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Recruiting is better with Ed Orgeron on the trail

1/16/2015
Play2:30
Assistant Hires Sway Recruiting Momentum

National recruiting analysts Gerry Hamilton, Craig Haubert and Tom Luginbill analyze which recent assistant coach hires will have the biggest impact on signing day.

Welcome back, Ed Orgeron. College football recruiting has missed you.

LSU announced Wednesday that Orgeron, a native of LaRose, Louisiana, and former head coach at Ole Miss, will join the Tigers' staff as the defensive line coach. Orgeron has been out of coaching and off the recruiting trail for the past year after serving as the interim head coach at USC in 2013.

It’s easy to sound like hyperbole, but this addition is about as big as it gets. One SEC recruiting coordinator called it a “seismic moment for everybody in the conference,” and another said Tigers fans have to be absolutely giddy with the news.

“LSU just landed the biggest five-star recruit out there,” one of the assistants said. “They already had Frank Wilson, one of the best recruiters around, doing his thing. Then they hired Kevin Steele, and everybody knows how good of a job he does. But adding Coach O to the staff? Wow. I don’t know what else to say. It’s a game-changer.”

Indeed it is.

With Orgeron’s addition, the Tigers now have three assistants who have been recognized by the media as national recruiters of the year. The move gives Wilson -- who was given his first college coaching job in 2005 by Orgeron -- much-needed assistance as LSU’s recruiting coordinator.

But there is only one Coach O. Many in the coaching ranks believe Orgeron is the best recruiter in the game today, and his track record could easily put him in the discussion as one of the best ever.

The job Orgeron did as the recruiting coordinator at USC under Pete Carroll was legendary, as he assembled a string of classes that returned the Trojans to glory. Orgeron didn’t flourish as a head coach at Ole Miss, but he laid the foundation for Houston Nutt’s success in Oxford with the high-profile talent he brought in, such as Michael Oher, Dexter McCluster and Mike Wallace.

Orgeron also helped recruit and coach other stars like Warren Sapp, Cortez Kennedy, Mike Patterson, Dan Williams and Leonard Williams over the years at Miami, Tennessee and a second stint at USC.

Honestly, the recruiting trail just hasn’t been as fun without Coach O around.

We’ve all missed his larger-than-life personality that’s part-comedian, part-movie star and part-car salesman all wrapped into a Cajun accent. We’ve missed the way Coach O can easily make himself at home on the sideline of a high school football game in Long Beach, California, or Meridian, Mississippi. We miss hearing stories of how he mesmerizes moms and dads with tales of shoveling shrimp on the bayou.

It’s about time Orgeron is back doing what he does best. Who needs reality television with Coach O around? Nothing can match the stories that are generated when he’s pursuing a five-star prospect on the trail, and the recruiting world is a better place with him back in it.