Ed Orgeron (Photo by Billy Embody)

Behind Austin Thomas, DennisJohnson's efforts, LSU lands No. 7 class for Ed Orgeron's first signing class

LSU landed at No. 7 in the 2017 recruiting class rankings for Ed Orgeron's first recruiting class, which he credited in large part to outside linebackers coach Dennis Johnson and General Manager Austin Thomas.

Even with just two months to assemble his first recruiting class, LSU finished at No. 7 in the Scout rankings and only lost on commitment when Stephen Guidry couldn't make it into the class. Tigers coach Ed Orgeron highlighted his defense that the staff signed including four linebackers, three of which came in the last week and a half. 

"When we put our defense on our board today, we feel like we have an excellent start for a foundation to next year with this recruiting class," Orgeron said.

The centerpiece as far as a Signing Day addition was five-star defensive end K'Lavon Chaisson, who was offered first by LSU and Ed Orgeron. Orgeron touched on what he saw in Chaisson before he had ever played a snap of football.

"To be able to bend, turn, outstanding pass rusher, he was long and lean and I think that was beneficial for us to get him to camp early," Orgeron said. "We were the first to offer him and I think that's one of the last things I had in the conversation with him before he went to the airport."

Orgeron praised both general manager Austin Thomas and outside linebackers coach Dennis Johnson, who both landed five-stars in their first action on the trail. 

"Austin Thomas went into Nashville, Tennessee and recruited two five-star athletes, Jacob Phillips and JaCoby Stevens, he was able to go on the road for us for the first time and did a tremendous job. We also sent Austin Thomas to our top recruits. He did just a tremendous job in the home.

Johnson was Orgeron's graduate assistant at LSU before he was promoted to outside linebackers coach. Johnson went toe-to-toe with some of the best recruiters in the country for Chaisson and five-star defensive tackle Marvin Wilson, who the Tigers narrowly missed out on.

"Dennis Johnson is an up-and-coming coach. He did a tremendous job of recruiting K'Lavon Chaisson and he was close to some of the other great players. The guys love him in the home. The coaches love him and the players love him and he's a fantastic coach."

Quarterbacks of the future on the roster in Narcisse, Brennan

Chad Simmons

With LSU bringing in two quarterbacks in Myles Brennan and Lowell Narcisse, Orgeron highlighted the differences between the two.

"Both different quarterbacks, but both great quarterbacks," Orgeron said. "We feel Lowell Narcisse is one of the best athletes in Louisiana. Myles Brennan is one of the best dropback passers in the state of Louisiana."

LSU's offensive coordinator Matt Canada spoke with ESPN on National Signing Day and spoke about the upcoming quarterback battle. 

"It's a wide open spot. Coming in with a new coach, it's a clean slate. I think that's important to a lot of the guys. We've won a lot of games in the past. We have great tradition, but we're moving forward. Our offense will be based around our quarterback. What his strengths are, what he does well," Canada said. "That's not turning the football over and making good decisions. We have great players on the edge. Obviously, the best back coming back and great guys up front. We'll find a guy that fits our system and allows us to win football games."

Orgeron echoed those comments at his press conference when asked about Danny Etling and Brandon Harris competing with the freshmen.

"Obviously Danny has done a tremendous job for us. We have some very talented quarterbacks on our roster. We're going to see what type of offense we need to run with the quarterback that can run it, and obviously we know that Myles is a pro style quarterback and Lowell is a dual threat quarterback. We think both of them will have success at LSU."

Ed Orgeron Press Conference


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