As LSU coach Ed Orgeron watched as each one of his players came off the board this weekend at the 2020 NFL draft, he couldn't help but feel like a proud parent.
Orgeron has said many times how he sees all of his players as sons and watching 20 total have their dreams come true was a proud and humbling experience. In an interview Monday with Baton Rouge radio show "Off the Bench," Orgeron talked about the historic draft class and how he thinks it's affected the program for years to come.
"What a great weekend for all of our players who got drafted, I want to congratulate every one of them, we are so proud of them," Orgeron said on Off the Bench. "Very proud, very humbled that their parents decided to trust us in the recruiting process and trust the things that we told them."
Joe Burrow was an obvious choice to go No. 1 overall after the historic, Heisman winning show he just put on while edge rusher K'Lavon Chaisson is a former five-star who flashes elite potential every time he's on the field. It was no surprise to see those guys go early.
But the player development of former two and three-star prospects like Justin Jefferson and Clyde Edwards-Helaire speaks volumes to the work and coaching styles that have been put in place under Orgeron to make sure each player is reaching his potential.
"That's always been a big part of our recruiting pitch," Orgeron said. "Part of the recruiting process is to trust our own evaluation whether he's a two-star, a three-star or a five-star, it's all about how good is the player in your eyes? We've decided as a staff that character is going to be at the top.
"Our program was on the TV a lot this weekend and it's going to help us in recruiting."
The 2020 draft is already starting to pay dividends as the Tigers picked up their seventh commitment of the 2021 class on Sunday evening in defensive end Landon Jackson. Orgeron touched on the national response from recruits that's come as a result of the 15-0, national championship season and watching as 20 former players were drafted or signed as undrafted free agents.
"I talk to kids all over the country and they love us," Orgeron said. "Louisiana is always going to be our main recruiting ground and we have some five-stars, some big time players that I think we're gonna get. I feel good about where we are with this upcoming recruiting class."
LSU's leading man said he spoke with a number of top recruits on Saturday as the draft was unfolding. The program plans to take the next few days to focus solely on recruiting with the combination of a dead period for final exams and striking while the iron is hot on the recruiting trail.
There was some news to come out of Orgeron's Monday interview, the most important of which was him revealing that left tackle Dare Rosenthal's off the field issue that forced him to withdraw from school has been "sorted out."
Orgeron mentioned that even though he's been away from the team, Rosenthal has found a way to step up and be a leader for the offensive line unit.
"He's gotten all of that straight and I'm confident of that for now," Orgeron said. "I think when he comes back I'll feel really good about our offensive line. Those bowl practices are really good for young players because that's where you see the next guy up start to step up and Dare Rosenthal was kicking butt everyday. I think he's going to be a great left tackle."
Last week, the NCAA upped its number of hours of zoom meetings between coaches and players to eight, which Orgeron said has done wonders for the program. It's allowed players to work on fundamentals and installation with their position coaches while also getting the individual work that needs to be done.
"Everything is in, we got it all in," Orgeron said of the installation of LSU's schemes. "Last week our guys got to go back to skill development, for example defensive line worked on pass rush, offensive line worked on pass sets, receivers worked on their routes and their releases."
As a result, Orgeron feels confident about where the team is during the quarantine and that the next step will be preparing for their 2020 opponents.
"We're going to start preparing for next year's opponent, we're going to get ahead," Orgeron said. "I don't know when we'll come back to work but obviously we want to follow his [Governor Edwards] rules and hopefully we can come back to work soon and get things back to normal."