LSU Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron was not at a loss for words when he stepped to the podium at SEC Media Days. Far from it. The Louisiana native is rather bullish on his team, and he wants the country to know just how good they can be this season. That includes hyping up a few of his star players.
During his opening statement, Orgeron essentially ran down the depth chart of returners and touched on the challenges ahead. But before he really got into it, the 57-year-old coach had something to say.
“I think Grant Delpit is the best defensive player in the country coming back this year,” he claimed.
Then, a couple of minutes later, he said it again. It was so casual, like he was ordering breakfast, but it was incredibly powerful.
Is LSU safety Grant Delpit is the best defensive player in NCAA college football? You better believe it.
Sure, there’s competition, especially in the SEC. Auburn defensive lineman Derrick Brown and Alabama defensive lineman Raekwon Davis are both solid, but none boast the credentials quite like the 6-foot-3, 203-pound junior from Houston, Texas.
After recording 74 tackles, including five sacks, with nine pass deflections, five interceptions and one forced fumble in 2018, Delpit was a First-Team All-SEC selection and Unanimous All-American. There’s no denying he is a stud and it’s hard to argue there’s anyone better.
So does Delpit agree with Orgeron’s claim?
“Yeah, I think that is a great choice. I have all the confidence in Coach O and Coach Aranda, because they put me in the right place to make plays.”
Since arriving in Baton Rouge straight from high school at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, that’s all Delpit has done. He started 10 games as a true freshman, and then he helped the Tigers win 10 games, including the Fiesta Bowl against UCF, last year.
If LSU Football truly is Defensive Back University, Delpit is the current face of it. He’s the face of the Tigers’ defense after the departure of linebacker Devin White, and might be the frontrunner for the Chuck Bednarik Award, given to the best defensive player in college football.
The NFL is likely in his near future, but it can wait another year while Grant Delpit continues to give SEC quarterbacks nightmares in the secondary and prove Orgeron’s preseason claim is as real as it gets.