After a sluggish last few weeks, LSU picked up a massive win on the recruiting trail Tuesday evening when 5-star running back John Emery committed to the Tigers.

LSU coach Ed Orgeron gave his thoughts on the huge signing during Wednesday’s SEC Coaches Teleconference, noting his biggest priority is keeping Louisiana prospects at home. He was able to do that with Emery, who’s the third-best player in the state per’s composite ratings.

Orgeron touched on a handful of other pressing subjects ahead of this weekend’s game, which pits the No. 7 Tigers (8-2) against Rice (1-10) at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday. Below are Orgeron’s full responses from the teleconference.

On DB Kelvin Joseph’s status:

  • He is questionable, he is questionable right now. Hopeful that he can play on Saturday. Mannie Netherly will become part of the cornerback rotation if Joseph is out.

On the senior class, what do they mean to you?

  • They helped me as an interim. They have helped me every day. It has become our team now. Les Miles did a great job, but these guys are our guys now. We want to send them out the best way possible.

On if the low expectations motivated this team:

  • We said block out the noise, whether it was low expectations or low expectations. I did not use that, but they may have.

How much will you experiment this week?

  • We are always looking for the best spot for each player, and this is a good week for that. … Patrick Queen will get reps at outside linebacker this week.

Is the SEC the best league?

  • No question it is. There is great talent. Every week you are playing against first-rounders; it’s like the NFL. It’s the best league, no doubt. The passion on the road, that’s what makes the SEC the best.

On DB Kary Vincent

  • He has become the player we recruited. He was in our first class, one of the leaders of the class. He has done a tremendous job of coming in and competing. He is like three players because of all that he can do.

On the early signing period, how much has that changed recruiting for you?

  • It speeds things up. We have 19 or 20 commits right now. We will sign as many as we can with a spot or two saved for some players.. The hustle will start two weeks from now. It speeds things up in a smaller window, but I like the early period. It’s great.

What can you say about recruiting, on the latest news?

  • Our focus is always going to be on the state of Louisiana. We are happy where we are at, but there is still a lot to work on. We have a lot to sell right now, but we have to finish strong. Anything can happen down the stretch.