Todd Harris’ decision will come in less than three months when he announces his commitment on Jan. 1, 2017, at the Under Armour All-America Game in Orlando, Fla.
Until then, the 4-star safety from Plaquemine (La.) High continues to sort through his options.
Harris has regularly been on hand for LSU recruiting events, including the spring game, Bayou Picnic and both prospect camps. He’s made the short trip for two home games early on this season, including interim coach Ed Orgeron’s debut against Mizzou.
Needless to say, one Louisiana native was mesmerized by the infusion of energy from another.
“It was pretty good being up there with coach O as the head coach now,” Harris told SEC Country of his most recent visit to Baton Rouge.
“He brought a lot of energy on and off the field, and everyone was just really excited. He brings a lot more energy (than Les Miles). I feel like coach O likes to attack on defense more and throw the ball a lot more. He had those guys pumped up. They were really pumped up in the locker room after the game.”
LSU holds commitments from two of the nation’s premier 2017 safeties: 5-star talent JaCoby Stevens and 4-star recruit Grant Delpit. Harris maintains a solid relationship with both.
Regardless, Tigers defensive backs coach Corey Raymond remains in touch with Harris on a regular basis. Their relationship dates back to spring practices when Harris was a close spectator, and Raymond returned the favor on Friday night, when he made it out to Plaquemine right before Harris made an unofficial visit to Texas A&M.
“I still talk to coach Raymond a lot and he’s going to be at (some) of my games in these next few weeks,” Harris said. “They (LSU) still hits me up a lot … week to week; they’ll text me and send me mail.”
A caveat: Harris indicated that communication between him and the in-state power has slowed down, slightly, since LSU nabbed pledges from Stevens and Delpit. That’s a bit of a surprise considering the team aims to reel in three safeties in the 2017 class.
Harris can not only play safety, but he’s a physical defensive back capable of playing all over the secondary, including on the outside at corner and inside at nickel, an all-important spot for first-year defensive coordinator Dave Aranda.
Although communication has tinkered off a bit in recent weeks, Harris continues to feel like a priority for this coaching staff.
“I feel like it hasn’t dropped off that much,” he clarified, “but I can tell it slightly dropped off since the summer. I still feel like I am a top priority for them, but if they don’t get me, they have two solid safety commitments already.”
The skinny: Sure, LSU is in a strong position with two of the nation’s top-10 safeties. If the Tigers do land Harris, too, that would give them three of a kind.
Unlike Delpit and Stevens, Harris brings a different skill set to the table, and both Raymond and Aranda are huge fans of the Louisiana prospect’s football IQ and instincts.
Alabama and Ole Miss both pose major threats to LSU keeping Harris in the state. It’s also fair to say that Arizona State, Texas A&M and Arkansas all remain in play.
But Harris has continually stayed in touch with one coaching staff. He’s continually visited one university. He grew up dreaming of playing for one team. While he may be sorting through his options over and over again up until the Under Armour All-America Game, LSU remains the team to beat.
LSU offers a pair of 5-star teammates
Ishmael Sopsher and Devonta Lee are two of the most highly sought-after prospects in the Class of 2019. They both hail from Amite (La.) High School and, now, they both hold offers from LSU.
Sopsher, a 5-star defensive lineman, and Lee, a 5-star wide receiver, picked up their offers from the in-state power on Tuesday, a source told SEC Country.
Orgeron, the area recruiter for both recruits, finally pulled the trigger on the two prospects, who are ranked Nos. 1 and 2 in Louisiana among sophomores.
Sopsher, a 6-foot-4, 287-pound tackle, has remained in contact with LSU’s interim coach throughout the spring and summer, and now into the fall. He told SEC Country in August he was waiting on the overture from the in-state power.
Likewise, Lee, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound wideout, is turning in a big sophomore campaign playing on the same offense as LSU and Alabama target Devonta Smith and one of the state’s top quarterbacks in Louisiana Tech commit Elijah Walker. Wide receivers coach Dameyune Craig has spearheaded his recruitment and stays in contact with the recruit, offering tips, feedback and encouragement as Lee dealt with an ankle injury over the summer.
LSU will be in a dogfight for both of these heralded recruits, but give the Tigers an early edge for dishing out offers during their sophomore seasons. Expect Alabama to be in the mix for Sopsher, and Texas A&M, Miami and Ole Miss to contend for Lee … at least early on.
— Sam Spiegelman (@samspiegs) October 11, 2016
All ratings are from the 247Sports composite rankings unless otherwise noted.
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