FAYETTEVILLE — When Ed Orgeron needed an offensive line coach this summer he wasted no time in reaching out to hire Arkansas’ Brad Davis.
On Monday at SEC Media Days, Orgeron talked about why he chose Davis.
“Brad Davis is a guy from Baton Rouge, a tremendous recruiter, up-and-coming offensive line coach,” Orgeron said. “You always have a group of coaches on a list in case something happens. Something did happen and he became available, and we’re very happy to have him. He’s happy to be home in Baton Rouge.
“We’re also excited about the acquisition of Brad Davis in the summer, one of the best offensive line coaches in the country, along with Kevin Faulk and Mickey Joseph. Those guys are going to do a tremendous job for us.”
Orgeron made several changes in his coaching staff following a 5-5 season. The Tigers had to close out winning the final two games to avoid a losing season. Orgeron explained how he interviewed each of the new assistants.
“One of the things — and I talked about this before — our coaches didn’t know this, but when I was interviewing them, I was pretending I was one of our players, and I wanted to see how well they would communicate to our players,” Orgeron said. “Coaches are going to know a lot of football, but it’s how much that they can get to our players and how much our players will know, and every one of these coaches, they were 20 years, average 20 years younger than the coaches I had on the staff. Every one of these coaches made an A-plus in communication with our players.”
During last year’s 5-5 season it seemed the chemistry was off between many of the assistants and players. Orgeron addressed that as well. This year the players seem happy with the chemistry between them and the staff.
“I’m glad they’re saying that,” Orgeron said. “That’s the reason I hired those guys. And I did my research. I called people that knew them. I wanted to know how they interacted with the players. I called some of the ex-players that they coached, I said, Tell me how he is on a daily basis. Everybody can be one way in an interview, but I want to know how they’re going to be every day.
“I did my research on these guys, and they match everything that the ex-players told me, the ex-coaches told me, and the knowledge that they have.
“The one thing that I’m very impressed with that I didn’t really — because they’re young coaches, they’ve never been coordinators — their ability to leave. Their tremendous leaders. They’re in the office early in the morning. They’re very well organized. Sometimes, when it’s your first time, you don’t know how well organized that you have to be or the work you have to put in. These guys are A-plus in that area.”
One offensive lineman that Davis won’t have is Dare Rosenthal who transferred to Kentucky.
“He’s a tremendous player,” Orgeron said. “I hate to lose him. I recruited him out of Ferriday High School. Defensive lineman, went to offensive line. He didn’t want to leave. It was hard on him. I think they’ve got a potential first round draft choice there. And Dare knows he’s got some stuff he needs to get better at, and I’m sure Kentucky’s going to see that.
“He’s a great young man, a great team player. He’s going to be wearing another helmet. He’s going to be trying his best. I’m going to expect his best against us, and he’s going to get our best. He expects that, and that’s just the way it is.”
Rosenthal had several off-the-field violations that led to suspensions during his three years at LSU. Reports indicated had he stayed at LSU he faced another suspension for the 2021 season.