football Edit

Orgeron optimistic about LSU in the early signing period

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BATON ROUGE, La. -- The initial signing period is nearly a week out and Coach Ed Orgeron’s staff is very anxious for Dec. 19 to arrive.


This is the second year of the early signing period and the second time around for Oregon. That means the coach is more conscious with the nuances, better adjusted to the expedited timeline and in this particular recruiting cycle, more familiar with the players.


LSU currently holds 19 verbal commitments. Eighteen have or are expected to make official visits before the early signing period gets underway next Wednesday and the majority should put the pen to paper when the time comes.


“We’re better organized this year to understand how tight a window we have to get all the guys signed on Dec. 19,” Orgeron said during a press conference on Tuesday. “Fortunately, we have 19 strong commitments that have been there for a while that we feel very strong about. Most of the homes we’re going into are committed guys. They have been celebrations. It hasn’t been difficult this year because you’re not going in trying to get these guys to sign. They’re strong commits.


“Obviously, there’s a couple undecided about whether they’re going to sign or not sign. We have some recruiting to go, but overall, this process, especially in this class -- we have been recruiting this class two solid years and the relationships we have with the players, the coaches and especially, the parents, are very strong right now. That has helped us.”


Orgeron and the LSU coaches were on the road within 24 hours of the team’s regular-season finale at Texas A&M. By the coach’s count, he has been in 17 homes in as many days, and with Fiesta Bowl practices beginning on Tuesday (Dec. 11), members of the staff will head out in the evening.


The coaching staff has plans to make visits on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday before wrapping up its third and final weekend of official visitors this Friday.


“Didn’t sleep,” Orgeron joked. “That’s how we balanced it. Last night (Monday), I completed my 17th home visit since the Texas A&M game. I home-visited some of young men we’re expecting to sign next week. Some guys will be going out at night to home visit some players. We’re going to practice during the day, finish home-visits Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. There’s only a couple more left to go and a big weekend on Friday.”


Of the 19 verbal commitments in the Tigers’ 2019 class, which currently ranks No. 6 nationally on Rivals, all but two are expected to sign their national letters of intent on Dec. 19.


LSU is also in the hunt for signatures from four uncommitted prospects expected to announce their decisions next week. That should fill up close to 80 percent of the current recruiting class by the end of the early signing period and shift the focus onto a handful of top targets for February.


“We’ll get most our committed guys to sign,” Orgeron said. “We’ll see what we have left. A couple of guys will go to February and we’ll see exactly what we have left and we’ll get the best players available.”


Among those expected to sign next Wednesday include 5-stars such as Kardell Thomas, Derek Stingley Jr. and Trey Palmer, who have been embedded in the Tigers’ 2019 class for months already. Others such as Marcel Brooks and Tyrion Davis have been outspoken recruits in the class and will make their commitments official in the coming days.


Because of their longstanding relationships with the LSU staff, it’s made for an easy transition into the second go-round with the early signing period. As a result, Orgeron is expecting one of the more highly-rated signing classes with a major emphasis on the state of Louisiana in recent memory.


“You always look for the bell-cows in your recruiting class, guys of stature, very intelligent guys that say, ‘I wanna come to LSU. This is my school and I’m not going nowhere else.’ They start recruiting the class, and we have several of those guys in this class already,” the coach said.


“Some have already declared themselves leaders in my opinion. We haven’t signed them yet. This is a class we’ve been working on for two years. This is one of the best classes in the state of Louisiana. We’re doing very well right now. We have to finish strong and have some to close on. We’re going to end up signing one of our best classes.”