September 20, 2021
"Changing Lives, Improving Communities"


Today was the start of a new season for LSU football, check-in for the Tigers started at 8:30, and athletes came in started to come in slowly over the day. The first few players to show up were defensive linemen Breiden Fehoko, Saiki Ika, and transfer Linebacker Soni Fonua. Fehoko has become a fan favorite in Baton Rouge after performing the Haka with his family after the Tiger Walk into Tigers Stadium. The senior defensive lineman missed the final four games of last season with an arm injury has made an incredible recovery. When asked about his recovery, Coach Orgeron had this to say about Fehoko. “He’s ready! He’s 298lbs, he’s lost some weight, think about this, he came in with an injury on his arm and he benched 500lbs. Tommy (Moffitt) told him to stop. I gotta mention the job that Tommy Moffitt does, outstanding! Our team is in shape.”

On the coaching front a recent injury while playing basketball will keep defensive line coach Dennis Johnson sidelined for the year. “He is in a wheelchair now, and doing ok” states Orgeron. “We went through compliance, luckily we got Kenechi Udeze, who coached at USC, and had been a DLine coach on the field. Christian LaCouture, is a graduate assistant who will also coach on the field, and I will also be involved with the defensive line. Dennis will do the job coaching upstairs and coaching in the meeting room.”

“We need to get better on the line of scrimmage, line of scrimmage discipline, line of scrimmage penalties pass blocking, run blocking. We need to get better.” Ed Orgeron when talking about the focus of upcoming camp. Coach Orgeron made it a point last year to go after positions on the offensive and defensive line to compete. With the addition of OL: Kardell Thomas (6’3 329), Charles Turner (6’4 245), Anthony Bradford (6’7 355), Thomas Perry (6’6 341), NT: Saiki Ika (6’4 347) DL: Joseph Evans (6’2 288) they did just that. “I can remember two camps ago, we didn’t have two lines, and now we’re three deep. We’re developing guys, guys are competing. We’re three deep on both the offensive and defensive line, we have a lot more depth there. I reminded my staff this morning that we lost eight defensive starters, and we had to play with some new guys in the bowl game, and we won it, so everybody on the roster has to be ready to play.” Coach Orgeron on having depth at defensive and offensive lines.

The offense looks roll out a new system this year with the addition of passing game coordinator Joe Brady. Brought over from the Saints, the philosophy of Coach Brady is to attack defenses and not just take what the defense gives you. “I’m excited about our offense, I’m excited about Stephen Sullivan playing tight end, about Thaddeus Moss. Those guys had excellent, excellent summers. Along with Tory Carter we’ve got to get better at the tight end position.” stated Coach Orgeron. With Stephen Sullivan moving to tight end Coach O had this to say: “I think by watching Jimmy Graham plays with Joe Brady that was helpful. If we can do the same stuff that Jimmy Graham did with Stephen, I’m not saying he’s that, but if we could run the same type of plays, and have him be a similar type player, I think he’s totally bought into that.”

Defensively the Tigers are loaded with talent. Having a record four linebackers on the Butkus Award watch list, three players named to the Nagurski watch list, and another named to the Thorpe award watch list. Not to mention the number one rated defensive back in the 2019 class in Derek Stingley Jr. The Tigers have speed all over the place. “We’ve got to figure out ways to make more tackles in the backfield, and sacks. We want to be more aggressive in the things we do, we want to change up the things we do upfront and some of our coverages.” stated Ed Orgeron about the defense. With the way things are looking for the Tigers, this defense could rival the 2011 team.