LSU Coach Ed Orgeron Talks Program's Success in Transfer Portal, Adjusting to New Normal

Glen West

For the last week it's been about getting used to the new normal for LSU and coach Ed Orgeron. With spring ball on permanent hiatus, outside of workouts from home and four hour weekly video conferences allowed by the SEC between players and coaches, there's still an empty feel to everything that's going on.

That's not to say there isn't work to be done. Orgeron said in an interview Tuesday morning on "Off the Bench" that Monday through Thursday are full working days for the staff, despite all of the work having to be done from home.

"Our coordinators this week are putting in short yardage and goal line, we're still putting in some first down and third down stuff," Orgeron said. "Thank God we have all of those young analysts because I couldn't begin to tell you how to work those 'zoom' meetings."

Competing. That's the word that Orgeron used Tuesday as the Tigers are always competing to get the most out of each and every day, no matter the circumstance. There is no bigger competitor in Orgeron's mind than strength and conditioning coach Tommy Moffitt, who Orgeron called the "MVP" of the last few weeks.

"Tommy is calling everybody, everyday making sure they're working out, he's the MVP right now," Orgeron said.  

The big news of last week for LSU football was landing the commitment of North Dakota State linebacker Jabril Cox, who was a three time champion and three time All-American for the Bisons in his four years. The depth at linebacker was one of the bigger areas of concern for LSU heading into the offseason and Cox alleviates much of that pressure as someone who can step in and start right off the bat.

Since landing the job in 2017, Orgeron and his staff have had some remarkable success through the transfer portal, of course landing Cole Tracy and Joe Burrow in 2018. Orgeron believes it's a team effort when it comes to the program's continued success in recruiting. 

"First of all it's LSU and second of all, we have some coaches that are really well versed in recruiting," Orgeron said. "They can branch out all over the country and one of the coaches that's really been instrumental is Bill Busch. Bill has done a great job of recruiting, especially graduate transfers for us and he's done it again."

While the linebacker depth has been filled with the addition of Cox, Orgeron still feels there's a need on the offensive line. Heading into the spring, the Tigers were razor thin on the o-line, only going two deep at every position. 

The team is getting freshmen Marcus Dumervil, Marlon Martinez and Xavier Hill for the summer but hitting the transfer portal for an extra lineman couldn't hurt.

"I do believe we're going to be very good on the offensive line but not having this spring ball has hurt that group," Orgeron said. 

One of the great parts about Orgeron's tenure in Baton Rouge is the relationship between the alumni and the program. Past players have been as receptive as ever to the program and on Monday two of them were recognized for their accomplishments at the NFL level. 

Former LSU cornerbacks Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu were named to the NFL's "All-Decade" team, something Orgeron said the entire program is ecstatic about.

"So proud of them and really about the men that they are," Orgeron said. "Both of them have come back and given a significant amount of money to our facilities and they've supported us and everything that we're doing here. We want to congratulate both Tyrann and Patrick for being on the All-Decade team."