The Tigers have been on the hunt for a linebacker to come into the 2011 class alongside Trevon Randle, who is currently ranked as the nation’s No. 6 outside linebacker.
When Urban Meyer stepped down at Florida, LSU moved in on Ryan Shazier. Being recruited to LSU out of Plantation, Fla. by former Gators staff member Billy Gonzales, Shazier arrived in Baton Rouge on Friday and stayed through Sunday morning.
“It was a great visit,” he said. “I came through on a summer visit with my traveling team, but it wasn’t anything where I got to be with the players and coaches. This time I spent the entire time with them, and I got to do a bunch of different tours and stuff like that.
“I was really impressed by the academics, and that’s big for me. I want to be a journalism major, so they showed me their whole School of Journalism. It was pretty cool.”
Florida native Kadron Boone, who dropped his pledge to Texas Tech following their coaching change at this time last season, hosted Shazier, and the familiar situation paid off.
“I got along great with Boone, and he was telling me how similar things are for us and that joining on with them at LSU would be great for me,” Shazier said. “We went and ate and then kicked it with all the guys. I was mainly with J.R. Ferguson, Chris Tolliver and Jakhari Gore.”
He spent most of the visit with head coach Les Miles, a testament to where a linebacker prospect like Shazier fits into LSU’s picture as signing day approaches.
“Coach Miles told me that they really need an outside guy like me, and that if they had someone talented enough then they could move a guy like Ryan Baker inside,” he said. “(Defensive coordinator) Coach Chavis said that coming in the spring would be great for me, because I could get in great shape and start competing right away.”
If the 6-foot-2, 205-pounder got in with LSU this January, Shazier feels he could be looking at plenty of playing time during his freshman year, which he tabbed as one of the most important things going forward and one of the ways he would leave his pledge to Florida.
“Coach Chavis said that I already know how to break down the schemes, so getting those extra months of preparation would mostly be about technique and then getting in shape,” he said. “I did a lot of rushing the passer in high school, so I’ll want to work on my footwork and pass coverage. If I came to LSU I think I would end up at weakside linebacker.”
With a week until he hopes to have a decision, the four-star prospect is set for an in-home visit with Ohio State tonight, followed by LSU on Tuesday and then a visit to Columbus on Wednesday.
“It’s a pretty busy week, but I want to have a decision by next weekend, so I’ve got to fit it all in,” he said. “Coach (Jim) Tressel and a few Ohio State coaches are coming in tonight, then LSU will come and see me at the house after that.”
As for where he stands with the Gators and a possible leap to the Tigers or Buckeyes, Shazier remains up in the air.
“I am just going to think over the whole thing,” he said. “I need to decide right after this visit though, especially if I want to enroll at Florida or Ohio State because they both are earlier than LSU’s date.
“I’ve talked to Florida after the new hire (Will Muschamp), but I don’t know where I’m at,” he said. “It’s going to be about where I fit in and can play quick.”