COVINGTON, La. — Todd Harris has made a number of visits to LSU this spring, but perhaps none resonated more than the spring game.
Harris, the nation’s No. 4 safety in the Class of 2017, sat in the stands in Tigers Stadium alongside his entire family on Saturday.
Naturally, the four-star prospect from Plaquemine High School (La.) paid close attention to the LSU secondary, and even the depleted unit stood out.
“Jamal Adams is like my role model and I pretty much take notes from him. He was balling,” Harris told SEC Country on Sunday.
“A lot of guys were beat up, so I can’t grade their secondary right now. They don’t have the guys that start, so I will wait to grade them until the season starts … but I can’t wait for the season to start to go to Death Valley with a full crowd there. I can’t wait for a real game, because checking it out (yesterday) for the first time in full action was pretty sick.”
One player that was on the field for the spring game was early enrollee Saivion Smith.
The true freshman and former four-star prospect from Florida has seen extensive action in the Tigers’ secondary given the rash of injuries LSU has dealt with this spring.
Smith has proven that early playing time is a possibility for LSU defensive backs, but that’s something that Harris is already well aware of.
“Saivion … he’s a baller,” Harris said. “He’s a true baller. To play defensive back at LSU, you’re a pretty special kid. I look forward to watching him play.”
Overall, Harris also took note of the new-look defense that was on display as defensive coordinator Dave Aranda made his coaching debut in Tigers Stadium.
Even though there are still a number of tweaks needed to be made in the coming months, the 6-foot, 180-pound defensive back believes the LSU defense is certainly on the rise.
“It was nice. It was intense,” Harris said of the atmosphere at the spring game. “It was solid and aggressive. The run stopping in going to be there. There were a lot of guys out in their secondary, but I look forward to seeing it when the season starts.”
Harris has been to several LSU spring practices this spring and in doing so has fostered a very strong relationship with defensive backs coach Corey Raymond.
Because of that bond, Harris did not stay after the game to speak with any of the Tigers coaches.
He and Raymond have spoken a lot, including in the week leading up to LSU’s spring game, although the focal point of those conversations rarely have anything to do with football.
“He just asked how I’ve been doing and checking in on my grades,” Harris said. “He just sees how I’m doing, and I ask about the secondary. It just shows that football isn’t the main thing. When you go to LSU, education comes first. And basically, he (Raymond) was saying that if I don’t have my grades, I can’t play.”
That shouldn’t be an issue for Harris.
“My mama is the principal,” he laughed, “so I have to stay on top of that.”
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.