Ed Orgeron is closing in on filling two openings on his staff.

Southern California running backs coach Tommie Robinson and Louisiana Tech running backs coach Mickey Joseph have emerged as the LSU football coach's top targets to replace assistants Dameyune Craig and Jabbar Juluke, a source told The Advocate on Monday.

Orgeron fired Craig last week and is shifting Juluke into an off-field role, the school announced in a statement Thursday, a day after national signing day. Craig coached receivers for the past year and was recruiting coordinator since Orgeron became interim head coach in September. Juluke, hired last February, coached running backs.

Robinson's and Joseph’s potential position assignments aren’t clear, and the deals have not been finalized. They have each spent parts of their career coaching running backs and receivers. 

Robinson, a 53-year-old Alabama native, was named 247Sports’ No. 2 recruiter in the nation for the 2017 class and the top-ranked recruiter in the Pac-12. He spent 2016 and 2013 with the Trojans, stints sandwiched around a two-year stay as running backs coach at Texas. Robinson worked with Orgeron at USC in 2013, the year that program fired Lane Kiffin and employed Orgeron as interim coach.

Robinson may provide another connection between the Trojans and Tigers. The school elected not to hire Orgeron as full-time coach after that 2013 season, despite USC's 6-2 record under him as interim. Also, LSU general manager Austin Thomas spent less than three months on the staff at USC last spring before former coach Les Miles lured him back to Baton Rouge. 

Joseph, a former Archbishop Shaw star and Nebraska quarterback, may land his first major college job. He has coached receivers, quarterbacks and special teams at various smaller colleges and historically black schools, including Grambling (2014-15), Alcorn State (2013), Central Oklahoma (2004), Nicholls State (2001-03), Alabama State (2000) and Tulane (1999). He replaced Juluke at Louisiana Tech last year.

Joseph made $100,000 at Tech last year, according to USA Today. Juluke was set to make $275,000 this year. Robinson’s salary last year at USC was not reported, but he made $330,000 in 2015 at Texas. Craig was set to make $575,000 this year.

LSU owes Craig and Juluke more than $850,000. LSU's payments to either would be offset by a new salary, if they were to find new employment this year.

Orgeron’s potential new hires are clearly moves to boost recruiting. Joseph, 48, would fill a void in New Orleans, a territory previously handled by New Orleans natives Frank Wilson and Juluke.

Robinson is a veteran of major college recruiting with high-profile stops at Miami (2007-09), Georgia Tech (02-05) and TCU (1994-97).

Robinson worked with Miles for three years with the Dallas Cowboys. Miles coached tight ends from 1998 to 2000 while Robinson coached receivers. Robinson followed Miles to Oklahoma State in 2001, coaching running backs there for a year.  

Robinson also coached running backs for the Arizona Cardinals in 2010-12, helping Beanie Wells become the first player in franchise history to run for at least 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Joseph’s ties to Louisiana run deep. He was Gatorade Player of the Year and a first-team Parade All-American out of Shaw in 1987. He signed with Nebraska and legendary coach Tom Osborne. His one season as a starter for the Cornhuskers, 1990, they finished 9-3.

Joseph’s coaching career began at the high school level in Nebraska and eventually led back to his hometown. He worked as a graduate assistant at Tulane in 2000.

In 2005-08, Joseph was head coach and athletic director for Desire Street Academy, a private school in the 9th Ward. At the time of Hurricane Katrina, Joseph was responsible for moving the school to Florida along with relocating the student-athletes, according to his Louisiana Tech bio.

Joseph served in 2011-12 as head coach at Langston, a historically black college in Oklahoma.


Tommie Robinson

Hometown: Phenix City, Alabama

Age: 53

Alma mater: Troy State, safety (1982-85)

  • 1991 Arkansas — graduate assistant
  • 1992-93 Utah State — running backs
  • 1994-97 TCU — receivers
  • 1998-2000 Dallas Cowboys — receivers/special teams
  • 2001 Oklahoma State — running backs
  • 2002-05 Georgia Tech — tight ends
  • 2006 Memphis — running backs
  • 2007-09 Miami — running backs
  • 2010-12 Arizona Cardinals — running backs
  • 2013 Southern Cal — running backs
  • 2014-15 Texas — running backs
  • 2016 Southern Cal — running backs

Mickey Joseph

Hometown: New Orleans

Age: 48

Alma mater: Nebraska, quarterback (1987-1991)

  • 1999 Tulane — graduate assistant
  • 2000 Alabama State — receivers
  • 2001-03 Nicholls State — quarterbacks
  • 2004-05 Central Oklahoma — running backs
  • 2006-08 Desire Street Academy (high school) — head coach
  • 2009-10 Langston — assistant
  • 2011-12 Langston — head coach
  • 2013 Alcorn State — receivers/special teams
  • 2014-15 Grambling — receivers/special teams
  • 2016 Louisiana Tech — running backs

Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter, @RossDellenger.