SEC Media Days: Best defensive player in America? LSU's Grant Delpit 'a great choice'
HOOVER, Ala. — If you listen to the buzz entering 2019 SEC Media Days, most considered LSU’s outstanding safety Grant Delpit the best defender in the Southeastern Conference. His head coach went a step further and put the junior defensive back on another plane altogether.
“I believe Grant is the best defensive player coming back in college football this year, no question about it,” Orgeron said Monday. “He can do everything.”
While some might assume that’s typical hyperbole from a head coach, Orgeron continued in detail regarding how versatile his safety is.
“We needed him in the post against Ole Miss, he got that interception for us. We needed him to get pressure against Ole Miss, he got sacks,” Orgeron said. “He is tall, smart, he’s a great young man. I do believe he is one of the best defensive players I’ve ever been around.”
That last comment has generated plenty of buzz and led to LSU’s center Lloyd Cushenberry being asked to share one story that displays how unique Delpit is.
“Man, I remember in the Ole Miss game,” Cushenberry said, “I don’t remember what quarter it was, but he was in the middle of the field and they threw a deep ball and he goes from the middle of the field to the sideline and just picks it off, makes a diving interception. That’s a testament to the type of player — he is just a great player and a playmaker.”
If you missed it, here is a video of that play:
My Goodness!…Look at the Range Grant Delpit has on this Interception against Ole Miss…Unbelievable!
— Josh Lemoine (@LsuFBallTruth) July 15, 2019
“That’s why he got No. 7 and I look forward to him making many more of those plays this year,” Cushenberry said.
Teammates gushed about Delpit’s accomplishments on the field. Coach O recalled another play that stood out to him regarding Delpit’s football IQ.
“That play he made against Georgia — on the (fake) field goal. He was going to block the field goal,” Orgeron said. “He felt the tight end release. He came out of his rush, covered the tight end, saw that Devin White was covering him and went to tackle the kicker and caused a fumble.
“That was one of the best plays — he has a higher awareness level than I’ve been around a football player. He reminds me of Troy Polamalu. Troy could do that stuff, plus Troy could rush, Troy could cover. Grant is taller, has a little more reach than Troy. He’s a lot like Troy.”
The composure and IQ from Grant Delpit to snuff out this fake FG.
An All-American talent with a high football IQ, to boot. I love the way he immediately retreats to contain when he senses the fake, knowing his teammates can catch up if he just sets the edge. pic.twitter.com/e9Bp6GCPd7
— Cody Worsham (@CodyWorsham) October 15, 2018
Upon hearing all the praise thrown his way Monday, arguably the best comment of the day came from Delpit himself.
Here is how he responded when he was told Coach O called him the best defensive player in college football:
“Yeah, I think that’s a great choice,” Delpit said. “I have all the confidence in Coach O and Coach (Dave) Aranda because they put me in the right place to make plays.”
Not only does Delpit talk a big game, he backs it up on the field while the stories of his accolades in Baton Rouge are quickly becoming legend. While some may question throwing that level of praise at a player, Delpit appears to be the rare athlete that not only lives up to the hype — he exceeds it.