FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Former LSU linebacker Duke Riley who just finished up rookie mini-camp with the Atlanta Falcons, says the future is bright in Baton Rouge with Ed Orgeron.
Riley’s support of Orgeron is well-known. He posted a video of himself and teammates chanting “Keep Coach O” following LSU’s win over Texas A&M in the regular-season finale.
“I know what ‘Coach O’ will do for the program,” Riley said. “He made us come together as a team. It’s nothing against Coach Miles and the coaches before that. I feel like ‘Coach O’ brought us together like we’d never been. I left LSU with one of the best feelings because the reason I wanted to go there is for the feeling that ‘Coach O’ gave the team. That’s family and brotherhood.
“I always can go back and feel like it’s a home for me. That’s what ‘Coach O’ is bringing for everybody and doing for the program. So I think what he’s going to do for the program in this upcoming season and for the future will be great.”
Riley also is a big fan of LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda. Riley said Aranda made him a better player physically and mentally.
“Coach Aranda basically slowed the game down so much for me,” Riley said. “He made me a way better player than I was. … He made me understand the game so much more. I just appreciate everything he did for me and that he’s going to do for the program.”
Aranda’s defense this fall will be counting on young and relatively inexperienced linebackers, but Riley isn’t worried. He thinks the group has a nice mix of upperclassmen and underclassmen.
“Donnie Alexander and Devin White,” Riley said. “Michael Divinity’s in there now and (Devin) Voorhies. We’ve got a lot of guys coming up and even new guys coming in. So the linebacker spot will be the same. Donnie and Devin White will do a pretty good job.”
Alexander and Voorhies are seniors. White and Divinity are sophomores.
During a recent interview, Orgeron said Tigers coaches were looking forward to working with freshman linebackers Tyler Taylor and Jacob Phillips.
(You can follow Dan Mathews on Twitter @DanMathewsATL)
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