Sour grapes? Ed Orgeron appears to take dig at DT who chose Alabama over LSU
You don’t often see coaches provide bulletin board material at SEC Media Days, but one Ed Orgeron press conference answer is sure to get back to an Alabama defender.
One of the most closely followed National Signing Day recruiting battles was Amite, Louisiana defensive tackle Ishmael Sopsher. A high 4-star recruit, Sopsher was ranked the No. 3 Louisiana product, No. 5 defensive tackle and No. 47 prospect overall nationally in the class of 2019 on the 247Sports Composite. Like many coaches, Orgeron emphasizes landing the best in-state recruits and preventing them from leaving the state to go to other programs, particularly Tigers rivals. Sospher’s final recruiting visit before National Signing Day was to LSU, but he signed with Alabama.
On Monday, Orgeron mentioned Sospher’s Amite team and said that teammate Devonta Lee, who signed with LSU, was the best player on the team. All coaches talk up their players, but Geaux 247’s Billy Embody points out that Orgeron calling Lee the team’s best player is difficult to not interpret as a dig at Sopsher, who was the higher-rated recruit. (Lee was also a highly sought-after recruit, rated the Composite’s No. 166 overall prospect.)
Here’s the full quote of Orgeron’s Lee/Amite mention from the transcript of Monday’s press conference:
Q. How important was it for you to get Devonta Lee to commit and come to LSU from Amite and just from an optic standpoint?
ED ORGERON: Well, really it’s a battle, obviously, a battle especially from that area. And we feel that we got the best player on that team. Devonta Lee had a great state championship game. He played offense. He played defense. He’s a great young man.
Again, he wanted to come to LSU, his family. They wanted to be there. He never wavered. He went and took a couple visits. We felt he’s a high-character young man. He’s going to have a great career. But it does mean something that we got a player out of Amite to come to LSU. It’s a very fertile area, as you know.
One thing is for sure, Sopsher’s play against LSU during his time at Alabama is going to receive extra attention.