PORT ARTHUR, Texas — When a football program loses its longtime head coach, a fallout usually occurs within the recruiting class.
Thus far, LSU’s 2017 class has been the exception. It has lost only one commitment (from junior-college wide receiver Stephen Guidry) while collectively holding on with the other 19 pledges.
Perhaps no LSU commit has remained as solid as Kary Vincent Jr., the 4-star Texas cornerback who ended his recruitment in July by landing with the Tigers.
The standout defensive back and return specialist was honored last week with an Under Armour All-America Game jersey. LSU would have been wise to simply hand off a game jersey then and there because Vincent has reassured SEC Country about how firmly he’s entrenched in the 2017 class.
“Even though I had much love for coach (Les) Miles, and I still do, when I committed after I visited six months ago, I wasn’t committing to coach Miles,” Vincent said. “I love everything about LSU’s campus, about its tradition. I can’t see myself playing for any other school.”
“I’m LSU through and through,” he added. “When I committed, I wasn’t committing to a coach, I was committing to a school. Everyone’s seen what happened with the things going on with the coaching staff. It didn’t affect me at all. I love the school, and I’m an LSU Tiger forever.”
LSU fans, meet Kary Vincent Jr.
The 4-star corner discusses the All-America High School Football Game and why he’s so solid with the Tigers
Posted by LSU Insiders on Friday, October 28, 2016
LSU’s courtship of Vincent seemed expedited. After all, defensive backs coach Corey Raymond and area recruiter Bradley Dale Peveto offered the 4-star cornerback in May; he received a visit from both assistant coaches the following day.
The staff met with Vincent, his father and Port Arthur head football coach Kenny Harrison privately. The recruitment was jump-started there, and they never relented until Vincent committed two months later.
“That’s the thing,” Vincent began. “It wasn’t anything different when they offered, it was how they came after me once they offer. Coach Raymond and Coach Peveto wasted no time. The next day … literally, the next day, we talked, and we’ve talked every day since then.”
When Raymond hasn’t talked to Vincent, the No. 13 cornerback in the 2017 cycle, he’s visited in person.
LSU’s defensive backs guru came through the Lone Star State in October as Vincent locked down Texas A&M wide-receiver commit Keynel McZeal, rendering him without a catch and nabbing an interception.
Raymond was on the sidelines observing his future corner that Friday night, a much-appreciated visit that Vincent has not overlooked.
“Any time your future coach comes to see you, that’s great,” he said. “That’s my guy. I look up to him and can’t wait to learn from him.”
“Coach Raymond teaches me to stay true. There are a lot of outside things going on, but I never listen to anything. What we have, what he says to me and what I say to him, it’s true. We never let outside things get in, and that’s how I pursue things in my everyday life.”
Vincent’s relationship is part of the reason the 4-star cornerback is so solid with LSU. His future in the broadcast booth is another.
LSU has a notable communications program, which is a potential career path for Vincent. His family got a close-up look at the campus and the facilities while visiting Baton Rouge this spring. That helped sway the decision toward the Tigers.
“That’s the crazy thing about it. … It was a sign from God,” Vincent said of the all-important trip to LSU.
“I had already been taking visits in the spring, the summer and the fall. I made sure I looked at every program, so I had no idea it would turn out that the education program, the facilities, the people in the area and the coaching staff, the fans and the players would be so great. I even got to talk with the professors and stuff.”
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