The 5-foot-9, 165-pound cornerback was consistently matched up with the opponent’s favorite target, and often he roamed into the box to help against the run, finishing the year with 84 tackles.
The effort resulted in Cooper inviting Batiste to Baton Rouge for Boys from the Boot, an exclusive Junior Day where the coaching staff uses the small numbers as a way to create more individual time with a prospect and his family.
If the Tigers hoped to impress Batiste on a day like Saturday, mission accomplished.
“I really enjoyed the whole stay,” said Batiste. “We got to do the tours of the facilities, which was all top notch. But I would say that the time I got to spend with coach Cooper was what stuck with me. Our conversations were great and he really sold me on what he’s going over there at LSU.
“It was one of those trips that just gets you pumped to get to that level.”
Batiste pointed to a sit down with Cooper, followed by a film session, as the moment that the Tigers pulled him in
“Coach Cooper just kept stressing that if I had talent then I would come in and compete for playing time as a true freshman,” he said. “Coach Cooper said that they play tons of freshman defensive backs, because he doesn’t like to redshirt guys. He said he just wants to recruit to create competition, and from there it will shake out.
“He also said that if you get into the rotation, you would play. He showed me clips of their Mustang looks, with speed on the field in the Dime and Nickel, and he said that defensive backs would be in and out. You don’t see that at other schools, so that stuck with me.”
Moving forward, Batiste calls LSU the team out front.
“LSU is looking really, really good to me right now,” he said. “I am also hearing from schools like Texas A&M, UCLA and Nebraska, but LSU is starting to show me some love.
“I talked to coach Frank (Wilson), who recruits my area, and we had some conversations about how the process would be as we get into the spring. I expect him and coach Cooper to swing by Lutcher a few times. Coach Frank said they will be in touch, for sure.”