Ed Orgeron isn’t concerned by LSU’s lack of cornerbacks or quarterbacks in this year’s signing class.
Or if he is, he didn’t vocalize those concerns after the Tigers missed on four of its six targets for national signing day.
By Wednesday afternoon, LSU is left with only one defensive back and no quarterbacks in its 23-man class, two below the NCAA’s allotted 25 scholarships.
That means, barring any last-minute additions, LSU will start the 2018 season with five scholarship cornerbacks and three quarterbacks on its roster.
"Obviously we're disappointed with some of the losses," Orgeron said. "But we got the guys that want to fight for the Tigers and we're proud of them."
Orgeron acknowledged there were several players the Tigers who signed elsewhere, namely the two defensive backs and quarterback whom were targeted going into the day.
The biggest miss of the day was undoubtedly cornerback Patrick Surtain Jr., who would have been the highest-rated player to come to LSU since star running back Leonard Fournette, according to 247Sports. Despite believing to have LSU as his leader for most of his recruitment, the five-star prospect picked Alabama over the Tigers.
Surtain informed the LSU coaching staff of his decision Tuesday night. LSU tried to immediately switch focus to Mario Goodrich out of Missouri, but by then it was too late. He signed with Clemson.
“We always thought Patrick was coming. He was the No. 1 cornerback on our board and that never changed,” Orgeron said. “When he wasn’t coming, we went to Mario Goodrich and it was just a day too late. But we weren’t going to settle for anybody else.”
LSU entered signing day having doled out signing papers to four prospects for four open spots in the 2018 class: Scotlandville defensive back …
The loss of Surtain, and subsequently Goodrich, means the lone defensive back LSU did sign this week, Kelvin Joseph out of Scotlandville, will have to help fill the cornerback position for the Tigers.
Joseph originally was projected to move to either safety or nickel in replace of Donte Jackson who left early for the NFL this offseason. But with Surtain going to Alabama, Joseph now shifts to cornerback.
“We were only going to sign one more cornerback anyway, and that was always going to be Patrick,” Orgeron said. “If Patrick had came, we were going to move Kelvin to safety. So we’re going to move Kelvin to cornerback and he can play cornerback well.”
LSU could try to go after another cornerback with its remaining two scholarships, but Orgeron said the plan moving forward is to not simply give away scholarships, instead possibly saving them for transfers or graduate transfers.
If there is a position Orgeron left open for a possible late addition, it was quarterback.
LSU was unsuccessful in persuading dual-threat passer James Foster away from Texas A&M on Wednesday.
Fortunately, the Tigers don’t expect to need a quarterback anytime soon with Myles Brennan and Lowell Narcisse coming into their second season at LSU, but the fear of injury leaving the Tigers thin under center is troubling. Justin McMillan, a redshirt junior, also remains on the roster.
“Obviously we were going after Foster,” Orgeron said. “We didn’t have another guy that we wanted. But we also know there are some graduate transfers out there. We feel we have three outstanding quarterbacks on our team.
“Obviously if something happens to one, we’ll be very thin. That was the concern. But we feel that, in the year 2019, we’re on a lot of great quarterbacks.”