ATLANTA — Ed Orgeron was asked how he planned to stop Oklahoma's star wide receiver CeeDee Lamb in the Peach Bowl, but he was more worried about the loss he suffered in 2016 -- on the recruiting trail.
He's "the one that got away," Orgeron said, chuckling about a recruiting miss of a player originally from Opelousas, Louisiana. "No question about it. That was the first thing I heard about that."
Lamb was offered a scholarship by LSU, but his only official visits were made to Texas A&M and Oklahoma, eventually landing with the Sooners.
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Here's the clip of #LSU's Ed Orgeron talking about Oklahoma's Ceedee Lamb -- originally from Opelousas and a youth football teammate of Grant Delpit (Fort Bend Express).— Jeff Nowak (@Jeff_Nowak) December 27, 2019
Orgeron calls him "the one that got away."
Also: "I can just about imagine how well that Peewee League was" pic.twitter.com/jy8iwdaYC8
Now four years later Lamb enters the postseason after torching the college football landscape as a junior. He logged 58 catches for 1,208 yards and 14 touchdowns -- numbers that would be eye-popping and Biletnikoff-worthy, had the award's winner Ja'Marr Chase not logged 18 scores and 1,498 yards of his own on LSU's record-setting offense.
But as Lamb looks to prove his mettle in Saturday's College Football Playoff semifinal, it'll be a face on the defensive side for the Tigers he's most familiar with.
Seven years have passed since their last game as teammates on the Fort Bend Express. In that time, CeeDee Lamb and Grant Delpit have become two of the best players in college football — Lamb as a wide receiver at No. 4 Oklahoma and Delpit as a safety at No. 1 LSU.
That face belongs to Grant Delpit, who was on the same "pewee league" roster as Lamb as a young player in Texas after being displaced from New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina.
“That's still my brother,” Lamb said earlier this month. "It was very fortunate that we kept the same relationship though high school and into college."
The pair met in Texas, eventually earning a spot on the Fort Bend Express, a youth football select team in the Houston area. Seven years later their paths cross again on the football field as they battle for a spot in the College Football Playoff Championship.
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And stopping Lamb will be a challenge for LSU, one that could fall on the shoulders of Delpit -- the winner of the Jim Thorpe award given to college football's top defensive back -- and the two other highly touted NFL prospects in LSU's defensive backfield, Kristian Fulton and Derek Stingley Jr.
"They've done a great job with him," Orgeron said. "He's big and he's strong. He's one of the best receivers we've seen. We've faced some really good receivers. We see some really good receivers every day in practice. But he's different."
LSU and Oklahoma kick off at 3 p.m. (CST) Saturday on ESPN.
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