Updated: May 23
By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
Thanks to our 15-0 National Championship victory, the entire nation can't seem to get enough of LSU...
Because of our head coach possessing more charisma than a Shaq / Bill Walton lovechild, no recruit is able to deny the alluring pull of Baton Rouge...
Due to our elite coaching staff full of a combined 9 national championships (not including LSU's 2019 title) and 8 Super Bowl wins, we've seen the majority of high school players willing to give up a starting spot, their favored position, or any guarantees for playing time just so they could be developed in Baton Rouge...
With a deliriously excited fanbase rooted on the edge of their seats, watching their program push every right button at its apex and a squad chock full of returning champions alongside freshmen phenoms, the Louisiana State Tigers are definitely riding a wave which continues to rise higher and higher to near tsunami levels...threatening to consume all within their path.
The last month has seen LSU mining their expansive recruiting base and proving they're building a singular, maverick program which will contend every season as long as Orgeron and Athletic Director Scott Woodward remain at the helm:
2019 wasn't an outlier... this was no one year wonder or fluke...2019 is just the beginning in a torrent of purple and gold rage sweeping the nation:
During a time of grave uncertainty, in a world riddled with blame and shame thrown around like heroin at Keith Richards' house, everyone is looking for a leader...
While the older generations debate, destroy and disengage our national morale, young people are searching for those who have a plan...leaders holding answers, disseminating knowledge and a structure ready to propel their personal and collective success, minus the exploitation trade-off which usually comes as part and parcel of high-profile excellence.
High school or college-aged football players are no different:
The pandemic has unlocked a whole new universe of recruiting concerns, questions and harsh realities...especially rooted in the moral character of the programs or coaches these young athletes consider when deciding their collegiate future.
Will Jimbo Fischer care about whether I could actually catch Covid while playing compared to Coach Ed Orgeron?
Would I be forced to quarantine, stuck thousands of miles away from home?
Or should I stay closer to home where I could still be surrounded by family, especially if a further, extreme outbreak of the virus causes a national emergency?
The fact that many kids from a variety of states have pledged their solidified commitment to LSU doesn't just speak to a national brand currently hot as the "flavor of the month". This streak of action speaks to the overwhelming trust from these kids and their families in our coaching staff. This streak of 10 out of state commitments from the 2021 class alone speaks to the belief in the moral character and "No Bullshit Code" of Coach Ed Orgeron as well as his recruiting coordinators Corey Raymond, Mickey Joseph and Bill Busch.
These high school players have always trusted LSU as a brand which can help deliver them a degree, a National Championship, and most likely a trip to the NFL...but under Coach Orgeron the ideas of a legacy earned, a destiny captured, and a selfless job well done each became the highest principles.
One team, one heartbeat isn't an empty platitude or political slogan for the hearts and minds of children...it's an unstoppable blueprint for success.
Throughout this pandemic at LSU, there has been one constant:
A hard-working staff, grinding away whether it be in the HQ or at home during the lockdown via Zoom, their players displaying pure determination, and the Biblical brickhouse optimism of Coach Ed Orgeron, booming voice and all sharing exciting news, instructing the public during PSAs about safety and Covid awareness, as well as embracing a prevailing "Prepare, Don't Panic" mentality.
There is no doubt in my mind these recruits feel as if Orgeron would actually keep his word and take care of them, no matter what the circumstances; many of these teenagers are currently moving or currently residing thousands of miles away from home, and yet the steadfast, genuine, loving impression Coach O has left upon these guys seems to have sealed the deal.
Regardless of the pandemic's evil atrocity or the recruiting magic as of late, Orgeron's staff are mobilizing their players, directing them towards a repeat of 2019's savage, historical destiny.
The Tigers' players and staff are acting as if each week has been a regular game-week, maximum preparation expected from everyone, beginning at the top.
Orgeron demanded the entire staff, analysts, coordinators and the players to all game-plan each of the upcoming 2020 opponents, dissecting the situational options, the formations and matchups to force opponents into submission....and the results thus far have been phenomenal.
We discussed in previous ramblings how LSU's main goal during this "extended pandemic-assisted off-season", must be to prepare mentally as much as possible, leaving the physical reps as the final piece to the puzzle.
Mentally, Orgeron's Tigers should be affected by all the outside noise encircling the campus like a pack of vultures, everyone from Jimbo Fischer, Nick Saban or Paul Finebaum remain ready to pick these historic Tigers apart...just hoping, praying, ritualizing, even salivating for our collapse.
While the world is still crying about how the Tigers will suffer without Clyde Edwards-Helaire, K'Lavon Chaisson, Jefferson, Delpit, Jacob Phillips, Lloyd Cushenberry, Shaadiq Charles, etc, Orgeron and his staff know what is now the task at hand:
Protect the brand...
