Junior Colleges

LSU's Ed Orgeron in his element at Gulf Coast 'Elite Camp'

WATCH: Scenes from MGCCC Elite Camp

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College had coaches from more than 15 Division I programs on hand Friday for the school's first Elite Camp.
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Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College had coaches from more than 15 Division I programs on hand Friday for the school's first Elite Camp.

PERKINSTON -- His trademark Cajun drawl carried easily across Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College's soccer field.


LSU assistant coach Ed Orgeron, like many of his counterparts, was in his element Friday at Gulf Coast's first "Elite Camp." LSU was one of 15 Division I schools on hand for the satellite camp, running standouts from Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida through various position drills.

While skill players ran passing skeletons on Gulf Coast's football field for several hours, Orgeron, partnered with coaches from Auburn, Missouri, Louisiana-Lafayette, Troy, Ole Miss, Arkansas State and other schools, educated linemen on proper hand placement and techniques.

In his element

No coach stood out more than Orgeron -- and not because of his bright gold LSU shorts and purple shorts.

He seemed to get a sense of pleasure walking around the practice fields, mingling with college and high school coaches alike while high-fiving the eager campers.

"Way to go, man," Orgeron barked at a lineman, sprawled on the grass. "You know what you need to do now? Eat a big bowl of spaghetti!"

Known for his intensity, Orgeron was more encouragement than nasty while directing campers Friday.

He directed a number of drills, demonstrating the importance of a strong base before building to more advance pass-rush techniques.

"I just enjoy being around other coaches and sharing ideas, being able to give something back to the high school coaches and kids who work so hard," Orgeron said after the camp. "Hopefully they learn a little technique that they can take back to their teams."

LSU, like the rest of the SEC, is begrudgingly all-in on satellite camps now. The Tigers hosted a camp Thursday in Bossier City, La., and will have two more coming up in New Orleans on Saturday and June 7. LSU will also travel to Dallas and Houston for camps.

"I think Coach (Les) Miles has done a good job," Orgeron said of LSU's schedule. "We still have our camps at LSU. We started in-state first, with Shreveport and New Orleans, and then we'll go out of state a bit but that's it."

Friendly competition

On the same practice field were coaches from SEC rivals Auburn, Missouri and Ole Miss. The intermingling of "enemies" didn't come across as a big deal to most of them.

"For the most part, coaching is a small fraternity. The whole 'six degrees of separation'? It's probably like one degree," Auburn assistant coach Herb Hand said. "If you don't know the guy directly, you know somebody who knows him. It's a pretty close knit group.

"You get to get out and fellowship a little bit, hang out, talk, catch up and tell some war stories."

Missouri special teams analyst Jonathan Rutledge echoed Hand's thoughts.

"It's a good bonding opportunity," he said. "We're all in this thing together. It's a crazy business but it's a small world."

Non-stop travel

Missouri's staff likely traveled the farthest. Immediately after the camp, the Tigers hopped on a plane in Gulfport and headed to Dallas, before heading to other camps in San Antonio, St. Louis, Kansas City, Chicago and Atlanta.

"It's a crazy two weeks for us, but we enjoy it," said Rutledge, a Madison Central graduate who previously coached at Ole Miss.

The Tigers have had some success in South Mississippi, signing former Gulfport High standout Richaud Floyd in 2015. While the travel can be hectic as the staff is in a different city nightly for almost two weeks, camps like Gulf Coast's Elite Camp don't appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.

"It's a great because there's kids in D'Iberville and D'Lo that you might not otherwise get to see, especially in Columbia, Missouri," he said. "It's a good way for us to get down there and see a kid from Moss Point or Florence, Ala. It's a good opportunity."

Patrick Ochs, a Sun Herald sports reporter, can be reached at pochs@sunherald.com or followed on Twitter at PatrickOchs.

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