Todd Harris is no stranger to LSU.
In fact, the four-star safety and No. 6 prospect at his position in the Class of 2017 has been on campus four times this spring, including last weekend at the annual Bayou Picnic.
Yet somehow, the LSU coaches provide a unique twist to each visit, which naturally has intrigued the elite Louisiana defensive back
“I got to enjoy my time with a ton of recruits,” Harris told SEC Country. “They brought a ton of recruits and showed us all a good time. Every time you go there, it’s something new. That’s what I like about LSU — it’s always something new and not the same, old …
“When I visited the other day, I was making sure I had good relationships with different guys. I knew some of the same guys and got to meet different people over at LSU. I’m just trying to keep building relationships with the coaches, build relationships with some of the players at LSU.”
The 6-foot, 180-pounder has had the opportunity to build plenty of relationships this spring, particularly with some of the current LSU standouts.
During the team’s spring practices last month, Harris had a chance to meet a slew of defensive backs, including Tre’Davious White, Rickey Jefferson and Jamal Adams, who he considers a role model.
Over the weekend, Harris met fellow Baton Rouge, La., area product Derrius Guice, whose personality alone is like a recruiting pitch for the Tigers.
“That was my first time meeting Derrius Guice at the picnic,” Harris said. “That meeting with Guice in person, it was pretty cool. He’s full of energy. He’s funny and fun and things like that. All of the players want to continue to keep winning games, and that was pretty cool.”
In addition to current LSU players, Harris also got better acquainted with some potential future LSU players.
The Bayou Picnic featured no shortage of elite national prospects. Harris is in that same boat, but he just happens to live 30 minutes outside of the LSU campus.
The chance to discuss and compare his recruitment with the likes of five-star linebacker Dylan Moses, friend and LSU linebacker commit Patrick Queen, and Louisiana cornerback Tre’ Swilling, among others, provided Harris with some additional ideas about his future.
“It went pretty well,” he said. “It makes you feel like you don’t have so much pressure on you. All of the guys coming to LSU and visiting, hanging out with those guys and knowing we might have the next four years together to go to school and make longstanding memories. You don’t want to pass up that opportunity. It was good associating with those guys coming from other states, building relationships with those guys that you might play at the next level with.
“We don’t try to say ‘Let’s do this’ or ‘Let’s go to the same college.’ That’s going to be an individual decision for us and all the top recruits, but you can have some ideas, what you liked about this and that. Tre’ Swilling talks about us all playing for the same team and the success we can have. We talk about college and I ask about the colleges they’ve visited that I haven’t had a chance to visit and how see how they felt about it. It’s just getting input before I go down, pretty much getting a heads up on things to look out for.”
The Plaquemine (La.) High School product was a keen observer of LSU’s spring practices in April, making multiple visits to get a better idea of how defensive backs coach Corey Raymond interacts with his players.
Then, Harris raved about Raymond and the relationship they were building.
That continued on Saturday, as the coach took a hands-off approach with Louisiana’s No. 2 overall prospect, appealing to him in another sort of way.
“When I first saw him, I was checking out how he coached the players, and after practice him and I chat up about everything,” Harris recalled. “Now everything is like how I’m doing, how my family is doing, my grades and things like that. It wasn’t much of a pressure situation at all, just like a normal conversation. He wasn’t putting too much pressure on me. He just made me feel comfortable, and like all the coaches, was saying ‘Thanks, Todd, for coming.’ Whenever I go up there, there’s no pressure. It’s always normal, about making me feel comfortable.”
Of course, LSU has been where Harris spent most of his spring, but the four-star safety plans on doing his homework on all of his options over the summer at camps and into the fall.
For now, the goal is to remain patient. Although LSU has jumped out to an early lead in his recruitment, Harris feels no pressure to commit on the spot.
He knows where LSU stands, but it’s a decision that he needs to take his time with.
“LSU … they’re in the home state, so I’ll always keep them high on my list,” Harris said, “but I don’t want to make a decision. I’m being patient, taking my time. I’ll talk it over with my family before I ultimately make my decision.”
Sam Spiegelman covers LSU football recruiting for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play in Tigers Stadium.