Circling the wagons around the dormant campus for the last few months, Orgeron knew 2020 could make or break his LSU project...frankly, this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity in which the name of your school sells itself...
Thanks to Joe "Hollywood" Burrow geauxing nuclear on everyone in style, alongside our returning cast of G.O.A.T performers and freshmen thunderdomes pushing for their time in the sun, LSU have a chance to recruit a wide range of players across the canvas of the country, naming their guy, using their significant resources, cutting edge creativity and genuine responsibility for these kids to earn their respect, capped off...hopefully, in the end by their signature:
Orgeron has made his big picture intentions loud and clear:
Burrow, Clyde, Chaisson, Cushenberry, Fehoko, Queen, Delpit, Justin Jefferson, etc...they're all Definitive LSU Legends, but this 2020 follow-up could ignite a dynasty....
Orgeron and Carroll's USC, Erickson / Johnson / Orgeron's Miami, Bowden's Florida State or the Urban Meyer / Tebow-led Florida teams of the 2000s couldn't capitalize upon or sustain the "dynastic success" of Saban's Alabama saga;
However, Saban's 5 Bama titles always preceded a collective national groan: nobody enjoyed watching Alabama stroll to victory...
On the other hand, LSU captured the hearts of millions through each step of the championship process, entertaining, delighting and gifting college football fans everywhere by remaining a bizarre contradiction of celebrity / nobody, humble / ultra-confident, savage on the field / teddy bear off...but most of all, 2019 LSU rewarded fans of all stripes with a captivating season they'll never forget....a feeling of awe-inspired enthusiasm which extends to the next Tigers in line, finishing their high school careers in every town in America, right now.
Because of the intense work ethic and 3 year grind of Coach Ed Orgeron's SEC power play, when every football player, fan or coach in America thinks of LSU, their skull is immediately awash in fiery images of Orgeron's iconic, unceasing passion & energy;
These footballers become vexed by our hoisting the SEC title, the National title, the Heisman, the Biletnikoff, the Joe Moore Award, the Broyles Award, the Thorpe, the Maxwell, the Davey O'Brien, Walter Camp all in the same ceremony...even offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger became the inaugural recipient of the Charlton Heston "Both Guns Blazin" award;
And whether they'll admit this or not, many football pundits, recruits and coaches pay the Tigers intimate attention when three former Tigers win a Super Bowl only weeks after the 2019 season, or the fact that at least one LSU player has represented the school in 19 straight Super Bowls (only Purdue's 20 straight stands as a longer streak);
Recruits feel lit up when Ryan Clark salutes his DBU brethren on ESPN, creating a magnetic, gravitational pull felt by every defensive back in the country;
Many of these football junkies sensed their imaginations grow wild as they witnessed Joe Burrow's absorbing elevation, becoming the undisputed Michael Jordan, Tom Brady and Jack Nicholson of college football as he led the charge of unranked, underrated misfits into becoming the G.O.A.T team;
Most, if not every, college football analyst or talk show host is still mired in a state of mental disarray once they attempt to quantify LSU's 2019/2020 statistical output, let alone their lasting impact upon the sport:
Scoring a despicable G.O.A.T 726 points across the season, featuring a quarterback throwing 60 TDs and running for 5 more, all while taking home 12 different national awards, including LSU's 2nd ever Heisman trophy; this outrageous unit produced five 1st Round picks, 14 overall selections in the Draft, while every NFL eligible player found a home at the next level.
We've seen documentaries made, writers racing to their Grammarly apps in desperation for the next big scoop of behind the scenes information, and to take advantage of the barren national landscape holding firmly on to the last vestiges of sporting life, LSU's blazing trail through the desolation of the pandemic era has still ushered highly sought recruits into committing months ahead of schedule.
Despite the celebratory vibe and the need to pat our own backs, when we look back on this point in time, we will believe "the entirety of 2020 was the most important time of the Orgeron era".
Clemson's Travis Etienne proved LSU doesn't always have a guaranteed grip on Louisiana's best athletes, however Orgeron and co still continue to grab a plethora of the Boot's best:
With 5 top 150 players hailing from Louisiana alone in the 2021 class left up for grabs, LSU already have 10 commits (out of 12 total) living in other states...Oh, a second went off the clock and it looks like LSU has another commit, this time the very solid catch of St. James' local Saivion Jones, a freakish defensive end with a neverending ceiling....only days after Zavier Carter, Landon Jackson, Jo Jo Earle, Garrett Nussmeier, Corey Kiner, and Khari Gee committed to the Tigers.
