There are two words synonymous with the last name Orgeron: football and Louisiana.
Ed Orgeron leads the sixth-ranked Tigers and his two sons, Cody and Parker, play a prominent role on a successful FCS team: McNeese State, located in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and Oklahoma State’s opponent for its home opener Saturday.
Cody, McNeese’s starting quarterback, only played one year of high school football. He was a two-time state champion on the tennis court before transferring his skills over to the gridiron.
In Cody’s only season in high school, he led Mandeville High School to a 10-4 record and a spot in the second round of the state playoffs.
After high school, Cody decided to go to McNeese State, where his family has a history.
While at McNeese, he decided to continue with football and earned a spot on the roster as a walk-on. As with most walk-ons, Cody started low on the depth chart. After three years of proving himself, however, Cody earned his position as McNeese’s starting quarterback.
“He was the sixth-string quarterback at McNeese State,” Oregeron said. “He earned a scholarship and now is the starting quarterback. So we’re very, very proud of him.”
Cody blended his passing and running abilities last week in McNeese’s 34-28 victory over Southern. He had 147 passing yards, 33 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns.
Orgeron attributes Cody’s success to his keen memory and love for football.
“Well we talk about football a lot,” the coach said. “Cody has a component of a photographic memory, he’s very smart. We love football.”
Ed Oregeron and Cody keep in contact every day, despite their hectic schedules.
“You know we get in the office about 6 o’clock in the morning, we leave about 10 o’clock at night,” Oregeron said. “But I’ll find little pockets of the day to give him a little text or a little call, that’s very important.”
Cody’s brother Parker is another key member for McNeese State.
“My other twin boy, Parker, started at wide receiver for McNeese State for three years,” Oregeron said. “He’s had five concussions so he can’t play now.”
Although injuries derailed his career, Parker still remains with the team as a student coach. The two Orgeron boys have a big task ahead of them in the Cowboys. Orgeron, who was a graduate assistant for McNeese in 1985, thinks that McNeese needs to stick to the basics if they want to upset OSU in Stillwater.
“They’ve got to be fundamentally sound," Oregeron said. "Obviously they’re playing a great team in Oklahoma State. They’re going in hostile territory, so you’ve got to take care of the ball. Play good fundamental football.”
Orgeron also referenced a 2014 game when thinking about McNeese-related upsets.
“Several years ago, I watched McNeese State go to Nebraska and almost upset them, and I’m not saying that’s going to happen, but they’ve got to go play their style of football,” Oregeron said. ”Obviously they’ve got to protect the quarterback. On defense, they’ve got to stop a very potent offense. Deal with a hostile crowd, but not get too nervous, just go play a good style of football and see what happens.”