Since Ed Orgeron received the head coaching job in 2017, he’s made it his mission to build a culture in Baton Rouge that exemplifies sustained success. He’s done it all kinds of ways.
He’s gone after the best the state of Louisiana has to offer, bringing high profile natives like Derek Stingley Jr., Ja’Marr Chase, Terrace Marshall and John Emery aboard. Recently he’s made splashes out-of-state, signing big time recruits like Elias Ricks out of California and Arik Gilbert out of Georgia.
He’s done it every which way imaginable but perhaps his most important tool has been the way Orgeron has utilized the transfer portal. Just think about a few of the players Orgeron has grabbed from the portal since 2018.
Quarterback Joe Burrow and kicker Cole Tracy headlined the 2018 portal class. We all know how those moves turned out, one setting the single-season program record of 29 field goals in the 2018 season, the other having the most successful passing season in college football history.
After not picking up a player from the portal in 2019, Orgeron dipped his toes into the portal once again in 2020. Coming into the offseason, there were a few glaring holes but none more important than linebacker and offensive line depth.
Orgeron checked both boxes by bringing in North Dakota State linebacker Jabril Cox and versatile Harvard offensive lineman Liam Shanahan.
Cox figures to step in and immediately contribute as one of the more talented and experienced players on the defense. A three time All-American and three time champion for the Bison, Cox figures to be one of the starting linebackers for the Tigers this fall.
“We feel he’s going to be an immediate impact player for us,” Orgeron said. “We talked to some NFL people, and they felt like he’d be a [first-round] draft choice if he came out.”