5-star Florida CB will visit

LSU will get an official visit from Miramar, Fla., five-star prospect Tracy Howard.

The LSU staff is always trying to test its hand in the Sunshine State, and often the Tigers coaches find success.

For the class of 2012, the staff has two pledges from Florida in wide receiver Avery Johnson and offensive lineman Patrick Miller.

When was the last time the Tigers landed a defensive back from Florida?

Try Johnson’s older brother, 2008 signee Patrick Peterson, a five-star prospect and native of Pompano Beach.

This year, the Tigers are trying to tap into South Florida for another five-star cornerback.

Tracy Howard, the nation’s No. 4-ranked cornerback, has been in talks with the LSU staff throughout his recruitment process – which has been spearheaded by former Florida Gators assistant and current LSU wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales.

“Coach Gonzales has been calling me and keeping up,” Howard said. “They are still one of the teams I am looking at.

“(LSU is) playing really good right now. I’m seeing what everyone else is seeing, and they are one of the best in the country. I wanted to watch the Alabama game this weekend, but I have a game on Saturday and won’t be able to see it.”

Howard listed LSU, Florida, Florida State, West Virginia, USC, UCLA, Notre Dame, Alabama and Miami as the schools recruiting him the heaviest. Howard said no decision date has been set, and his recruitment process remains wide open.

“I took an official visit to West Virginia already, but I will take some more after the season,” he said. “I have thought about setting up other official visits, but I haven’t done anything yet.

“LSU is a school I want to visit. I am definitely looking at setting a trip up.”

In conversations with Gonzales, Howard said he gets the feeling that he is one of the top prospects on LSU’s board.

“Coach Gonzales said I am the type of cornerback that could fit in over there,” he said. “I see how physical they are, and I think I could do well in that system.

“Right now I am just staying open. I am looking at a lot of schools. And I am willing to leave Florida. I am going for the best place for me.”

After facing Johnson this season in a game between Miramar and Blanche Ely, Howard has kept in touch with the Tiger commitment out of South Florida.

As recently as last week the two spoke about Friday nights and the recruitment process.

“We are friends, and college stuff will come up sometimes,” he said. “When I talked to him the other day he said he was a Tiger, and I let him know I was still waiting it out. We’ll see what happens after I take some visits and think about things.”

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