Touring the LSU football facility recently, Artie Burns couldn't help but see images that remind him what his opportunities could be if he wound up in the Tigers secondary at some point in the future.
The four-star cornerback from Miami's talent rich Northwestern High was in Baton Rouge for an unofficial visit recently and was able to soak in some of the recent history LSU's talented secondary players have carved out.
From LaRon Landry to Chad Jones to Patrick Peterson to Morris Claiborne, there are plenty of names and faces to get a recruit's attention.
"They have a strong tradition of really good DBs and I like that a lot," said the 6-foot-, 190-pound Burns, rated as the No. 18 cornerback by Scout.com. "And the way they play defense, I feel like I'd fit in with the type of team they have."
Burns said he feels like he can have the same kind of impact for the Tigers as Claiborne, the Tigers former All-American and No. 6 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
A high school safety who most programs are recruiting as a cornerback, Burns said he also likes the way Eric Reid plays and how quickly he adjusted from the high school level to being a major contributor.
"Those guys got to LSU and were on the field real quick," Burns said.
With the recent departure of reserve defensive backs Ronnie Vinson, Sam Gibson and David Jenkins, and the likely move to the NFL next year by Reid, Tyrann Mathieu and possibly Tharold Simon, there figures to be an abundance of playing time available when the Class of 2013 steps on campus.
How big a factor that might be will be have to be weighed against what other schools have to offer.
Burns was committed to Alabama at one point but backed out of that pledge, although he said he still remains in contact with the Crimson Tide coaches.
He had established a relationship with LSU secondary coach Corey Raymond when he was at Nebraska and that has carried over.
"We're close," Burns said. "He told me at LSU and in Louisiana, they take care of you and treat you like you're family."
Another factor in the Tigers' favor is Burns' intention to run track in addition to football wherever he winds up.
He is regarded as one of the top high school hurdlers in the country, and LSU recently finished second at the NCAA Tack and Field Championships.
Tigers coach Les Miles has always been amenable to players pursuing a second sport.
There are obvious challenges to overcome with several other programs in the hunt for Burns.
He lists a top five of LSU, Alabama, Florida State, Miami and USC. Louisville is also lurking because Cardinals coach Charlie Strong has tapped into the Northwestern pipeline for four players in the last few seasons.
Burns hasn't counted the Crimson Tide, telling Scout.com's Chad Simmons he talks to the coaches weekly.
At least three visits have been set: Alabama, Miami and Florida State. That leaves to visits, and it's hard to imagine the unofficial stop by LSU didn't help.
"I liked what I saw when I was there," Burns said. "They have a really good thing going there."
LSU's DB history appeals to Burns
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