Some Popeye’s chicken, five hours sleep and a national title trophy later, Coach O is good to go

Coaches Ed Orgeron of LSU and Dabo Swinney of Clemson shake hands at midfield after LSU's 42-25 CFP national championship game win Monday night in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. PHOTO BY JONATHAN MAILHES

NEW ORLEANS – The victory parade has been scheduled.

The trophy case in the LSU football complex is making room for a fourth national championship trophy.

So, Ed Orgeron, how did the Tigers’ coach celebrate the second 15-0 record by a college team in the past 121 years?

Did the party last until dawn after No. 1 LSU’s 42-25 CFP national championship game victory over No. 3 and defending national champ Clemson in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome?

Did he buy a round of drinks at Pat O’Brien’s? Or pick up the tab for coffee and beignets for the celebrating crowd packing Café Du Monde?

“Somebody gave us (Orgeron and his wife Kelly) some Popeye’s Fried Chicken, so we took it up in the (hotel) room, she ate half of hers and I ate the rest,” Orgeron said with a laugh. “And then we went to bed. “

There will be a brief time in the next couple of days for Orgeron to exhale and revel in his team’s accomplishments.

He’s flying to Nashville today to the American Football Coaches Association convention where he will likely become the fourth LSU head coach to win the organization’s national Coach of the Year joining past Tigers’ winners Paul Dietzel (1958), Charles McClendon (1970) and Les Miles (2011).

But his first order of business back on campus, besides Saturday’s scheduled parade, is meeting with his NFL draft-eligible juniors and third-year sophomores about their futures. The deadline for underclassmen to enter the 2020 draft is Friday.

“I want to talk to them, I want the right thing for them,” Orgeron said. “If the NFL is the best thing for them, they know that’s what I want for them, and if it’s not, I want them to stay.”LSU could have as many as eight players declare for the draft, including junior safety Grant Delpit and third-year sophomore outside linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson. Both have been projected as first-round draft choices.

And, of course, Orgeron’s recruiting radar is never turned off.

 “This is a recruiting weekend, we’re going to get after it.” he said. We have already a strong recruiting class, I’m so excited about the guys that we do have. We plan on finishing this recruiting class strong.”

Here’s Orgeron on other subjects:

On the win over Clemson

We knew last night was going to be a fight. But we felt confident that we were the better team. I told them last Monday that we were the better football team, that we had to play. We didn’t panic. We had to make a couple adjustments, so yeah, there’s satisfaction that we answered the bell, that we competed at the highest level every time we were asked to compete at the highest level we did. But it’s a tribute to our players. They had a cohesive unit attributed to our coaching staff.

On what it will mean for future LSU recruiting if Tigers’ quarterback Joe Burrow is selected No. 1 overall in the NFL Draft

It says a lot about our ability to attract great players anywhere in the country, ability to attract great quarterbacks. That had been the knock on LSU for a little while. The ability that when quarterbacks come here, (if) they will develop. I do believe Joe developed under Steve Ensminger and Joe Brady. If you’re a quarterback right now, you’re looking at LSU, you want to be here because of the system, because of what Joe did, a Heisman Trophy winner, a potential first-round pick, national champion, and then you have great receivers to throw the football to. It does say a lot about our program, but you know what, we couldn’t have done it without Joe. He’s a special young man. I thank God he came to LSU.

On Momma Orgeron’s review of Monday’s game and thoughts about his late father

Mom was there last night, and she was all dressed up in the purple and gold and all fired up. I think she had about 16 interviews (scheduled, so she was rocking and rolling.

We do talk about my father all the time. I know he’d have been proud. We talked about him last night as a family. We kind of made some jokes a little bit because he was a funny man. He was a leader. We knew he was there in spirit. We know he was watching us.

On reaching the goal of winning the national championship

We never talked about winning the national championship this year, and I think that helped our football team. Although we always knew in the back of our minds that’s where we wanted to go, that was never mentioned in a meeting. Our goal was always to win the day, do the best we could on a daily basis, but we all felt in the back of our mind, if we do the things we’re supposed to do, we’ll have a shot to do it.

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Ron Higgins

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