Familiar foe: Herman holds connection to key LSU personnel

Local Sports

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Two of LSU football’s more prominent pieces have a connection to Texas head coach Tom Herman.

Herman and LSU’s Defensive Coordinator Dave Aranda know each other from way back in the day at California Lutheran University where they both played. Herman actually hosted Aranda during his recruiting visit to the school.

From there, a coaching relationship flourished. Herman says the two coaches have kept in contact throughout their time in college football. It was actually Aranda that helped Herman hook up with current Longhorns defensive coordinator Todd Orlando.

When Aranda was hired as the defensive coordinator at Wisconsin, it was Orlando that replaced him at Utah State. When Herman was looking for a defensive mastermind at Houston, Aranda endorsed Orlando for the job.

However, the conversations between the two coaches haven’t been about football recently.

“We bounced ideas off each other quite regularly…haven’t in the past couple of years because we knew we’d playing each other. We’ve stayed in pretty close contact,” Herman said.

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is turning into one of the better players in college football, and it’s no surprise to Herman.

The Longhorns head coach recruited Burrow while he was the offensive coordinator at Ohio State.

“I love Joe (Burrow)…I recruited him. He’s a coach’s kid. He reminds me a lot of our guy. He’s uber competitive. He’s a leader among leaders,” Herman said.

Burrow, under the guidance of LSU’s new passing game coordinator Joe Brady, threw five touchdowns and only four incompletions in the first half of the Tigers’ season opening win.

LSU’s new offensive system is a deviation from the SEC expectation of pounding opponents into submission with the ground game. LSU’s new found offense will be a challenge to the Longhorns’ defensive staff.

“With any good quarterback, you’ve got to pressure him, but you’ve got to vary the looks. We can’t just dial up a blitz every snap….as good as Joey is…we definitely know how intelligent he is,” Herman said.

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