When John Curtis defensive tackle Colby Orgeron attended Tulane’s football camp in June, it was love at first sight for both parties.
Only he was not playing defense. The Green Wave projected him as an athletic offensive guard, and he performed well enough to earn a scholarship offer. He committed to Tulane this week and is looking forward to his future on offense.
“To be honest, as a kid I always loved football,” he said. “It didn’t really matter where I played as long as I had an impact. I’ll still be able to knock some guys down and have some fun doing it.”
Orgeron, who also was being recruited by SMU, Louisiana-Lafayette, Rice and Nicholls, is the fifth offensive lineman in Tulane’s seven-man 2019 commitment class. He played offensive line in eighth grade at Shaw before transferring to Curtis, then a little bit as a sophomore at Curtis and understands why the Green Wave wants him there.
At a shade under 6-foot-5 and still growing entering his senior season, he does not fit the prototype of a short, stocky interior defensive lineman. He will remain at defensive tackle for Curtis, where he made close to 50 stops a year ago, but he enjoyed his time as a blocker at Tulane’s camp.
“I loved how the coaching style was,” he said. “They took me in and were like, hey, we’re going to get this to work. They were telling me about possibly having the chance to start for three or four years. I was like, if I work hard enough, I can get this.”
First, he has unfinished business at Curtis, a perennial superpower that reached the Divison I high school championship game for the first time since 2014 last fall but fell to Catholic-Baton Rouge 20-14 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
The Patriots have gone four straight years without a state title after winning 26 in the previous 39 seasons.
“Right after that (Catholic) game, I talked to a couple of the soon-to-be seniors, about how this year we’ve got to do something,” he said. “We have a lot of talent, and the classes behind us are stacked with talent. We want to get back to winning state championships like we used to.”
Four Curtis players signed with Tulane in 2013 under former coach Curtis Johnson and a fifth, Anthony Taylor, enrolled on a track scholarship before getting a football scholarship the next season. Since then, nada.
The Wave’s roster became devoid of Patriots after running back Sherman Badie finished his career last year, but Orgeron wants to start a new trend. He went to Curtis in large part because of its winning tradition and expects Tulane, which barely missed a bowl game in 2017, to follow suit under coach Willie Fritz.
“I’m telling my friends, Tulane’s going to be something serious,” he said. “We’re going to turn it around. I feel like we can really be something dominant if we all work together.”