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LSU Coach Ed Ogeron attends banquet in Ferriday
from The Concordia Sentinel
April 20, 2017 -

By Joey Martin Thoughts from the Sideline

FERRIDAY, La. (Concordia Sentinel) — LSU head football coach Ed Orgeron has now been to Concordia Parish more times than Gov. John Bel Edwards. Considering Les Miles never made it, and Nick Saban was obviously anxious to hit the Natchez Ramada Inn door soon after arriving for an alumni event in 2000, Orgeron is a breath of fresh air.

Orgeron visited Ferriday High School last year, and was the guest speaker at the Ferriday Athletic Banquet Thursday at the Concordia Community Center. Obviously, Orgeron could not speak to recruits, but he certainly had to make an impression on some Ferriday High football players who could be wearing purple and gold in 2018 and beyond.

And Orgeron found out what most of us in the parish have known for a long time -- Concordia Parish has some athletes. As a matter of fact, Ferriday High principal Joyce Russ was sitting next to Orgeron. Russ shared with me that Orgeron took a lot of interest in a number of Ferriday underclassmen as they walked up to receive their awards. "He told me he doesn't know what we are doing over here, but keep doing it," Russ said with a laugh.

Not only was I impressed about the fact that Orgeron drove to Ferriday on Holy Thursday with a week left in spring practice, but I was also impressed that he stayed for the entire event. I called the LSU football office Monday to get some comments with little hope of getting to talk to him considering the spring football game is Saturday. But a very pleasant and obliging staff assured me Coach O would get back to me. Seriously?

I had the pleasure of sitting next to him during the 2006 National Football Foundation Miss-Lou Chapter Hall of Fame banquet.
Orgeron, then the head coach at Ole Miss, was the guest speaker. I mentioned after the banquet that it was like sitting next to the Energizer bunny with a battery that never gave out. I wrote back then that he reminded me of a wrestler waiting to run to the ring for a battle royal event. It's pretty obvious Orgeron has gotten a handle on speaking events.

And, sure, Ferriday could have two or three players among the top 50 in the state at the end of this football season. But for the head coach to come down during Easter Week, nine days before his spring football game and show the interest he did at the banquet is more than just impressive -- it's backing your commitment to keep state players in the state.

Most coaches would be thinking, well it's a Class 2A school and they would just be flattered with the attention. Orgeron could have easily walked in late (he was more than 30 minutes early), gave a quick speech and then excused himself the way coaches have done at the National Football Foundation and Miss-Lou Hall of Fame banquet in Natchez in the past. But he stayed until the end. And he took it all in.
Ultimately, Orgeron will be judged on what his team does on the field. But it's the little things that lead to success on the bigger stage.
Orgeron does more than talk the talk about his love for LSU and Louisiana. He showed that once again Thursday night in a small town named Ferriday.

Maybe he should run for governor after his coaching days are done.  But considering his work ethic, drive and commitment, that is going to be way on down the road.



LSU head football coach Ed Orgeron brought out a tape measure at the Ferriday Athletic Banquet Thursday at the Concordia Community Center to demonstrate to the Trojan athletes how life can be.

Orgeron stretched the tape measure out to 80 inches.

“You think life is forever, but these first 15 to 18 years is when you gain everything to use for the rest of your life,” Orgeron said.

Orgeron also talked about the recruiting process to the athletes’ families, and told the athletes how important academics are throughout their school years.

“Sports is good to have, but education fulfills dreams,” Orgeron said

Newly-hired Ferriday head coach Stanley Smith, who played college football at University of Louisiana, said Orgeron speaking at the Ferriday banquet is big-time.

“He has a lot of positive energy,” Smith said of Orgeron. “And he had some very valid points to make about education.”

Smith said having Orgeron speak to Ferriday High athletes helps his staff to motivate the team even more.

“To have the coach from the biggest school in the state come in to speak to our kids is huge,” Smith said. “To have the head coach at LSU show interest in kids from Ferriday, La., speaks a lot. Hopefully the players understand that.”

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