Daily Cavalcade: Ed Orgeron Didn’t Let Leonard Fournette Play, And Why It’s A Good Thing
LSU head coach Ed Orgeron just showed how NFL prospects and the bowl season should be handled, in the Daily Cavalcade of Whimsy.
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Sorry if this column sucks, it’s not my fault …
Ed Orgeron, apparently, wouldn’t let me write it.
All’s more than well that ended well.
Especially for LSU head coach Ed Orgeron and, smartly, for his superstar, Leonard Fournette, who really, really didn’t need to play in the Citrus Bowl against Louisville.
From Fournette’s interview on NFL.com, “(Orgeron) brought me into the office. He told me ‘You have a lot on the line.’ He didn’t want me to play … my coach made (the decision) for me.”
As anyone with a working brain knew, skipping the bowl wasn’t going to hurt Fournette’s draft stock a lick – apparently, no GM or scout really cares that he didn’t play in it, despite what several dopey NFL media blowhards would want you to believe – and he managed to keep himself healthy.
While Michigan TE Jake Butt blew out his knee against Florida State in the Orange Bowl, and there’s still a big question mark about the career of former Notre Dame star Jaylon Smith after he tore up his knee in the bowl loss to Ohio State last year, many college stars finally figured out that playing in a non-playoff bowl game just wasn’t worth any sort of risk. And the world kept spinning.
Fournette took the brunt of the criticism for not playing against Louisville – even though his ankle was, supposedly, legitimately hurt – but LSU won, you, and the rest of America totally forgot about that game already, and Orgeron now looks absolutely brilliant.
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. That’s exactly how this is supposed to work.
The superstar NFL prospect isn’t supposed to play in the non-playoff game – I refuse to use the term meaningless bowl game – and the coach is supposed to be the adult in the room and take the helmet away so the player doesn’t look bad.
Look at how this all played out. Fournette is healthy and has one fewer game of wear on his body, and Orgeron has the exact right recruiting pitch going forward.
Now, Orgeron can go into any living room and tell the prospect and his family, “I’ll always look out for your son’s well-being – just like I did for Leonard Fournette.”
All coaches will say they care about the players and recruits – and yeah, they almost all legitimately do – but Orgeron actually showed what that means.
And now we’re talking about whether or not Fournette will go in the top 15 or in the top ten, instead of possibly having to rehab an injury.