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Ed Orgeron at Notre Dame? LSU's former head coach meets with Marcus Freeman, Notre Dame

Orgeron was a practice observer Tuesday, intends to be in South Bend all week

Ed Orgeron at … Notre Dame? Ed Orgeron at Notre Dame.

LSU’s former national title-winning head coach, mere months removed from the end of his tenure on the Bayou and just two years after the Tigers’ dominant 2019 College Football Playoff tour de force, visited first-year Irish head coach Marcus Freeman at Tuesday’s Notre Dame practice.

With his three sons, Tyler and twins Cody and Parker also with him, Orgeron observed Notre Dame’s work inside the Irish Athletics Center, the team’s 12th session of spring camp.

“Outstanding practice,” Orgeron told a group of reporters. “I walked down the hall (inside Notre Dame’s Guglielmino Athletics Complex that houses the football offices) and heard the offensive line coach (Harry Hiestand) getting after it early in the morning, I liked that.

“To be able to see the physicality that they have, I think that Marcus is going to bring a tremendous program here. They already have great players and he’s a tremendous recruiter, I think the sky is the limit for him.”

While Orgeron said he “wanted to jump into the drill,” he emphasized he would take at least a year off from coaching before he seriously considered a return to the sidelines. LSU was left on the hook for more than $17 million when it parted with Orgeron last fall.

“I don’t know, it all depends,” Orgeron said on coaching again. “I’m not going to coach this year, for sure. I’m keeping my options open and right now, I’m enjoying what I’m doing.”

Orgeron’s arrival in South Bend, Indiana, painted in stark contrast his last meeting with Freeman, which occurred in January 2021 when Orgeron attempted to hire away Freeman from Cincinnati to become LSU’s defensive coordinator.

As history reflected, Freeman opted to take the Irish’s vacant job atop the defense and ascended to the head coach’s post in early December after former Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly jettisoned the Irish for LSU.

“First of all, I watched his defenses play at Cincinnati, phenomenal; energy, the way they got after it, the way he had energy on the sideline,” Orgeron said of what resonated from Freeman. “That’s just the way I liked to coach it.

“When I met him, he just had something about him, character, class, you can tell that he’s going to be a championship coach. I think he has all the makings of being a great coach.”

Orgeron also said he would impart some advice on the first-year head coach, after his own initial foray into the top spot – three years atop the Ole Miss program from 2005-07 – ended in disaster.

“Don’t try to do everything,” Orgeron said. “I tried to do everything at Ole Miss, you can’t do it. Hire you a good staff, believe in them and let them do it, let the players know that you really care about them. Offense, defense, special teams be close to all of them, and I see them doing that.”