected in the middle of a nation wide pandemic.
LSU has secured 18 commitments, including three members who cracked the inaugural SI99 rankings a few months back. But since that time, the Tigers' 2020 season has kicked off and the results have been a mixed bag after three games.
The offense has seemed to more or less find its footing after an inconsistent week one performance. It looked as if the defense had found some answers in week two after getting healthier. But as everybody has seen, the defensive woes reared its ugly head against Missouri and LSU is back to the drawing board looking for answers.
While fans are certainly taking notice of the recent struggles behind the 1-2 start for the defending national champs, the 2021 recruits are as well. During his weekly radio show on Wednesday night's at TJ Ribs, Orgeron was asked about some of the reactions he's been getting from recruits in recent weeks despite the disappointing start to the season.
"They believe in us, they've seen our championship team last year, seen guys develop, seen 14 players go to the NFL," Orgeron said. "They're watching these guys that came here as three stars who are tearing it up in the NFL.
Orgeron gave a well rounded response to the question, saying that the wins and losses don't matter as much to recruits as the average fan might think. Programs go through the ups and downs during a season.
What Orgeron and the coaching staff sell the players on more than anything is the culture of the program and the development they will receive once arriving to campus.
"We sell them on development and winning championships and we need more players," Orgeron said. "These guys, the results of the games don't affect the recruits as much as you would think. We have a great relationship with these guys, we have spoken to them and their mommas and daddys."
Among the 18 current commits are linebacker Raesjon Davis, running back/receiver JoJo Earle and defensive end Landon Jackson, who have all popped up on the SI99 rankings. But LSU is in the mix for more high level talent to close out the class strong including defensive linemen Maason Smith and Korey Foreman, safety Sage Ryan, receiver Brian Thomas, offensive tackle Tristan Leigh and athlete Billy Bowman, who recently decommitted from Texas and included LSU in his top three.
Orgeron said the program feels great about the class and how it potentially could go, even hinting that a few players are silently committed to the program and are waiting for the right time to make an announcement.
"We have 18 commitments right now, we are recruiting some of the best people in the country, some are silently committed to us, they're coming, staying strong and they love being a Tiger. I feel good about our recruiting," Orgeron said.