OSU football: How McNeese State's Cody Orgeron handled same family decision Mike and Gunnar Gundy face
Cody Orgeron was never going to play for his father.
Growing up an hour outside of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, there was pressure to join LSU as a walk-on quarterback. Orgeron certainly felt that.
LSU coach Ed Orgeron instead pushed his son elsewhere. Cody’s twin brother, Parker, was headed to McNeese State on a scholarship. Staying together was important.
“Deep down in his heart he always knew what was best for me,” Cody said.
As McNeese State ventures into Boone Pickens Stadium to face Oklahoma State at 6 p.m. Saturday, one son of a Power 5 coach will square off against another coach facing the same family dilemma in the next few months.
OSU coach Mike Gundy has maintained that his son Gunnar’s future after he completes his senior season at Stillwater High is open to Gunnar’s choosing.
The possibility of Gunnar becoming a walk-on at OSU remains open. He also has choices elsewhere at all levels. Gunnar has not reached a decision, but playing at OSU is a possibility.
But should he stay or should he go?
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“My advice is 10 out of 10 go elsewhere,” Cody said. “Every chance you get, go make a name for yourself instead of having things just given to you because of a title or what your last name is or who you’re related to.
“Just throw all that out the window would be my advice, and go earn your keep. Actually showing people you belong there is the biggest sense of accomplishment.”
Cody’s situation is different than Gunnar’s, though.
Gunnar has been established as one of Oklahoma’s elite quarterbacks, Cody was a late bloomer in football.
A tennis star in high school with two Louisiana state championships, Cody didn’t even play high school football until his senior year. He started at quarterback and excelled alongside his brother in a state semifinal run.
Being a late bloomer at a crucial position like quarterback left Cody with limited options. There were no scholarships. Walking on at LSU could be an option, but Ed wanted his son to go to McNeese State, where he once coached.
“He wanted us to continue to play ball together,” Cody said. “I believe all of that happened for a reason.”
Cody has since gone from sixth-string walk-on to scholarship player. He’s the starting quarterback under first-year coach Sterlin Gilbert. Parker has since retired after suffering five concussions, but he remains a student-coach for the team.
Last season, Cody made his first start. It happened to be an off week for LSU. Ed made the trip, a rarity of getting to watch his son live.
Missing out on the action is the toughest part of father and son in a football world. It could become a factor for the Gundys.
“I just enjoy watching my kids play,” Mike Gundy said. “I hope that they play with enthusiasm and good attitude and compete and they’re tough. If they have success, they have success. That’s based on what they put into it.
“That’s the fun part for me to watch my boys play and I'm sure (Ed is) excited. You can watch tapes and replay and all of that, but it’s not the same.”
McNeese State at OSU
When: 6 p.m. Saturday
Where: Boone Pickens Stadium
Streaming: Big 12 Now/ESPN+
Radio: KXXY-FM 96.1