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February 26, 2013

LSU hopes Paris helps trend change

MORE: Big 12 positions of need

Dallas Jackson is the National Columnist for Rivals.com. Email him your comments or story ideas to DallasJ@Yahoo-Inc.com and follow him on Twitter.

"LSU fans turn it up," was the tweet from Edward Paris announcing his commitment to the program.

LSU fans, slow your roll. That should have been the disclaimer that followed.

History suggests that LSU should consider slowing its recruiting Texas.

Monday night when Paris, a top-ranked safety from Mansfield (Texas) Timberview, pledged to the program, it sounded the alarm for another LSU victory recruiting in Texas -- the state that consistently has produced the most FBS signees on an annual basis.

Of the six commitments that LSU has secured in the class of 2014, two are top-ranked players from the Lone Star State -- Paris is the No. 38 player in the Rivals100, and Chris Hardeman of Houston (Texas) Alief is No. 199 in the Rivals250.

History suggests that they may not pan out in Baton Rouge.

LSU has signed 15 players from Texas inside the Rivals250 since the rankings were introduced, and the overwhelming majority have failed to live up to the hype.

Paris and Hardeman hope to change that trend.

Paris followed his commitment tweet with one explaining his decision: "It has been a long and hard decision to make as the schools I visited showed me much love and support as it related to me growing personally."

Hardeman was the first commit to the class. He has taken to shepherding others to join him.

"I want to recruit the best players I can for my class to play with me," Hardeman told Rivals.com. "I want to play with the best, and I know guys want to play with other good players. I feel like I'm doing that right now. Hopefully, by the time February rolls around next year, we'll have the No. 1 class in the country."

The No. 1 class is possible in Baton Rouge.

Following the commitment of Paris, LSU has five players in the class rated as four-star prospects by Rivals.com. The Tigers have the potential to land multiple five-star players. The top running back in the country and the top offensive tackle in the country -- Leonard Fournette and Cameron Robinson, respectively -- are considered LSU leans.

While it is well documented that top-ranked Louisiana players seldom leave the state, Rivals.com looks back at the highest-ranked players LSU has pulled out of Texas and what happened while they were on campus.

LSU'S TOP RECRUITS FROM TEXAS

Russell Shepard, No. 7 in class of 2009
Houston (Texas) Cypress Ridge, dual-threat quarterback
What happened at LSU: Shepard never carved out a spot for himself on the roster and ultimately saw his playing time and his positive impact on the team dwindle. His greatest season on the field was as a sophomore when he rushed for 226 years and had another 254 receiving. His junior season saw him receive a suspension, and as a senior he started only game and made just six catches in a crowded receiver group.


Terrance Tolliver, No. 13 in class of 2007
Hempstead (Texas) High, wide receiver
What happened at LSU: Tolliver led the Tigers with 41 receptions in 2010, good for 579 yards and five TDs. He started twice as a true freshman and twice as a sophomore before blossoming into a full-time starter as a junior in 2009. His junior season was his best; he had 53 catches for 735 yards and three touchdowns. For his career, he had 126 catches -- including 12 TD receptions -- for 1,820 yards.


Craig Loston, No. 20 in class of 2009
Aldine (Texas) Eisenhower, safety
What happened at LSU: Loston played sparingly his first few seasons before emerging as the starting safety late in his career. This past season, he was fifth on the team with 55 tackles in his 12 starts and was named to the All-SEC second team. He had a 100-yard interception return against Mississippi State last year, which tied an LSU, SEC and NCAA record and helped win the game.

MORE FROM TEXAS
The Rivals.com rankings did not expand to a numbered Rivals250 until the Class of 2008, so players ranked before then were not numerically listed except for in the Rivals100 and within their states.

LSU signed several players from the class of 2002 to the class of 2008 who were four-star players inside the Rivals250. Here are the top five from that span.

R.J. Jackson, Houston (Texas) Westside
No. 18 player in Texas, class of 2005

Tremaine Johnson, Galena Park (Texas)
No. 19 player in Texas, class of 2004

Jarvis Jones, Rosenberg (Texas) Consolidated
No. 20 player in Texas, class of 2007

Ron Brooks, Irving (Texas) MacArthur
No. 21 player in Texas, class of 2007

Jarrett Lee, Brenham (Texas)
No. 25 player in Texas, class of 2007


Herman Johnson, No. 30 in class of 2004
Denton (Texas) High, offensive lineman
What happened at LSU: Johnson was the largest baby ever born in the state of Louisiana at 15 pounds, 14 ounces. He started 38 of 52 games for the Tigers and was a member of the 2007 BCS championship team. He was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals but cut and then signed by the Chicago Bears before being released.


Tim Washington, No. 100 in class of 2003
Sugar Land Dulles, strongside defensive end
What happened at LSU: Washington played in nine games during his career and largely was used in a reserve role with a stellar defensive line group ahead of him. He transferred to Appalachian State, where he played in 11 games as a senior and had 37 solo tackles with 10 tackles for a loss and 5.5 sacks.


Chancey Aghayere, No. 121 in class of 2008
Garland (Texas) High, defensive tackle
What happened at LSU: Aghayere was mostly organizational depth as his career went on at LSU. He peaked in playing time as a sophomore with two starts in 12 games. He ended his career with six starts in 42 games, finishing with 44 tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss, and 2.0 sacks. He graduated in December and could sign a free agent contract with limited hopes of cracking an NFL roster.


Michael Brockers, No. 201 in class of 2009
Houston (Texas) Chavez, strongside defensive end
What happened at LSU: Brockers redshirted his freshman year but was an immediate impact player once he was on the field. He saw action in 13 games as a redshirt freshman as a backup and made his first start last season against Alabama, recording four tackles in the victory. As a sophomore, he started all 13 games and was named second-team All-SEC. He declared for the draft after that season and was selected in the first round by the St. Louis Rams. He made 31 tackles and four sacks as a rookie in 2012.


Evan Washington, No. 207 in class of 2010
DeSoto (Texas) High, offensive tackle
What happened at LSU: After redshirting as a freshman, Washington was injured early in his second year at LSU, causing him not to play a snap. As a redshirt sophomore, he was still working his way into a role on the team and was organizational depth.


Zach Lee, No. 217 in class of 2010
McKinney (Texas) High, pro-style quarterback
What happened at LSU: Lee was a two-sport star, and it was never a sure thing for him to wind up on campus. He was selected in the first round of the MLB draft and signed his pro contract. He was on campus for a summer semester during which he participated for two weeks of summer drills and took classes before leaving for baseball. He is currently the No. 78 prospect in baseball, according to MiLB.com.


David Jenkins, No. 222 in class of 2011
Carrollton (Texas) Hebron, cornerback
What happened at LSU: Jenkins was redshirted upon his arrival at LSU and did not like his role with the team, so he transferred to TCU. He sat out the 2012 season because of NCAA transfer rules.



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