Meanwhile, Louisiana "most likelys" Maason Smith and powerhouse safety / athlete Sage Ryan still lurk in the Boot with nearly 9 months left to tie up the other scholarship slots.
LSU's recent new ability to snag recruits from Georgia and Texas, as if they were our own backyard, grabbing guys from California, Florida, Ohio, Utah or Massachusetts greatly increases our chances of continuing 2019's eternal success...(even James Cregg finds himself on Zoom meetings connected to Clarkston, Michigan amidst advanced talks concerning the destinations of the two best offensive linemen in the country, Garrett Dellinger & Rocco Spindler).
This impressive, infallible new reach has established a nationwide framework in which LSU can rapidly reload their squad, creating a 50 state pool of options and insurance policies in case a variety of kids choose to go elsewhere.
We're the only school in the country possessing the combination of expansive Alabama-esque resources, a deep nationwide reach consisting of an army of connections (Both CFB and NFL) and the coaches on staff tailor-made for this multi-theater recruiting fight:
Guys like safeties coach Bill Busch and his Polynesian connections from his time at Utah or Utah State or Recruiting Coordinator/ DBs coach and Tiger legend Corey Raymond's history as the creator of DBU, Mickey Joseph's reputation as the best WRs Coach in the country...they are ready;
Debut RBs Coach Kevin Faulk's name, followed by the clatter of his Super Bowl rings, will command attention and open previously closed doors before the man utters a word;
Bo Pelini's historic defensive pedestal, household names such as Dorsey, Steltz, Tyson Jackson, Landry, Suh, Amukamara as examples of his coaching development;
O-line chief James Cregg's award-winning / Super Bowl-rampaging resume casting a wide net; there's D-line Coach Bill Johnson, widely credited as the man who set Aaron Donald up for greatness (and since he's left, Donald hasn't been the same)...on and on and on....
There is no better staff in the country, nor is there any group better equipped or more psychologically prepared to recruit during the pandemic era.
Tennessee and Ohio State can rack up all the numbers they want...they most likely need every hand on deck...meanwhile, LSU has tons of room to maneuver, buoyed by being months ahead of schedule and hanging on to 100% solid commitments / players who address critical needs...
Unlike every other school outside of Clemson or Alabama, LSU's world class staff are now in a position where they can pick and choose recruits...
Not even Oklahoma, Florida or Georgia can claim that privilege...being able to save resources, time and energy on the recruiting trail is a big deal, and lately LSU have had it all up to their discretion, an intensified reward for the most unforgettable season of all time.
After one incredible season and nearly thirty years' experience, and 4 previous National Championships' worth of conquering swagger, Coach Ed Orgeron has his Tigers ascending to a highly visible echelon, a G.O.A.T plateau Nick Saban had to win a trio of National Championships to reach.
Orgeron's Tigers are proving 2019 was no fluke: even as they lost 3/4 of their offensive and defensive starters, those who know the true talent of these players share the same feeling:
These 2020 Tigers have an even higher ceiling after the path Joe Burrow paved.
LSU is now close to busting down the door and crashing Clemson and Alabama's two-team feeding frenzy of the last 4 years, stripping Dabo's Hootenanny Huckabee & Saban's reported occultist tentacles of their titles and dignity, now looking to steal every favorite recruit on their charts and defend their title (in a manner unseen since Saban's crew accomplished the back to back title victories thanks to Notre Dame starting Manti Te'o's girlfriend at quarterback, left tackle and linebacker).
To stand alone, ahead of the pack, our Tigers must dismiss Saban's Crimson Tide from the national conversation...
I repeat, to take that next, firm step, LSU must retire the Tide...we must destroy them...and with the transfer of QB Taulia Tagovaiola, the uncertainty of Saban's defense or Sarkisian's outdated offense, the fragility of Bama's coaching staff...could we be seeing an end to Alabama, Joe Burrow's middle fingered salute and the #22 carved upon their foreheads????
Who knows...although finding ourselves situated at this juncture, discussing the extinction of Nick Saban's Alabama once and for all is a riveting experience we waited years to entertain.
Orgeron is building a unit which is now frothing at the mouth for another title....and they'll be best poised to survive an off-season with a lack of reps, compared to young Auburn, Alabama and Ole Miss / Miss State squads.
Could Orgeron become the first LSU coach to win championships in consecutive years?
If he were to pull it off, the victory would be the ultimate satisfaction for loyalists and the most maddening experience for LSU haters...but the evidence points to the omnipresent fact:
Don't bet against the Tigers...
by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
COPYRIGHT 2020 UNINTERRUPTED WRITINGS INC. LLC
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